An ‘Abbott Elementary’ Writer Who Draws From Her Experience In a Way You Haven’t Seen Before
I learned about “The Big Brother” during my 12th-grade middle school and my high school years, where the characters were almost always white, affluent, Christian, and male. I learned about the show from my best friend, and a few of her friends. My high school teachers were aghast that we could have had anything to do with the show, let alone a member of one of the cast, but since I don’t recall their names anymore, I can’t use them. And that was that. I don’t know why I remember The Big Brother, but for some reason it doesn’t seem important anymore.
If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, you probably remember the popular show “The Facts of Life”, which was an all-American family sitcom featuring a couple of black and two white families. I didn’t recall “The Facts of Life’ as a show, but I did remember how the characters weren’t real people. They were actors who played their roles. If a character was mean, there was a reason. If they laughed at an inappropriate joke, that was the joke. And of course they had a reason for everything.
When I moved to the East Coast and joined the elementary school I attended, there was no show I wanted to be on. The teachers I had were far too serious to be in a show, and they were the ones who had more fun, anyway. They would ask us to draw, and when we came home we usually made comic books or made our own paper dolls, drawing the characters we wanted to play.
“The Big Brother” has a cast of 30-some people who represent their schools. Each episode focuses on a single person and the week is divided into three segments: the “challenges” which test the player’s knowledge (“Surviving the Break-In”, and “Degree of