Thursday, June 05, 2014

Jaime As Jennifer

TV Land has original sitcoms, such as Hot In Cleveland, which I don't watch.  But I thought I'd check out Jennifer Falls, their first one-camera half hour.  It stars Jaime Pressly as Jennifer Doyle.  She's an investment banker--for about thirty seconds--who's fired for anger issues.  Blackballed from the industry (really?) and deep in debt with no prospects, she takes her teenage daughter (no husband, though) and moves back in with her mom.

Soon she's working as a waitress at her brother's bar, and dealing with her brother's overbearing wife.  She's also having trouble connecting with her old friend, Dina, who's mad at her for some reason.  By the end, she's made up with Dina and seems to be ready for a long stay at mom's place.

The basic concept is fairly clichéd, and, so far, the characters are pretty clichéd as well.  Worst of all, the dialogue isn't great--pretty deadly for a comedy.  The only thing it has going for it is the cast, most of whom I have residual affection for.  First is Pressly, who was a well-deserved Emmy nominee for her work as the ex-wife on My Name Is Earl.  In fact, the character there was a lot more hard-edged than the allegedly angry Jennifer--perhaps the lead can't be too off-putting.  Ethan Suplee, Jennifer's brother, was also fine on My Name Is Earl as Earl's doltish brother. It is odd seeing them together again, since here they're close while they could barely stand each other on the previous show.

The mom (who's a psychologist for some reason) is played by Jessica Walter, also the mom on the great Arrested Development.  Missi Pyle, who's been enjoyable in tons of TV and movie roles, plays the best friend.  The only major character I don't recognize is Nora Kirkpatrick as the sister-in-law--she's appeared in a handful of guests roles on TV, but I don't really recall any.

Anyway, I like the cast.  But if the show doesn't get better soon, Falls fails.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always thinks think of TV Land's purpose to be to relive the bad sitcoms of the 70s and 80s (the ones that looked taped and not filmed) because there was an audience out there that didn't necessarily think they were all that bad. At least that's what I got from watching 10 minutes of Hot in Cleveland (Actually when I first saw it, I thought it was deliberate parody of a bad sitcom)

7:10 AM, June 05, 2014  
Blogger LAGuy said...

There were plenty of good sitcoms then that were taped, and plenty of bad sitcoms that were filmed.

Anyway, this one is trying to look like the (bad) sitcoms of today. She even gets to talk to us by looking straight into the camera.

7:32 AM, June 05, 2014  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

She sort of has the face to pull that off, though. (By no means a criticism. Beautiful woman absolutely, but also with a face notable for additional reasons.)

12:55 PM, June 05, 2014  

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