When I think about the hit television show, Abbott Elementary, I often think of the phrase, "are they laughing with us or are they laughing at us."
Since a teacher's day or week really can't be gift wrapped in a 30-minute feel good episode I think the show does its best to portray the pain of educators while providing the levity needed for a comedy to survive on TV.
It's cool because all of the actors and actresses on the show in some way have paid their deference to teachers and their plight. They've expressed their unequivocal support for teachers through media junkets, podcasts, or through their own platforms.
As teachers, we understand each other so when I watch the show I draw humor from past experiences that show themselves present on the show.
But the show is doing so well that not only teachers are supporting it. So I wonder, is it changing minds? Is it changing hearts? Does it move anyone enough to be more vocal in their support of teachers?
Is it just funny?
Mainstream shows that portray other professions such as lawyers (Law and Order); doctors (Grey's Anatomy): firefighters (Station 911); police officers (The Rookie) don't seem to rise to the same level of funny as Abbott Elementary has given way to. Those are categorized more as dramas as opposed to mockumentary like Abbott is categorized.
Maybe its the genre or maybe there is just something more funny about teaching or what teachers have to endure, even if its meant for satire.