The Michael Schur-produced backyard bar sitcom starring Natalie Morales "is the latest NBC comedy to premiere with a decent premise, a terrific cast and, at least through the opening episodes sent to critics, almost no actual laughs," says Daniel Fienberg. "Superstore started the same way and became an extremely funny show. A.P. Bio started the same way and remains likable, if not always funny. I Feel Bad started the same way and never really found a consistent voice. You never know, but there's plenty of room for Abby's to grow from this pleasant but flat beginning." Fienberg points out that Abby's is an almost "astonishingly conflict-free show." "Each episode consists of the characters sitting around the bar talking and occasional brief interludes inside Abby's house," he says. "The impact verges on nil, and so the question becomes entirely whether you find these people pleasant enough to sit around with for 22 minutes listening to their conversations. Those conversations have some heart, but they aren't all that amusing." Abby's only hope is its terrific cast, especially Morales. "The cast is the thing that would keep me watching that long," he says.
Morales tries to de-emphasize her lead role: "I guess it sort of seems that way," she says, "but Abby’s is just the place that we all hang out at; it’s the name of the bar, it’s not my name. But I guess it’s close enough. It’s absolutely thrilling. It’s great to get to work with people that I really, really admire and have them trust me in bringing more to the table — and I’m more than willing to give it."