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Series / Abby's

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Abby's is an American Work Com airing on NBC, first broadcast on March 28, 2019. The show was created by Josh Malmuth, a former writer on New Girl and Superstore. The cast is led by Natalie Morales, Nelson Franklin, and Neil Flynn.

Abby (Morales), an Afghanistan War combat veteran, has returned home to San Diego and, not happy with the work opportunities she saw available, has opened an unlicensed outdoor bar in the back yard of her house. This happy routine is upset when her landlordnote  dies, and the landlord's nephew inherits the property. He dislikes the idea of being responsible for a possibly hazardous drinking establishment and his first instinct is to shut everything down. Abby's pride almost prevents her from coming to an understanding with him. Her loyal customers, though, help to work things out between them.

Abby's is shot in an unusual format. It's a Three Cameras sitcom, common to "traditional" sitcoms with studio audiences. A live audience is present at the shootings, but filming actually does take place outdoors. The audience can be seen briefly in establishing shots.

Tropes used in this series include:

  • The Bore: Bill's ex-wife Sharon is the "visited a country for a week and now knows everything about it" variety.
  • Brick Joke: Bill at one point says that he needs stability, and Abby fixing Mai Tais on his aunt's lawn doesn't provide that. Fred objects, saying that Abby would never serve a Mai Tai. At the end when Abby and Bill are coming to an understanding, he insists that she seal the deal by fixing him a Mai Tai. Which she does, fuming all the way. Bill then says he doesn't like Mai Tais, he just wanted to see if she could make one.
  • The Comically Serious: Bill's humor derives mostly from his mute and subdued horror at the bar's craziness.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: After the weird incident of congratulating Abby on being bisexual, Bill talks to her ex Dani and find's out Dani isn't bisexual but gay. He says "Sorry" and just can't extricate himself.
  • The Dreaded: There's a mute and passive elderly patron named Skip who everyone seems to live in fear of.
  • Dreadful Musician: Rosie and her band, which plays "aggressive confusion".
  • Embarrassing First Name: Abby is actually short for Abelarda. It's not a real Spanish name, it's a feminization of her father's name Abelardo. (The fact that they're estranged is also a factor into why she only goes by Abby.)
  • Gentle Giant: James, which is inconvenient as he’s supposed to be the bouncer.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Beth is pretty straightforward about spending time at the bar in order to avoid her family, and she lets her sons do whatever crazy and destructive things they want.
  • Implausible Deniability: Abby and her regulars cook up a cover story that the bar isn't actually a business. When a guy comes up to the bar, orders a beer, and gives her $3 for it, she lamely pretends she doesn't know why he's doing that.
  • Impossible Pickle Jar: Bill and Abby have a competition to see which is tougher by trying to open an olive jar after putting their hands on ice. Bill even brags about having experience opening pickle jars.
  • In-Scene Title Text: The show’s title is seen on the gate of Abby’s yard. As patrons enter, it swings back and it now has the “created by” title in its place.
  • In Vino Veritas: James becomes more confident with each shot of tequila he takes. If he's had enough, he's actually able to do his job as a bouncer.
  • It Tastes Like Feet: Rosie thinks an allspice vodka “tastes like the inside of a Santa suit.”
  • No OSHA Compliance: One patron playing bocce gets a dart stuck in his leg, then sets his pants afire on the grill.
  • Nosy Neighbor: Richard, who complains about the noise coming from Abby's bar and threatens to call the police on her.
  • Right Behind Me: Abby negotiates with a rival bar for them to host Rosie's noise rock band. Abby doesn't know how much of the exchange Rosie has heard, so her explanation makes things worse.
  • Skewed Priorities: Among the things Bill lost in the divorce are season tickets to the San Diego Padres. When the others try to get Bill to ask for them back for his own self-esteem, Fred can barely hide his desire for the tickets.
  • Spiritual Successor: Much of it has the feel of Cheers moved way to the west and south.
  • This Is My Chair: In the last episode, Abby give Bill his own stool at the bar. To inaugurate it, James sits on it just so Bill can say "you're in my seat."
  • The Wonka: Abby runs an unconventional business, with an extensive list of rules based on her whims. Her customers seem to find it inviting.