Jennifer Falls

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Jennifer Falls TV Poster Image
So-so sitcom has broad humor, drinking, sexism.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

There are affectionate bonds across generations of family members here, which sends a nice message of unity. However, there also are sexist portrayals of women; for example, Jennifer has to wear a form-fitting and brief costume at work, although no one else at the sports bar where she works wears such a revealing costume.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The members of the Doyle family are largely upstanding citizens who love each other. However, they often relate to each other with mockery and sitcom-level antics.

Violence

A woman jokingly refers to stabbing another woman with an ice pick.

Sex

Jennifer Doyle and others are single; there are references to sex and dating. Jennifer's at-work costume is revealing.

Language

Joking curses such as "rat's ass" and "your breath smells like ass"; rough language such as "douche bag."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A good portion of the sitcom is set in a bar. People drink cocktails and beer and make references to being drunk or needing a drink.
 

What parents need to know

Parents need know that Jennifer Falls is a sitcom targeted at adults about a woman who loses her high-power job and is forced to move in with her mom and teenage daughter. Many of the characters in the show are single; there are references to sex and dating as well as to rancorous divorces. Jennifer wears an exceedingly tight and short uniform at the bar where she ends up working. Characters drink beer and cocktails at the bar and other locales; they also make references to being drunk or needing a drink. There are no four-letter words, but jokey comments such as "I don't give a rat's ass" crop up frequently, as does other rough language, including words such as "rapey."

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What's the story?

When Jennifer Doyle (Jaime Pressly) is fired from her big-money finance job for being an angry misanthrope, JENNIFER FALLS into a new substrata of misery. She loses her money, her home, and her dignity in short order and is forced to drag her sweet but complicated teenage daughter (Dylan Gelula) to live with her brittle mom (Jessica Walter) back in Los Angeles. Feeling sorry for her, Jennifer's meek brother Wayne (Ethan Suplee) gives her a job in the sports bar he runs with his terrifying, passive-aggressive wife Stephanie (Nora Kirkpatrick). Jennifer's laid pretty low, but there are a few bright spots: The bar is the hangout for best friend Dina's (Missi Pyle) lesbian softball team, and cute single dad (Tommy Dewey) has been giving her the eye.

Is it any good?

It's fun to see a mini-My Name Is Earl reunion between Pressly and Suplee, who were brother- and sister-in-law of a sort on Earl and here play real siblings. The chemistry between these two and among other cast members is undeniable. Pressly as Jennifer and her sister-in-law are particularly fun together. But the humor is awfully broad and not particularly funny. Much is made in the pilot of a joke in which Jennifer bends over in her (ugh) Hooters-like waitress uniform and mistakes a man calling out for "girls" to be talking about her breasts (instead of his daughters). What is this, a slightly dirty spin on I Love Lucy? Have we not progressed beyond sitcoms that make comedic hay from misunderstandings and body parts? Sigh.

It's a darned shame, because the members of the Doyle family, particularly Jennifer and her daughter, show flashes of genuine sweetness. And many cast members have shown sharp comedic chops on other, better sitcoms. May they all land on better shows.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about which audience Jennifer Falls is meant to appeal to. Describe the person you think TV Land is hoping will watch. Is it a person like you? Why would TV Land want to appeal to this type of person?

  • Have you seen the actors who play characters on Jennifer Falls on any other TV shows? Does this affect how you feel about their characters on this show?

  • Jennifer is supposed to be a woman who had a lot of money and lost it. How does the show tell the viewer this without using dialogue? Consider settings, props, and plot points in your response.

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love comedy

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