TV Review: "Jennifer Falls
TV Land's "Jennifer Falls"concluded its ten episode first season on Wednesday, August 13. The series revolves around Jennifer Doyle, a single mother forced to move back home after being fired from her high paying job. When the show premiered back in June, there were some major problems, mainly unnecessary scenes with characters talking directly to the camera, and extra characters without any real purpose. But as the season progressed, those problems became less evident as the ensemble became more clearly defined.
The network's first single camera series, "Jennifer Falls" always had a distinctive tone that set it apart from TV Land's other original sitcoms. The lack of a studio audience works for this series, as the humor isn't laugh-out-loud hilarious, but rather you'll-still-be-chuckling-a-week-later funny. The jokes come from the characters the series has set up, from the controlling Jennifer, to her brother and new boss Wayne, to her wildcard best friend Dina.
Emmy winner Jaime Pressly stars as Jennifer, and shows a great comedic range, and manages to get the audience to love and hate Jennifer at the same time. The supporting cast is also solid, with standouts being Missi Pyle as Dina and Jessica Walter, as Jennifer's mother.
The writing is smart, but the majority of the episodes are identifiable and heartwarming. The scenes from the pilot showing Jennifer moving back gave a small town vibe. So when later episodes confirm the series is set in the greater Los Angeles area, that element is lost, which was somewhat disappointing.
If the series doesn't come back for a second season, the finale worked as a satisfying series finale (complete with a return appearance by the hilarious unemployment office workers from the pilot!). Overall, "Jennifer Falls" is not about accepting defeat, but rather accepting whatever life throws at you, and making the best of it. The series is leaps and bounds better than the cute, but very lazily written "Kirstie", which was recently cancelled by the network. Hopefully, the show will be given a chance to further develop the later episodes' charm.
Premiere date: June 4, 2014