Jennifer Falls is a show about a woman named Jennifer played by a woman named Jaime created by a man named Matthew Carlson (no relation). Names are weird! Jennifer's mom is named Maggie and is played by Jessica Walter. I keep calling her Lucille in my head. The show wants you to, too. It really does.
Jennifer's daughter, played by Dylan Gelula, has some name, I'm sure. She speaks for less than four minutes in the entire episode.
Jennifer's brother's name is Wayne, played by Ethan Suplee. His wife's name is Stephanie, played by Nora Kirkpatrick. Wayne, while charming, overweight/unkempt, and useless, is obviously married to someone who is pretty/kempt and not charming.
Wayne doesn't do anything. You don't need to know what he looks like.
Ethan Suplee used to be on My Name Is Earl and so did Jaime Pressley. Reunions are weird! Jeffrey Tambor, Walter's husband-from-another-network, plays a rapist (almost) in the show's very first scene. His consigliere is played by a blond actor who is so familiar except that I have no idea who he is.
Jennifer Falls is not a traditional TV Land sitcom. This is a wholly important if almost useless distinction, because Jennifer Falls is a very traditional millennial sitcom. The pilot keeps reneging on its commitment to being itself. There's this weird thing where Jennifer keeps talking to the camera, for no discernible aesthetic/narrative reason. She calls out the patriarchal double-standards that have forced her out of the high-pressure and -paying corporate world and blackballed her so completely that she's upside-down in her mortage; and then—not 15 minutes later!—Jennifer lets some cute, Retriever-y bar patron compliment her breasts.
The Retriever is played by Tommy Dewey, last seen ruining everything on The Mindy Project. In this one he has kids, though. They're both girls under the age of 10. One of them has glasses. He's sticking around.
So now Jennifer works at a bar in a referee's uniform and she's maybe agreed to start seeing her mother for some therapy. Her friend Dina (Missi Pyle!) plays for a lesbian softball team called the L.A. Lesbians.
Dina hates money. Dina hated Jennifer because she had a lot of money. Jennifer doesn't have any more money. They're going to be friends! Who needs money?? Jennifer's daughter (her name is Gretchen, I guess) wastes 10 of her like 55 words expressing the thought that their bankruptcy and immense personal upheaval may have been fated, that maybe now Jennifer can get closer to her truest self, surrounded by old friends and family.
The heartland is a universal solvent.
[Images via TV Land]