Quinta Brunson ("A Black Lady Sketch Show"): "There were educators who were bothered by the program"

With her mother being a public school teacher herself, Quinta Bronson says in an interview to ynet it was important to shine a comedic light on the tough conditions for teachers in those institutions, and talks about the challenges of coping with social anxiety and publicity

Smadar Shiloni|

Abbott elementary, trailer
(Footage: Disney plus)

When Quinta Bronson heard her ABC sitcom about a group of teachers who find themselves thrown together in a Philadelphia public school, encouraged people to go into teaching, she was shocked.
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The show, called "Abbott Elementary", is a sort of mockumentary about life in a public school, and is considered a good-natured show. "I had a hard time believing people went into teaching because of the show," she said in an interview to Ynet.
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קווינטה ברונסון
קווינטה ברונסון
Quinto Brunson
(Photo: EPA)
"Because we're being honest with the amount of money they make and you know, the hardships that they face. But it doesn't shock me all too much because I know people who love tj and I think if you love it and, and it's what your heart wants to do, it's one of those professions that not much can keep you from, it'll wear you down."
Being a daughter of a public school teacher herself, Quinta writes this show from a very personal place. It showed. The first season was a breath of fresh air and landed three Emmys. The second season is airing now and the third is already being prepared.
"I more so wanted to show what the job is and what the job entails in a comedic manner. I just wanted to kind of make this comedy. I think the reality of teaching is hard to ignore it. There was no way that we weren't gonna talk about underfunded schools, problems with students. The lack of the lack of pay."
Did you get some feedback from the education community regarding this representation of the teachers? "It's always wonderful to, you know, have someone come up to me on this street and say that either they are a teacher or they're family member is a teacher, and that it really brings them joy to see and that we're nailing it."
Why do you think this is such a disregarded job all across the world, especially in first world countries? "I've thought about this a lot and I've narrowed it down to two reasons. Don't, you know, I'm not saying these are the reasons, these are the things that I think about. You know, for one, it's a profession mainly occupied by women, and started with women at the, you know, forefront of it. So in its origins, it was easy to disregard as I think women's work.
"And then the other thing I think is sometimes the most important jobs are just the easiest to, to disregard because there's no glitz or glam to teaching."
Brunson learned much from social media. She posted many comedic stories on her Instagram and wrote for Buzzfeed, but inside she wanted the normality of a conscientious and well-natured sitcom on a major network.
"ABC allows for 22-minute episodes, which is a different format from cable. Sex and cussing are allowed, but only to a point. It's a comforting format I love."
We are so cynical as an audience, did you expect that the show would be successful when you were filming? "I had a feeling, I really, really felt that this show was special. I felt good about it. At that time, I had developed, you know, Two other major shows or whatever that didn't go to air, cuz that's how it goes."
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מתוך "בית הספר היסודי אבוט"
מתוך "בית הספר היסודי אבוט"
From Abbott Elementary
(Photo: Disney plus)
Season two has a 22 episode run compared to season one's 13 episodes. What has been both the joys and challenges or perhaps pressures with having a a longer season? "So 22 is so exciting and then also it was daunting at the beginning. I was like, oh my gosh, we really have to, you know, Span this out. Cause I had an idea of how I wanted the season to go and how I wanted certain arcs to play out. Like for instance, with the charter school or Janine and Gregory as individuals. So I was just like, we're gonna have to expand this."
Did you have any specific comedy inference for the tone of the show, of the character of Janine? "Not necessarily. It was kind of that inadvertent thing of, I definitely think there's a lot of energy from Parks and Rec and Janine for sure. But I can't say that I was necessarily thinking about that while writing her, you know, Janine was kind of pulled to the forefront to be a main character of this show."
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