Season 1 of Abbott Elementary did a great job of establishing its characters’ personalities and dynamics, but season 2 is already an improvement by diving deeper into their lives and relationships. One of the biggest comedies on television at the moment, the Emmy-winning Abbott Elementary follows a group of teachers at an underfunded school in Philadelphia, highlighting the absurdity and stress of working with children. As well-received as the first season was, it’s good to see that Abbott Elementary season 2 is only getting better, as evidenced by its first episodes.
At the Television Critics Association’s virtual press tour last month, Abbott Elementary creator Quinta Brunson, who also plays the role of Janine, said she felt it’s necessary to follow the characters home in season 2 in order to learn more about them and dig into their backstories (via THR). Adding to that sentiment, Chris Perfetti, who plays Jacob on the mockumentary-style sitcom, summed up season 2’s promise perfectly to W magazine: “On the whole, our second season is a deep dive into why these people are the way they are. We’re going to go home with these characters; we’re leaving Abbott. We’re seeing just what makes them tick in a different way.”
The decision to expand the world of Abbott Elementary is a way to understand the characters further, and this has already been shown in the first few episodes of season 2. In episode 1, “Development Day,” the depth of Janine’s emotions was on display following her breakup with Tariq, as was Gregory’s (Tyler James Williams) anxiety. Episode 2, “Wrong Delivery,” then introduced Melissa’s (Lisa Ann Walter) strained relationship with her sister. Acceptance was the theme of episode 3, “Story Samurai,” with Jacob’s acceptance of himself and Melissa’s acceptance of help. Beyond those deeper character-driven storylines, according to its preview, episode 4 will show Melissa’s home for the first time.
Why Abbott Elementary Going Deeper Is Great For The Show
A few episodes into Abbott Elementary season 2, it’s obvious that season 1 only scratched the surface of the show’s characters, and that is now allowing for growth as it continues. Setting up this progress, season 2, episode 1 opened with Janine claiming that she’s a “fully formed adult, and this year is gonna be…different.” In response to that statement, Quinta Brunson told Geeks of Color that her character growing into her own and becoming a real adult is part of Janine’s arc: “I think her second-season journey is very small, but I think that’s what’s important about your 20s.“
Melissa, usually the calm, cool, and collected type, started to stress about her combined class in Abbott Elementary season 2, episode 2, and it’s no coincidence that the show gave her such a difficult task and introduced her sister at the same time. The two storylines will very likely connect at some point in a fulfilling way. In the meantime, the episode already provided viewers some insight into Melissa’s life by introducing the similarities and mutual disdain she and her sister share, fleshing her out more than the show had already in season 1 while also setting up a deeper arc for the character.
The third episode of season 2 showcased Jacob’s deeper character development. As a former member of the improv troupe the Story Samurais, he was apparently once eager to do bigger things with his life. By the end of the episode, he also embraced his identity as a corny teacher, and the reveal of who Jacob was before he started teaching and who he really is now was enlightening. All of this demonstrates that the show is getting deeper and better, as Abbott Elementary‘s character-driven writing is a big part of what makes it special, and further leaning into that is only making it more so.