Since Tyler James Williams’ Gregory began his time at Abbott Elementary at the same time we did, we feel a natural kinship with him. He was trying to negotiate his sanity while losing out on the principal gig, and he got acquainted with the other teachers along with us, the enthusiastic audience. We are always there to catch Gregory’s eyes when he can’t believe what he is seeing, and his glances remain the funniest asides in a sophomore season full of fantastic laughs. For his second term, Gregory is more prepared to take on the school year, but that leads to more professional—and personal—frustrations than he ever could’ve imagined.
Now that he is a full-time teacher, Gregory wants to bring his thoughtful precision to every situation. That is dashed quite literally when he realizes the board expects the teachers to have every minute of every day accounted for. For someone like Gregory, that is a welcome challenge, but even he knows that is asking way too much. Within the first few weeks, Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Barbara becomes a mentor to Gregory as he navigates the troubled schedule and the difficulty of disciplining unruly students. What’s so captivating about Gregory’s arc this season is that he is equipped with ideas for solutions, but what happens when those solutions don’t work? He must think on his feet and rely on others’ advice and experience for aid.
Social media blew up any time Gregory and Quinta Brunson’s Janine got closer throughout season 2, and Williams acknowledges that director Randall Einhorn played a huge part in slowing down the environments to let their chemistry bloom. However, Williams talks about Gregory’s developing friendship with another teacher as one of his favorite additions to this year’s term.
Abbott Elementary is available to binge on Hulu.