‘Abbott Elementary’: Quinta Brunson Is ‘Especially Proud’ of This Season 1 Episode

The ABC comedy Abbott Elementary made an impression with only 13 episodes. It already earned Emmy nominations for its first season and became an anchor of ABC’s Wednesday night comedy lineup. Abbott Elementary Creator and star Quinta Brunson is already back at work on Abbott Elementary Season 2. Looking back at season 1, she takes pride in one episode in particular.

'Abbott Elementary': Quinta Brunson stands in front of a chalkboard with her hands on her hips
Quinta Brunson | Scott Everett White/ABC

Brunson was a guest on Vanity Fair’s Little Gold Men podcast on July 19. Looking back at the Emmy-nominated season, Brunson described why the eighth episode, “Work Family,” was so special. Abbott Elementary Season 2 premieres Sept. 21 on ABC.

Quinta Brunson is proud ‘Abbott Elementary’ incorporated its LGBTQ character in an organic way

“Work Family” is the episode in which Abbott Elementary confirmed Jacob (Chris Perfetti) is gay. Brunson is proud that they did not have to do a “coming out” episode for Jacob. It could just be an organic part of the show. 

“I’m especially proud of 108 which is ‘Work Family’ because we do a lot in that episode,” Brunson said on Little Gold Men. “One of my favorite things we got to do was introduce that Jacob’s character was gay without making it a coming out story. That was really important to me. There are so many queer people in my life and they’re just in my life.”

Quinta Brunson wants to progress LGBTQ stories on ‘Abbott Elementary’

Brunson hopes Abbott Elementary can set an example for how LGBTQ stories are told moving forward. The show represents diversity without making diversity an issue.

“I think that’s a true sign of change as more people my age come into these spaces,” Brunson said. “I don’t need these characters to do coming out stories. They are queer. They’ve been queer since years ago. They’re just here. I think that was really important for me to do.” 

Related

‘Abbott Elementary’ Season 2 Has a New Writer With the Same Name as 1 Character

After “Work Family” aired, Brunson observed the reaction to the Abbott Elementary episode. She understands it’s still new for a lot of straight audiences to see LGBTQ narratives move forward, but she says it’s what needs to happen.

“It was interesting watching that reaction from the audience because it was absolutely what I intended,” Brunson said. “I knew that they would be like, ‘Wait, what? No one told us.’ Yeah, because we don’t have to. Gay people are just gay. We don’t really have to tell you that they’re gay. They just are. But that was a storyline we wanted and that episode is not about that.” 

‘Work Family’ furthered the story of the show 

The Abbott Elementary episode is about Janine (Brunson) realizing she doesn’t know her colleagues that well. So she tries to get to know them better in a very Janine way. Meanwhile, Gregory (Tyler James Williams) discovers his teaching methods aren’t going over well with his students. And there’s more.

“It’s really about Janine realizing she’s outgrowing her relationship, Gregory learning his place in the school,” Brunson said. “So I was really proud of that entire story and proud of how we really were in a groove when we were writing that one.”