As part of the One2One Network, I was selected to preview CMT's first original comedy, Working Class, starring Melissa Peterman (Reba) as Carli and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Ed Asner as her neighbor/co-worker Hank. This sitcom centers around a single mother of two (Carli) from a rough background who has moved her children to the suburbs to provide a better life for them. She works the counter at a deli with her cranky neighbor, Hank and does her best to juggle raising a family on a tight budget.
In the pilot, we are introduced to Carli and her brother, who lives with her, but I'm not sure what he does exactly except take up space. Early on it is evident that she struggles financially as she shuffles through the bills. While she's at work, you are introduced to the cantankerous Hank who is not only her co-worker, but her neighbor. Shortly into the episode you are introduced to a love interest that has caught Carli's eye, and we later learn that he is her boss and he also has a girlfriend.
Now that you know a bit of the background, I will give you my review. There were parts of the show that were funny and compelling. I want to see where and how the story develops because honestly, right now it just wasn't captivating and believable. If Carli was from such a rough background, then she would have learned not only frugality, but also creativity with how to stretch a dollar. There are too many single parents out there who are working class or lower, who might be offended by parts of this show. For example, if you work the counter at a deli, you are on your feet all day, you certainly wouldn't have the ability to walk around in heeled fashion boots or let alone wear a mini skirt. I know what the writers were going for, but I think they missed the mark. Same goes with the brother. I wasn't sure if he was there to provide comic relief or just to be an annoyance. Ed Asner's character had some great one-liners and he delivered them like the true acting veteran he is. As far as Melissa's performance, there were times where bits of the character from Reba were sneaking out and then she'd switch into another. I wasn't sure how she was trying to play it. I just wish she played it one way or another. I'm going to give this show a high mediocre rating because I want to like it. I have the same feeling like I did when I first started watching The Secret Life and by the third episode I was hooked. I can see myself getting invested with these characters and curious to know what happens to them. There is definitely potential for this series and I can appreciate how difficult it is to introduce new characters in a short amount of time. The very best thing that I can appreciate about this show is that it is extremely family friendly!