Played By: Jenna Elfman
Alan Sepinwall summed up the problem of 1600 Penn succinctly in his review of the show's pilot: "A lot of the time, the show's thesis seems to be less 'What if an ordinary family's problems were taking place in the White House?' but rather 'What if a sitcom family's problems were taking place in the White House?' "
Broad comedy doesn't play well these days: even big-tent sitcoms like Modern Family opt for a more naturalistic tone in a post-Office landscape. Josh Gad's over-the-top slapstick feels about 20 years too late, and setting the show in the White House, where several smarter TV comedies have been set in recent years, doesn't do the show any favors.
It's nice to see Elfman back in a leading role, and she wisely plays things a little more subdued than her counterparts, but we wish the rest of the cast was in the same show.