The newest comedy from ABC to grab the spotlight and bask in the glory of both critical and popular success is Abbott Elementary. The heartwarming, mockumentary-style sitcom was created and stars Quinta Brunson as Janine Teagues, a goodhearted and dedicated second-grade teacher at a Philadelphia elementary school.
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Abbott Elementary was a welcome addition to ABC’s roster and even received the highest ratings for a comedy show since the finale of Modern Family. Fans were delighted to learn recently that the show will be returning for a second season. In the meanwhile, they can delight themselves with these similarly entertaining shows.
10 Parks and Recreation
Abbott Elementary invites the audience into the titular school by way of a documentary crew – showcasing the teachers as the work and allowing them to share thoughts or anecdotes through talking heads – not dissimilar to The Office. The bright and uplifting energy in Abbott Elementary, however, better aligns with that of Parks and Recreation.
In fact, Leslie Knope and Janine share many traits – they both exude optimism, generosity, and dedication. All seven seasons of Parks and Recreation are available to stream on Peacock and would make a great choice to fill the void left by Abbott Elementary when the season concludes.
9 Grand Crew
Another new comedy to grace televisions around the country is NBC’s Grand Crew. This show follows a rambunctious and amusing group of friends living in Los Angeles – played by Nicole Byer, Echo Kellum, Justin Cunningham, Carl Tart, Justin Cunningham, and Grasie Mercedes. The comedic styles and quirks of each character make the show blissfully enjoyable.
It’s a lighthearted show, similarly taking a humorous approach to traditionally difficult or serious subjects. Grand Crew recently concluded its first season and the ten episodes would be a delightful watch for fans of Abbott Elementary.
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8 A.P. Bio
While Janine is eager to teach and mold the next generation of critical thinkers, scientists, and leaders, the same cannot be said for Jack Griffin – played by Glenn Howerton – from A.P. Bio. Griffin is a disgraced and former philosophy professor who takes the position of an AP Biology teacher in Toledo because he needed a job.
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The subject matter, though overall more mature than Abbott Elementary – reflective of the different grade levels internally – is still quite tame in comparison to Howerton’s other popular comedy, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Nevertheless, A.P. Bio’s derisive and particular take on a school-based sitcom should certainly amuse Abbott Elementary viewers.
7 Kim’s Convenience
Part of Abbott Elementary’s charm and appeal comes from the sincerity and charisma of its main cast, an aspect shared with Kim’s Convenience. The Canadian sitcom features Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ star, Simu Liu along with Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Jean Yoon, and Andrea Bang as the titular Kim family, who run a convenience store in Toronto.
It explores the intricate and sometimes serious familial dynamics among Korean immigrants in Canada with quick and witty dialogue that make you appreciate each family member. Kim’s Convenience ended after five seasons – but a spin-off titled Strays is in the works – and can be watched in the US on Netflix
NBC’s Superstore brought together a large and loveable ensemble full of interesting and distinct characters, in a way like a supersized Abbott Elementary. Each person was given numerous moments to shine, to captivate audiences, and most importantly, to make them laugh. The show started off on rocky footing, but over its six-season run, it became a beloved sitcom in NBC’s repertoire.
While it was predominantly blithe and humorous, Superstore did not shy away from heavy and prevalent topics. They recognized the times, incorporating COVID into their final season and even racial and social justice issues, such as when Mateo – played by Nico Santos – was arrested by ICE for being an undocumented immigrant.
5 A Black Lady Sketch Show
Abbott Elementary is not the first starring role Quinta Brunson has had on television. She was one of the main cast members of HBO’s comedy, A Black Lady Sketch Show, along with creator, Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, and Gabrielle Dennis. She was part of the hilarious “black lady courtroom” skit, among numerous others.
The show is just as its titled, a comedy sketch series that celebrates the comedic prowess of black women – with iconic guests stars such as Angela Bassett, Nicole Byer, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Issa Rae to name a few. Although Quinta did not return for season 2, moving on to new pastures with Abbott Elementary, perhaps she could still pop up in future seasons.
4 The Mindy Project
An alternative tv show created and starring a hilarious woman is Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project. Following her departure from The Office, this show – which is available on Hulu – places Kaling in a romantic comedy as Mindy Lahiri, an OB/GYN in New York City. Like Bunson’s Janine, Mindy is joined by a cast of eccentric coworkers as she looks for success in both her career and her love life.
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Like Abbott Elementary, The Mindy Project takes a particular niche and explores its multiple facets and stories. Regardless of if it is a returning trip or a first-time visit, The Mindy Project is a worthy inclusion in viewers’ watchlists.
Saturday Night Live alumna Nasim Pedrad stars as the titular character in TBS’s sitcom, Chad, about a Persian teenager with a mission to become popular at his high school. Pedrad imbues the character with such a special awkwardness that he charms his way into viewers’ hearts. Not only does it examine the complexities of high schools, but also some of the inner workings of Persian families in America.
The series allows Abbott Elementary fans to luxuriate in a similar setting while getting a new and endearing story. The first season can be streamed on Hulu ahead of the second season’s premiere on April 11th.
2 Home Economics
Another jovial and uplifting tv show on ABC is Home Economics, featuring Topher Grace, Caitlin McGee, Jimmy Tatro, Karla Souza, and Sasheer Zamata. Set in the Bay Area of California, the show follows Grace, McGee, and Tatro as siblings with varying financial statuses, aspirations, and struggles, making it highly relatable for many watchers.
The show is great and entertaining for multiple reasons, but it especially proves how a simple premise with smart writing can allow the cast to shine in a way vastly different from their previous roles. Home Economics and its joyfully modest tone pair well with Abbott Elementary.
1 Modern Family
Even though the first season is still running Abbott Elementary is shaping up to be a likely successor to Modern Family on ABC. The hit comedy was a powerhouse on television for over a decade – accruing an incredible amount of accolades – and its finale in 2020 remains one of the network’s highest-rated moments to this date.
Of course, this is in no small part to the stellar cast, amassing veterans with years of experience and sparking the careers of several newcomers. Modern Family’s eleven seasons may seem daunting, but the show’s energetic and familiar aesthetic makes it easy to get sucked in, just like Abbott Elementary.
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About The Author
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Bradley Prom is a writer and a University of Minnesota alum living in Los Angeles with a deep love for the movies, television shows, games, books, and stories that have inspired and provoked him throughout his life. He grew up on Star Wars, Justice League, Jurassic Park, Pokémon, Spider-Man, Harry Potter, and Avatar the Last Airbender – to name a few or seven. In adulthood, his passions and tastes have evolved to include other fantastical tales, reality tv, and comedy.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Bradley has a great appreciation for queerness in all forms throughout all facets of entertainment and modern culture. He hopes in developing his own stories and shows, he will help see such representation grow and evolve. //
Twitter: @BradleyProm21 // Instagram: @bradleypromking
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