Tuesday, January 18, 2022

New mockumentary-style series ‘Abbott Elementary’ gets a good grade

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“Abbott Elementary” is a late arrival to ABC’s fall schedule – and it’s a strong argument for staying in the primate for a while.

The fake comedy, written and starring by Quinta Brunson (“The Black Lady Sketch Show”), is about life in Brunson’s hometown elementary school in Philadelphia, where his strict teachers and about his incompetent director. Eva Coleman (Janelle James) is there because she held the school principal in a compromise position.

Abbott Elementary is filming for a documentary about “Low-Funded, Poorly Managed Public Schools in America,” which will be evident during the opening of the series and when we meet with its staff. There’s Jane Tigs (Brunson), a passionate, hard-working teacher who tries to lift herself up in the face of frustrating frustration from bureaucratic paperwork and employee departures (injuries related to colleagues); nonsense awakened Barbara Howard (Sheryl Lee Ralph), “Wife of God,” and Jacob Hill (Chris Perfetti), who had been taught in school for decades and knew how to get through her traps (she’s Jane’s idol): Melissa Schemmenti (Lisa Ann Walter), who speaks rudely, wonders if the camera crew is cops; and Gregory Eddie (Tyler James Williams), deputy o ‘ andy

Pictured are co-authors Lisa Ann Walter, Janelle James and Cheryl Lee Ralph in Abbott Elementary as their protagonists.
Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter), Ava (Janelle James) and Barbara (Sheryl Lee Ralph) in Abbott Elementary.

Gregory was hired as a school principal before Ava started and had endless and shameless flirtations with her. However, as the series continues, it is clear that she has chemistry with Jane … and she has strong doubts about her boyfriend, the male-child irresponsible rapper Tariq.

All the protagonists roaming the halls of the Abbott Elementary are “tours” – a sitcom, after all, and this is to be expected – but they fit well on the screen and stand out from the crowd with their unique oddities. Thanks to Brunson and his co-authors, TV doctors Justin Helpern and Patrick Schumaker. I especially like Williams, 29, who starred in “Everyone Hates Chris” as a child and has been working on television ever since.

Abbott Elementary is evolving rapidly and is not a sledgehammer approach to the often dangerous condition of schools in the city and the impact of this hostage on teachers and parents. There is no preaching here; Brunson uses a subtle, subtle effect, accentuated by comedy resulting from believable situations and relationships – not as comprehensive generalizations as is often the case. Nothing is dumb, and this was partly helped by the mock-up format that flew to the wall. Luckily, annoying theft / dazzling / irritating / clear view on camera, often an attractive drop for actors in this format, is kept to a minimum.

Abbott Elementary students are in safe hands.

Actors, including Tyler James Williams (fourth from left) as Gregory.
Actors, including Tyler James Williams (fourth from left) as Gregory.

“Abbott Elementary” premieres on Tuesday (December 7th) at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.

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