Philly Today: The Abbott Elementary Season Two Reviews Are In

Plus: When Dollar Dog Night saves your life. And more of what the city is (or should be) talking about.

a promo image from Abbott Elementary season two

A promo image from Abbott Elementary season two (photo via ABC/Abbott Elementary)

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The Abbott Elementary Season Two Reviews Are In and Positively Glowing

It took me about 30 minutes, but I found it. “Maybe it’s in your bag of various cables, wires and electronics,” said my son. “Maybe it’s in your closet,” suggested my wife, referring to the thing in my bedroom that most people reserve for clothes but that in my case is a tribute to disorganization and hoarding. “Everything else is.”

I am, of course, talking about my life-changing MOHU amplified HD antenna. We “cut the cord” long ago and picked up the antenna to use when we want to watch something live (say, the Eagles or the Oscars) and that we can’t get through any of our various apps. We long ago got out of the habit of caring about when a TV series airs, because you can, almost invariably, find the episode the next day on one of those apps. But we’ve been so anticipating Abbott Elementary‘s season two that we didn’t want to wait until today to watch it. Hence my search for the HD antenna.

an abbott elementary season 2 promo image

An Abbott Elementary Season 2 promo image

Wednesday night’s Abbott Elementary episode was as funny as expected. But funnier was my wife asking me to pause the show. And funnier than that was seeing my kids react to commercials, something they are rarely exposed to.

Among the very Philly moments in this Abbott Elementary episode:

  • The first day back to school for the teachers (sans students) turns into a full-blown Eagles tailgate, complete with Eagles mascot Swoop (or Swoop’s doppelgänger)
  • The school janitor tells Janine (the star, played by Philly’s own Quinta Brunson, who created Abbott Elementary, that this new year would be “different” in a good way, and then reveals he feels that way because “the Eagles got A.J. Brown.”
  • Janine wants her parking spot but the school’s hilariously self-centered principal has set up the guy cooking the burgers in that spot but offers to sell it back to Janine for $50. So Philly.
  • Janine declines and parks on the street, the problem being that she has a bunch of unpaid parking tickets. And so, the parking authorities (what we know in Philly as the PPA) show up and boot her. She tries to drive away with the boot on her car. Never a good move, but funny to watch other people try.
  • And, yes, everybody’s favorite mascot Gritty (sorry, Swoop!) shows up for the party. We then learn that Gregory (the lone Black male teacher on the show, echoing the actual problem of underrepresentation in the schools) doesn’t like Gritty. At which point we’re thinking that this is where they kill off Gregory’s character. Fortunately, Gritty throws his beastly charm on Gregory, who comes around by the end.

It’s great to see Abbott Elementary back. And professional reviews (TV critics typically get at least the first three episodes to screen before the rest of us get a chance to watch) have been overwhelming positive, just as they were for the first season.

Here are some standout reviews of Abbott Elementary season two:

The show airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (plenty of time to get that homework done, kids, and, yes, I am talking to my own kids there). Or, if you’re like most people, you can watch the next day on Hulu. Enjoy!

And Now, Let Us Remember Donald Trump’s Philadelphia Lies

The huge late-breaking news on Wednesday was that — surprise! — Donald Trump is a liar and that some of his kids are, too. This is what’s at the center of the accusations against Trump in a massive civil suit brought by the New York A.G., who contends that Trump and those kids grossly inflated their wealth in order to get more favorable terms on bank loans. And that, of course, would be fraud.

Trump lies aren’t new. They date back decades.

In fact, some of the oldest Trump lies, dubious claims, and mangled misrepresentations hearken back to the days when Trump got schooled right here in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania. So we thought this would be a good time to break out one from the archives. If you haven’t read the late Jonathan Valania’s analysis “Fact-Checking All of the Mysteries Surrounding Donald Trump and Penn”, you most definitely should do so now. It’s a fascinating read.

Speaking of Fact-Checking

Did you know that one of the nation’s leading fact-checking organizations is based here in Philadelphia? It’s true., a project of Penn’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, is, as they put it, ” a nonpartisan, nonprofit ‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.” In other words, they’ve been pretty busy for quite a while.

Now, I know what some of you out there are thinking: This is some cabal of anti-Trumpers. Another liberal group pretending to be unbiased. But, believe it or not, that’s simply not true. If you take a look at their work, they go after “both sides.” Their most recent report is on Biden’s questionable statement that the pandemic is “over.” You can read an in-depth Philly Mag interview with the head of here.

Pennsylvania Ginseng Is, Apparently, a Thing

I love out-of-nowhere stories about things I never knew existed. So I highly recommend Jason Nark’s feature “The Secretive, Lucrative World of Pennsylvania’s Wild Ginseng Diggers.”

Speaking of Out-of-Nowhere Stories

When a Phillies Dollar Dog Night saves your life.

And from the Shot-at-Redemption Sports Desk …

The Pheast or Phamine Phils played seven long innings of nuthin’ last night with the Blue Jays, entering the eighth with a 0-0 tie. A bit of good news: Zach Wheeler went four fine scoreless innings in his first outing off the disabled list. A bit of bad news: Seranthony Domínguez, the goat last Friday, came in to pitch the eighth and promptly gave up a three-run homer. Sigh. But hold on: J.T. Realmuto leads off the bottom of the eighth with a solo homer: 3-1. After a flurry of singles, the Phils tie it up 3-3 and still have two men on. Alas, Rhys Hoskins grounds out to end the rally.

The Blue Jays don’t score in the top of the ninth thanks to a nice double play by Bryson Stott. In the bottom of the inning, the Phils do nada. Free extra baseball! Andrew Bellatti comes in to pitch for the Phils in the 10th and walks the bases loaded after a ground-out, but Jean Segura stabs a low line drive and turns a lovely single-handed double play when the runner at second doesn’t get back.

Phils up! Adam Cimber brings his funky side-arm delivery in to pitch for the Jays, with Alec Bohm starting off at second base due to the funky new overtime rule. He’s replaced by the speedier Yairo Muñoz, who takes third on Bryson Stott’s sacrifice bunt. Segura is hit by a pitch, then takes second unchallenged to put men on second and third. Dalton Guthrie walks to load the bases, bringing up Matt Vierling, who’s four-for-four in the game so far. Make that five-for-five as he smacks a bouncing single up the middle for his first-ever five-hit outing. Woo-hoo! To fete the end to their five-game losing streak, teammates rip Vierling’s shirt off. Festive! The Phils are 2.5 games ahead of the Brewers for that third wild-card slot. Bring on the Braves.

In other sporting news, Union goalkeeper Andre Blake was named the winner of this year’s John Wanamaker Athletic Award — the first of many honors his sterling season is sure to garner. Oh, and Ben Simmons shared some choice thoughts about his time in Philly with J.J. Redick. Pfft. — Sandy Hingston