Written By Timarea Kimbrough, Writer
In popular media, we still have the same narratives being told and shared with the general public over and over. Sitcom shows that are “popular” seem to entail a close-knit circle of friends who are usually white and are also most likely straight, the friends may also get into funny scenarios and have inside jokes that are shared with the audience. While there is nothing wrong with the format of these shows, there always seems to be a lack of diversity. Writers for these networks work tirelessly and screenwriters try their best to supply these companies with narratives that would be enjoyable for the entire family. As a viewer with a non-conventional background, it often feels like we are always looking for a happy medium between family-friendly and relatable. Luckily the times are changing! Non-white characters are making their way into the homes of families of all backgrounds, while also carrying a lighthearted nature. Abbot Elementary perfectly captures a diverse cast, a modern plotline, and family-friendly fun.
Abbot Elementary follows the story of Janine Teagan a passionate elementary school teacher who does everything in her power to lead her students down a successful path. While Janine is the main character of the show, Abbot Elementary also follows the close-knit group of teachers who all find themselves working within the same Philadelphia public school. Together with the help of a tone-deaf principle the group defies the odds and tries to help their students succeed.
This show was created by the spectacular Quinta Brunson. You may know her from her brief time on Buzzfeed’s YouTube channel and her time as a frequent internet meme. Brunson became popular for her Instagram series Girl Who Has Never Been On A Nice Date. Later, she would be noticed by Buzzfeed executives who offered her a position within the company. While at Buzzfeed, Brunson would act and produce content for Buzzfeed Video. She would feature in social experiment videos, create her own miniseries and produce some of the most popular Buzzfeed videos. Brunson left the company in 2018 and starred in many TV show pilots that weren’t picked up by any major networks.
In 2019 Brunson’s career received its big break, starring in CW original iZombie and writing for the HBO sketch comedy A Black Lady Sketch Show. From there she started writing down her ideas for this single-camera “The Office” style show naming it “Harrity Elementary” which would later turn into Abbot Elementary. Abbot Elementary has been well received by audiences and received 100% audience reviews on the popular media critic site Rotten Tomatoes.
Quinta Brunson’s humble beginnings as a girl from Philadelphia to internet sensation and then on to creator of a top-rated sitcom show, show us what happens when you are dedicated and follow your dreams. Her story, while like other internet sensations, is one of hard work and refinement of one’s craft. We should all tune in to watch Abbot Elementary!