Abbott Elementary Season 2 premiere review – ‘Development Day’ – IGN

Season two of Abbott Elementary debuts September 21 on ABC, with new episodes weekly. Episodes will be available to stream on Hulu the next day.

In the premiere of the second season of Abbott ElementaryNew full-time teacher Gregory Eddy (Tyler James Williams) is amazed at how much the district expects him to teach its students during the year. Veteran teacher Barbara Howard (Emmy Award winner Cheryl Lee Ralph) points out that the curriculum is based on the assumption that nothing ever goes wrong and that teachers can use every moment of the day efficiently. Encouraging Gregory to get used to the disappointment, she told him, “Welcome to the Philly public school system where you never have what you need.” However, Abbott Elementary’s great sense of humor relies on breaking down Barbara’s pessimistic mantra, telling poignant stories about determined faculty who still manage to do what their students do right.

Schools are an excellent setting for television programming because the start of the school year provides the perfect start to a new season, the opportunity for characters to grow and the dynamics for off-screen change during recess. On Development Day, character development is faster than jokes. While everyone is aware of what they did on their summer vacations, it allows the writers to reveal new sides to their already charming cast.

The biggest metamorphosis is found in the character of Jennine Tegues, creator of the series, who had recently broken up with her dead boyfriend. As Janine tries to show off her usual jolly bits, she encounters deeper problems than the adorable need to use a pot as a base to reach for things on high shelves. The new school year also gave her extra responsibility and standing among her peers. When Barbara and powerful veteran teacher Melissa Chimenti (Lisa Ann Walter) resist her idea of ​​a mixer where more experienced teachers share wisdom with new hires, Janine tells them attendance is mandatory. It’s a display of strength the character has never shown before, and one that her co-workers accept with astonishment.

Barbara previously served as way more practical for Janine, but Season 2 builds on her winning extra funding for the school during the Season 1 finale by showing that she is finally allowing herself to hope for more resources. Abbott Elementary adds some to the sitcom formula by depicting the way American education systems ignore black students in a way that hasn’t been well illustrated since Season 4 of the wire. Season two misses none of that sting as Barbara struggles with a broken system that allows her to set up a ramp for a student with a wheelchair but doesn’t give them a desk that fits their needs. Meanwhile, Melissa didn’t get a lot of screens in the second season premiere, but the episode presents a long-running struggle that clearly weighs her down, which we hope will develop further in future episodes.

The other characters remain pretty much the same. Headmistress Ava Coleman (Janelle James) is still dealing with the crowds and the sexual harassment of Gregory and Jacob Hill (Chris Perfetti) remains a silly caricature of white liberalism. There is a lot in common between elementary Abbott framing and character archetypes the desk, but her characters are generally better people, morally. Jacob’s new focus on teaching American Sign Language was likely an empty gesture of virtue, but at Abbott Elementary School, the initial embarrassment of his efforts paid off.

Abbott Elementary also plays the popular sitcom style for flashy guest stars, evoking a traditional choice and ending with a much funnier option. It’s a plot that allows Gregory to show his strong straight chop by interacting with skepticism Parks and recreational resortsBen Wyatt is trying to find out why everyone is obsessed with Li’l Sebastian.

The startup Abbott has managed to find ways to laugh at the absurdity of an apparently broken system.


Telling stories primarily about teachers rather than students allows Abbott Elementary to illustrate the difficulties of a disadvantaged school without treating children as victims. Kids may have been written off for their test scores and grouped into crowded classrooms, but they appear to be happy. It is their teachers who are left struggling to try to avoid being let down while also managing their chaotic lives. Not many comedies deal honestly with difficult topics like debt and accessibility, but elementary Abbott manages to find ways to laugh at the absurdity of an apparently deeply broken system. At the same time, it reveals the impossible pressures teachers go through while delivering the reassuring message that good things are possible with enough grit and teamwork.

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