Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Emmy Catch-Up: Abbott Elementary

Abbott Elementary: Season 1, Episode 12 “Ava vs. Superintendent” (B+)

I knew that this episode was a big one for Janelle James, who recently took home the Hollywood Critics Association TV Award for her performance as Ava and marks her official Emmy submission. It’s a good choice, since it shows Ava at her most absurd, doing a choreographed routine with her multiple iPad robo-assistants after having Janine sign an NDA. It was hardly surprising to think that she would be spewing nonsense since she’s all about the flair and not at all about the substance, and that she would have trouble adjusting to the serious training she had to undergo from Janine and a reluctant Gregory to help them retain their funding. Ultimately, she did do an okay job presenting all by herself and then improvising and demanding more time when she was able to underline her unique approach to better the school and the hard work of her teachers. It was sad to find out that the superintendent was never going to approve funds because he’s still sour about being blackmailed, and that was the perfect time for Barbara to find out that she had in fact gotten her grant after so many years thanks to her own power move that Melissa was so proud of her for pulling off. It was good that Gregory didn’t go behind Ava’s back but instead opted to become a full-time teacher, ready to wield concepts unfamiliar to her like HR to ensure that he isn’t subject to continued sexual harassment. We still haven’t seen Janine understand Gregory’s feelings for her yet, but telling her that it was much easier to say yes when she’s the one asking should have been a pretty unsubtle hint.

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