Abby’s premieres March 28th on NBC.
[Ed. Note: Being that TV and City is on a bit of a hiatus, this article has not been edited.]
By Ariba Bhuvad
From the hilarious minds of Josh Malmuth (Superstore) and Michael Schur (Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) comes a new half-hour comedy. Now, don’t expect to watch Abby’s expecting some sort of groundbreaking, unique series. It’s pretty much your usual run of the mill comedy centered on a group of adults that are bound by a common thread–alcohol. It’s almost like a modern-day version of Cheers if that makes sense except for one thing, it all takes place outside. It’s what makes the show different than anything like it, and honestly why it’s fun to watch. Everything on the show takes place entirely outside, in fact, the live studio audience watches the taping outside as well.
Abby’s stars Park and Recreation’s Natalie Morales and Scrub’s Neil Flynn, along with Nelson Franklin (blackish), Jessica Chaffin (Big Mouth), Leonard Ouzts (Master of None), and Kimia Behpoornia (Station 19). This group comes together to form the core foundation of the comedy which is centered on Morales’ character Abby and her outside backyard bar. It may not be legal, and it may be a bit unconventional, but this bar has become a safe place for this group and a place they call home.
Besides being outside, the series doesn’t exactly bring anything new but there is something to really enjoy about it. Perhaps, it’s in the simplicity of the story. There isn’t much to it, and there isn’t some grand plot brewing behind the scenes. It’s just a group of friends hanging out and depending on each other to get through life. In the first three episodes given to critics to review, the story develops rather quickly and has a special way of pulling you despite the fact it’s not a far stretch from many of the comedies already out there including The Good Place.
The cast of the series is a random assortment of archetypes but it’s probably what makes the whole thing work. They somehow come together to make up the heart and soul of Abby’s and despite it’s awkward and random moments, the cast makes it all somewhat entertaining. It’s not a bad series to add to your list, but it may not be at the top of it either.
It has to be said that Abby’s does have a fun vibe to it, and it does give you a sense of ease and familiarity that is hard to come by in shows. You won’t be blown away by it, but its simple, chill vibe will pull you in and make you want to go and grab a drink with your friends. Besides, who doesn’t love the idea of a modern day Cheers?
I give Abby’s a B-.