“Abbott Elementary” TV review: A love letter to teachers

ABC’s mockumentary, Abbott Elementary debuted on Dec. 7, and viewers are hooked. Luckily, the show was renewed for a second season!

To many, elementary school represents a cozy place that smelled of crayons and had mystery people, aka teachers. While children don’t realize how much effort their teachers put in, Abbott Elementary takes us into a Philadelphia public school, where the teachers are the ones making everything work.

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The main character, Janine Teagues is a quirky second-grade teacher hoping to make a positive impact on the lives of her students. Her colleagues include old-school kindergarten teacher Barbara, lively Melissa, chatty Jacob and substitute teacher, Gregory. Despite the differences in their personalities and having an eccentric principal, these teachers collaborate well and make do with what the school system provides.

The show is like a love letter to real-life teachers, demonstrating that teaching is a work of the heart. Additionally, the show’s marketing budget is not going to advertisements; rather, a portion of the proceeds will go to buying school supplies for teachers.

If you have watched “The Office” one too many times, give Abbott Elementary a try. Remember waiting for Jim and Pam to get together the first time you watched the office? What if I told you there is a love triangle brewing in Abbott Elementary?

Abbott Elementary not only highlights how valuable teachers are, but it also shows that teachers are people too. The writers of the show illustrate this in a variety of ways.

To illustrate, when it was open house, Janine was eager to meet with a parent. As time passed, it looked as if the parent was not going to come, and Janine’s emotions showed viewers that it had more to do with her than with the parent. Later, it is revealed that Janine’s mother was never there for her and only reached out to her for a “Disney+ login.”

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Other than portraying the teachers as people, the creators of the show do an excellent job of showing how much teachers care for their students. When a student was nervous about going to second grade, Janine invited him to spend the day in her class. In the end, Janine tells Kenny that she will be there for him next year, making us remember our favorite teachers.

As we head into finals season, we tend to experience the Proustian effect in which we remember that cozy place that smelled of melted crayons. While many of us may remember our teachers, Abbott Elementary shows teachers in a different light and not just as people who are on stage every day.

If you’ve missed Abbott Elementary, it is available to watch on ABC or stream on Hulu.

Featured image courtesy of Instagram: @abbottelemabc