“I’m so happy to be back!” Janine Teague (Quinta Bronson) screams in the opening scene of Abbott Elementary‘s the second season. Janine is excited to step into the classroom again and prove that she has it all together this year (and her classmates note that she parted her hair on the other side), but I imagine Bronson is also thrilled to be back: After Three Historic Emmy Nominationsgot her first win (outstanding writing for a comic series for the pilot), while the show picked up two more statuettes.
It is well established that sitcoms take time to find a foothold. Go back and rewatch the first seasons of Parks and recreational resorts or the desk And you’ll notice that things seem a little off compared to the comedic timings and dynamic chemistry she’s known for. Thanks to Bronson’s clear vision and idiosyncrasy as a Philly native, Abbott Elementary Show rare confidence on your first outing. It is exciting to think that with time and development, the show will become more interesting and deeper as it goes on. The good news: The laughs were more frequent in the back half of season one, and this second season’s premiere never skips a beat.
We meet with the gang on a nominal ‘development day’, with teachers returning from summer vacation to prepare their classes before students arrive. Janine reassured the audience and her co-stars that she “sped up” her breakup with Tariq (Zach Fox), which is basically Chekhov’s “Janine is going to fall apart” in the episode. This year it will be different! But when she gets to school and tries to park, she finds that Ava (Janelle James) has taken over the parking lot to ship Eagles fans to the back door. So… no different.
We get a quick summary of what everyone else did in the summer: Jacob (Chris Perfetti) studied abroad in Peru and took an ASL class (“I didn’t get inspired” kudaper se, but…”); Barbara (“Sea Barbara is different from Land Barbara”); Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter) lost her shoes on an all-out cruise while intoxicated (“Sea Barbara is different from Land Barbara”); Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter) She was on Jersey Beach with Vending Machine Man Gary; and Gregory (Tyler James Williams) immersed themselves in the first-grade curriculum because he’s now a full-time teacher.
During her morning speech at the gym, Ava threw some summer thirst traps for herself on screen for Gregory before sharing the day’s agenda. Janine plans the teacher mixer, and when she mentions the idea of a “wisdom exchange,” Barbara and Melissa are quick to tell her it won’t work. She began arguing and then stopped to herself – “I don’t have to change your mind, because it’s mandatory” – in a show of confidence that impresses even seasoned teachers. Between that and the revelation that she’s hit the “only significant celebrity” to surprise the kids on the first day of school (Gritty, the terrifying Flyers mascot), Janine steps up. “Looks like someone got them together this year,” Barbara muttered to Melissa.
The team soon plunged into the administrative nightmares of the public school system. Although Barbara successfully gets a ramp installed at the school, she gets a tour of the area around an accessible desk for her next student who uses a wheelchair. Melissa, poor soul, is now the second combined And the A third grade teacher with ten extra students because there weren’t enough kids to justify another class.
But no one freaks out like Gregory, who can’t believe the amount of material the school board-mandated curriculum expects first graders to learn within a year. He paints everything in a very detailed table on his whiteboard, with pictures of each child pinned to their desks. His classroom isn’t as bad as John Nash’s desk beautiful Mindbut have the same feelings.
As for sweet Janine, the impending breakup spoils her hotline, punctual. While she and Jacob brainstorm to break the ice for her blender, he sees threatening emails from her landlord because she’s three months late in her rent after Tarek is out of the picture. Janine ignores Jacob’s concerns, but in the middle of her mixer, Mr. Johnson (William Stanford Davis) comes to inform the group that her car is getting a box for unpaid parking tickets. (They were for Tarek, and she’d pay them, but “on maturity, I haven’t done that since we broke up.”) And of course, since she failed to defend her way out of this mess, Gretty shows up because she accidentally told him to come on development day instead of The first day at school. Oops.
Janine gets some straightforward advice from Barbara and Melissa: Her image is about smashing everything together: You have to go through a breakup, not get over it. Healing is part of the process.
Janine reflects on this when we see teachers welcome students on the first day. It’s a beautiful sequence that enhances Abbott Elementary beating heart. Forget the jokes about Jacob’s hard-to-experience sign language obsession. Seeing him sign with a deaf student moved honestly. Barbara takes her new student into her classroom only to discover that Gregory has found an ADA-compliant desk in the pantry. Connecting the needle between heart and humor is not easy, but Abbott Elementary It is at the top of the class.
“This year will be different…because the Eagles got AJ Brown, baby!” Johnson says as he joins the back door of Ava’s parking lot. (It’s out to a good start!)
It’s good to see Ava is still Ava, despite her getting close to the staff at the end of last season. “Be silent in the presence of greatness,” she says to calm them down at the gym.
Last year he didn’t like pizza, this year he didn’t “get” Gritty. Gregory is not afraid to have controversial opinions. (Gritty wins him a very tough exchange in the post-credit scene.)
Philly’s humor is always good, like when Jacob is desperate to know if Gritty’s phone number is area code 215 or 267.
Chris Perfetti is just as delightful as Jacob. I laughed out loud as he handed him “President Joy Bee will cancel the rest of this debt like any day now.” And the better we got to know the character, the more fun his exchanges became. Barbara’s initial panic for claiming there was an emergency and then leaving him immediately as soon as he turned a chair was perfect. “I’m not playing with that boy this year.”
Mr. Johnson: “Anyone driving a damaged car?” Raise the hand of everyone in a room full of teachers.
With Gregory’s first grade education, he and Barbara will likely interact a lot, which is good news for us because Tyler James Williams and Sheryl Lee Ralph work together on a beautiful scene. She pulls him out of his panic with both hardness and warmth.
Will they, they won’t watch: Despite saying things with Barbara’s daughter, Taylor, are going well, Gregory was the only one who noticed Janine’s change at the end of the episode.