Monday, August 29, 2022

Emmy Catch-Up: Abbott Elementary

Abbott Elementary: Season 1, Episode 8 “Work Family” (B+)

We haven’t seen much of Tariq since near the start of this show, despite him coming up multiple times, mostly in conversation between Janine and Gregory. That he’s selfish and has no concept of what Janine wants or needs was obvious from the start, but things got more dramatic when Jacob casually revealed to Janine that he had been dating someone for two years, couching it as them being only work friends rather than what he later revealed to Janine, that he didn’t want to have to share what he really thought of her relationship. That scene where she heard that and then asked him for the truth was a poignant and well-done moment, a rare bit of drama in a show that’s full of smile-inducing developments but not usually something so dramatic. Janine’s efforts to get everyone to open up so that they could be a family were entertaining, and the resistance everyone displayed wasn’t nearly as intense as the cruelty spewed from Ava, who just enjoys punching down on Janine as often as she can. It’s no surprise that this is Tyler James Williams’ official Emmy submission, since we got to see Gregory, who is apparently applying to be a principal at other schools while his father pressures him to come back to the family landscaping business, come out of his shell for the first time. I like the mentee relationship he has with Barbara and how he got into the dancing during Tariq’s performance, an unexpected move that caught Janine’s eye.

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