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‘Abbott Elementary’ Makes Gregory Perfect in Just One Line

Janine and Gregory looking at each other on 'Abbott elementary'

The comedy romance is one that can make an OTP for life. (That’s One True Pairing, for the unaware.) When I think of my own OTPs in the world, a great many of them are from comedy television shows. My all time favorite couple is Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation, and one thing about ABC’s Abbott Elementary is that creator and star Quinta Brunson has mastered the art of the slow burn relationship with her writing team.

Gregory (Tyler James Williams) and Janine (Brunson) have been the show’s will-they-won’t-they from the first episode, and the more the two grow together and open up with one another, the more I’m screaming at my television for them to get it together, which is a sign of a great OTP because that’s what you always want to be doing. And Brunson and the team at Abbott Elementary have used some of the classic moments from romantic ships past to highlight why we think Gregory and Janine are endgame.

From Gregory’s hatred of Gritty (like Ben’s confusion over Li’l Sebastian on Parks and Rec) to this season feeling like the “Casino Night” episode of The Office for these two characters, there’s a lot that really works and makes Janine and Gregory the next big ship for me. But in the season 2 finale, Gregory says one line that has really just cemented my love for him forever and always.

“I take all your recommendations seriously. I want to know why you like stuff,” he says to Janine before their overnight trip to the Franklin Institute, and let me tell you, I screamed into a pillow, because man do male comedy leads know how to drop a simple romantic line to destroy us all—like this one about National Treasure.

It’s weirdly romantic

As someone who loves a lot of movies and actors, my entire life has been a series of “if you stop talking about these things then maybe a boy will like you” or some other form of “it’s intimidating the way you talk about nerdy things and hot actors,” always telling me that I needed to change to find some guy to like me back—that I was “too much” to handle—which is something people have said to Janine.

And so the reason I love this moment the way I do is because Gregory isn’t telling her she’s a lot; he’s telling her that he listens to her—that he takes her movie suggestions to heart because he wants to know why she likes them—which is really all I’ve ever wanted, too.

It does still give me Ben/Leslie vibes, because that’s really why Ben Wyatt was perfect to me. He never tried to change Leslie, just would help her see reason when she was too passionate. And Gregory is finding his own way of navigating Janine’s excitement and her own upset over things. And this line really just put him right up there with Ben Wyatt in the world of comedy male leads that just understand the type A women they’ve chosen to love.

(featured image: ABC)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.