June 4, 2014 at 11:42 pm #319009
TV Land is doing some reverse aging with its new series Jennifer Falls, which is the network’s first single-camera comedy and first foray into life without a laugh track. Its star, Jaime Pressly is also the youngest of TV Land’s female comedy leads (of which there are many, including Betty White, Fran Drescher and Kirstie Alley). In Jennifer Falls, Pressly’s Jennifer Doyle has just lost her high-powered corporate job because of her anger issues, and due to some very poor financial management, she and her teenage daughter Gretchen (Dylan Gelula) are forced to move back in with Jennifer’s mother, Maggie (Jessica Walter).
With her tightly-cropped pixie haircut and eyes narrowed in constant suspicion, Pressly has the energy and tension of a firecracker whose fuse is lit, ready to carry the show on her tiny shoulders herself if she has to. Her co-stars do lend a hand, though: Jennifer is fired by her bumbling boss, played by Jeffrey Tambor, whose few scenes were the absolute standouts in the show’s inaugural half hour (though whether or not he will return is unknown). The other great boon to the cast is Tambor’s Arrested Development co-star Walter, who starts off playing against her Lucille Bluth type (though wearing a very similar later-seasons wardrobe), before the writers seem to realize Walter is better used as passive-aggressive and manipulative rather than as a baked-goods-making kind of mother.
The show’s great cast gives it a lot of potential, and they work hard in the pilot to make their thin material viable. Pilots alone are always hard to judge, and comedy pilots the most misleading of all. Great shows have come from shaky starts. Jennifer describes her situation as “from maximum profits to minimum wage.” Similarly, the show’s cast also gives it incredible potential with only minimal interest right now. But a pilot being a pilot, Jennifer Falls still has a long way to go and a lot it could still prove. TV Land is on the right track for attracting audiences (possibly even younger audiences) who are looking for edgier comedy, but it remains to be seen how the show plays with its core viewership. Ultimately, for the simple sake of seeing former Bluths back on TV, hopefully Jennifer Falls gets a chance to live up to the comedy it’s striving to be.June 4, 2014 at 11:44 pm #319011
I just finished the first episode of “Jennifer Falls,” and I must say, it was as cute and funny as it could have been. It did have its small share of predictability, but each character nailed their parts, especially the members from “Arrested Development,” and “My Name is Earl.” Missi Pyle is also a nice comedic addition!
“The Bottom Line: A great cast trapped in comedy that’s trying to break out of conventions, but can’t yet. It has potential, though much to prove.”
-The Hollywood ReporterJune 5, 2014 at 6:24 am #319012
The pilot was OK but I wouldn’t watch a secon episode of this show. It was too cheesey for meJune 5, 2014 at 6:34 am #319013
I’ll stick with Jennifer Falls for a few weeks since it is directly after Hot In Cleveland, but I thought the pilot was just average. Seeing Jessica Walter play a similar character to Lucille makes me yearn for a new season of Arrested Development…
Formerly known in the forums as PianoMann.June 5, 2014 at 7:38 am #319014
I actually quite liked it. First TV Land sitcom since Hot in Cleveland that I really enjoyed. The pilot would make a decent tape for Jaime Pressly. I’m gonna stick with it.June 5, 2014 at 4:11 pm #319015
I really didn’t find it cheesy at all, and I would pick that comedy over the Michael J. Fox comedy, the Robin Williams comedy, “2 Broke Girls,” “Two and a Half Men,” and quite a few others! If it didn’t have the cast it did, it wouldn’t be as good, but I feel it’s better than the Fran Drescher comedy, the Kirstie Alley comedy, and others on TV Land, and is equal to “Hot in Cleveland” thus far! Good job TV Land 🙂 Sorry to list some of the shows like I did. I have never listed shows like this in my life, but I am just waking up … I will edit them later.