‘Abbott Elementary’ season two explores more of Janine’s personal life

By Danielle Broadway

(Reuters) – Season two of American mockumentary sitcom “Abbott Elementary” will navigate the personal lives of several characters in new ways, its creator Quinta Brunson said.

The first season of the ABC series recently took home three Emmy wins, including outstanding supporting actress in comedy for Sheryl Lee Ralph, outstanding writing for a comedy series for Brunson, and outstanding casting for a comedy series. 

Brunson stars as a second grade teacher named Janine Teagues who navigates the obstacles and rewards of being an educator at Abbott Elementary in Philadelphia.

According to Brunson, the upcoming season will explore the complicated relationship Janine has with her mother, in perhaps unexpected ways.

“I think relationships with mothers are very defining, especially for someone who is then taking care of children – like Janine, who’s caring for kids,” Brunson said.

“It connects a lot to her relationships in the school… I know a lot of women in my life who have had very complicated relationships with their moms unfortunately.”

Brunson told Reuters that episodes don’t need to show the trauma that Janine has been through with her mom, but that she feels it is important for them to show the person Janine becomes following that trauma. 

Another dynamic the new season will delve into is between Chris Perfetti’s character, a second grade teacher named Jacob, and his boyfriend Zach, played by Larry Owens. Perfetti said that introducing a gay relationship to the show happened organically in season one.

“I think it’s important because that’s the world that we live in,” Perfetti said. “Partly because of the success of our show and a real priority of Quinta’s from the jump has been authenticity and fully-fledged well-rounded people that actually exist in the world. There are LGBTQ teachers, so why wouldn’t there be any in our show?”

He also praised Brunson for not making a big deal about having gay characters with a “coming out” episode or any dark or dramatic energy, and said he hopes that season two will shine more light on the bond between Jacob and Zach.

Season two premieres on Sept. 21.

(Reporting by Danielle Broadway, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)