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'Jennifer Falls' recap: How can I be happy if I'm not right?

Season 1 | Episode 7 | “Everybody Loves Adam” | Aired Aug 6, 2014

It’s hard when a super-cute charmer swoops in and starts sucking up all the attention for a job you did alone. Jennifer has to deal with Adam’s new presence in Gretchen’s life, and she is torn between being a grown-up and being a giant jerk about it.

debateasleepWe find Jennifer and Dina slogging through a deathly slow debate, in which Gretchen is engaged in a vigorous argument about fracking. Dina falls asleep and is disappointed there are no cupcakes and juice as promised. But little do they know, there is one cupcake left—but the snooty mom saved it for Adam because, for one, she didn’t like Jennifer’s tone, and two, Adam is newly and wildly popular among the parents at Gretchen’s school. This is upsetting to Jennifer, who has been showing up at events for six months, and no one can remember her name.

Jennifer is not impressed with Adam’s recent interest in Gretchen’s life and scolds him, “You don’t get to show up late and listen.” She is annoyed that everyone finds him so charming and tells Dina that she’s the charming one, to which Dina reminds her that people like Adam because he is actually charming, not a person who just constantly insists he’s charming. Touché.

Gretchen’s debate team wins the finals. To celebrate, the team goes to Wayne’s bar, surprising Jennifer, who thoughtnachos the finals were a few days later. Gretchen apparently forgot to mention to her mother that they moved the date because she’s not used to having two parents, and Jennifer gets stuck serving Adam and the coach. In between decisions about nachos and guacamole, Jennifer overhears Adam accepting a compliment about Gretchen’s success and gets jealous. She thinks he should respond to such situations with a simple, “Her mother raised her.”

Things only get worse when Jennifer sees that Gretchen has changed her profile pic to one with her and Adam. To force Gretchen’s appreciation and exercise her passive-aggressive mothering muscle, she makes a Facebook movie that is essentially a salute to her as a mother. In doing so, she comes to realize that her feelings are more about herself, through a little counseling from Maggie: “Do you want to be happy, or do you want to be right?” Jennifer is torn because, “How can I be happy if I’m not right?”

UntitledWhile Gretchen gets ready for the father-daughter dance (much to Wayne’s disappointment), Jennifer inadvertently posts a picture of Gretchen applying zit cream to her “backne,” and she blames her mother for, once again, ruining her life. She stomps off to her room and slams the door, and when Jennifer tries to cajole her out, Gretchen shuts her down over and over. She eventually emerges, dressed and ready for the dance, and Jennifer feels a small amount of vindication. It’s short-lived, as Gretchen reveals she’s been texting with Adam, and he talked her into going.

With Gretchen going to the dance with Adam, Wayne is disappointed because they already made plans. He arrives to give Gretchen the corsage he bought, but he winds up missing her. He and Jennifer deliver it to Gretchen at the dance. While Jennifer stands there in her day-to-night yoga pants, Adam senses her insecurities and gets on the mic to introduce Gretchen’s “real father”: Jennifer. Gretchen comes around and winds up dancing the first father-daughter dance with Jennifer. I am not sure how much more endearing Chris D’Elia can be as Adam, but this moment made my ovaries melt. It was adorable.

While Jennifer is losing her mind with jealously, Dina and Stephanie are bonding as girlfriends, sort of. When Stephanie stephchokeschokes on Wayne’s new appetizer, “slider bites,” Dina jumps to the rescue and saves her with the Heimlich maneuver. Stephanie is indebted to Dina, and this starts a series of hangouts that result in the biggest laughs of the episode. Dina and Stephanie get drunk and share secrets, and I think I love them. Especially Stephanie’s attempt to make the nicknames “Flapjack” and “Pudding” happen.

stephdinahairThings get weird when Stephanie confides to Dina about her birth control secret, and keeping Stephanie’s confidence starts to wear on Dina. She comes face-to-face with Wayne in a really weird exchange, and when she can’t take the stress of keeping the secret anymore, she presses Stephanie to tell Wayne. It doesn’t go well; Stephanie feels judged by her new friend and regrets complimenting Dina’s highlights. I really, really hope we can see more of these two together because their chemistry is hilarious.

How cute is Chris D’Elia as Adam? Do we think he’s going to stick around? What about when his show, Undateable, cranks back up? How do you think he’ll leave?

Jennifer Falls, rated TV-PG, airs Wednesdays at 10:30/9:30C on TV Land.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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