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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

It’s been a while since I’ve watched any live TV. My family and I used to either record or watch shows live such as Modern Family or Fresh Off the Boat. For a while, it felt like there weren’t any comedies catching my attention. However, there’s one show I can’t get enough of lately. Abbott Elementary, an award-winning ABC sitcom and mockumentary, observes a public elementary school in Philadelphia. The show captures the everyday challenges teachers and faculty face in and out of the classroom. I first learned of this comedy because of my dad; he was interested in it because he’s a public school teacher himself. I ended up loving this show just as much as him, or even more, because of its fantastic cast and writing.

Quinta Brunson is the show’s creator, co-writer, and one of its executive producers. She also portrays one of the main characters, optimistic go-getter and second grade teacher, Janine Teagues. Tyler James Williams joins Brunson as the methodical temp turned first grade teacher, Gregory Eddie. For me personally, it was fun to see Williams on screen since I remembered his face from the 2012 Disney Channel Original Movie, Let it Shine. Janelle James portrays the hilarious principal (and part-time influencer), Ava Coleman, which is fitting since James is a comedian herself. Lisa Ann Walter (who you might remember from the 1998 film, The Parent Trap) plays the spunky teacher, Melissa Schemmenti and there’s no better fit for veteran kindergarten teacher Barbara Howard. I could go on and on about how much I love the regulars and the cast is simply awesome at what they do. Their performances mesh well together to create a show that’s humorous and beautiful.

The writing deserves praise for scripts with funny, yet real dialogue. Not to mention, they deserve praise for creating the perfect characters to deliver it. There’s the principal who has her own way of being in charge, teachers with their own quirks who care deeply about what they do, and a janitor who has gone through experiences you couldn’t ever imagine. The young students will always add some fun to the show as well. You know it’s going to get good once the kids start roasting the teachers or asking questions that evoke confused and concerned reactions.

I love the, kids as their presence reminds us that even though we get to know the conflicts between teachers, the kids don’t. For example, Janine and Gregory have a “will they won’t they” romance that keeps us on our toes whenever they speak with each other. However, even if there are some feelings there, they can’t always show it because of the kids. It keeps the show real, as it reminds us that our teachers come back to their jobs every single day no matter what’s happening behind the scenes. 

“Teachers come back to their jobs every single day no matter what’s happening behind the scenes.”

Sierra Kushi

Speaking of behind the scenes, I love that they film this show as a mockumentary. As a huge fan of The Office, it was easy for me to fall in love after episode one. It’s another example of how meaningful (and funny) things can happen at an ordinary place like school. It also adds a sense of connectedness to the viewers as their looks to camera will always add humor and reality to the series. I’ll always laugh if one of the teachers gives a concerned look to the camera after Ava says something. The mockumentary style also allows us to highlight both the hilarious and heartwarming moments of every character. I feel like I get to know all the teachers and faculty on a more personal level. 

As I mentioned before, my dad is a teacher at a public school. I’ve seen him work late hours every night at home in our family room grading papers. I’ve seen him leave right after he finishes dinner to prepare for a tutoring session he’s about to host. Like many teachers, my dad is dedicated to helping his students. I know he puts 110% into every day he has with them. Brunson has detailed that her mom was a teacher at the elementary school she attended, so she saw the commitment her mother had for her job. On top of that, her sixth grade teacher, Ms. Abbott, helped her transition in middle school and that’s what inspired the show. It’s nice knowing that this whole sitcom came from someone whose experiences molded her appreciation for teachers. I love that when my dad watches Abbott, he can smile, shake his head, and laugh at the various scenes that reflect real obstacles teachers face regularly. I think that’s what makes this show so special — it not only provides comedic relief; it also makes educators feel seen. 

Abbott’s currently on its third season and it’s already been renewed for season four. There’s more I wish I could’ve covered. For instance, the show centers around a public school in an under-resourced school district whose demographic is primarily African American. I’ve come to deeply appreciate this show, as it’s not only comforting for the laughs, but it also attempts to depict a school day. It attempts to depict the realities of the public school system, but also brings a lot of heart into it. I thank this show for reminding us of what our teachers do for us every single day by simply showing up and doing their job. If I haven’t made it obvious already, I highly recommend this show and you can either catch it every Wednesday on ABC or stream it on Hulu!

Sierra Kushi

UC Berkeley '27

Sierra is a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley. She started writing for the Berkeley chapter in the Fall of 2023 and is currently serving as a Digital Editor in the Spring of 2024. Sierra has experience in writing and leadership. She may be undecided about her major, but she loves studying in the community that is UC Berkeley! She loves to write about personal experiences, books, and music. In her free time, you'll find her reading romance novels, hanging out with friends, or listening to Taylor Swift on repeat. You may run into her at a coffee shop or the bookstore.