Melissa Peterman (host of The Singing Bee on the same network; best known as Barbara Jean on Reba) stars as Carli Mitchell, a twice-divorced mother of three trying to make ends meet between her kids and her idiot leech of a brother. She works at
Whole Parker Foods with her neighbor, Hank (Ed Asner), and her boss, Rob (Patrick Fabian), whom she has a crush on.
The show provides examples of:
- Absentee Actor: Ed Asner's Hank, though billed as a main cast member, only appeared in about half of the episodes. Justified because it's Ed freakin' Asner.
- And Starring: Ed Asner, of course, gets that coveted spot.
- Benevolent Boss: Rob Parker, even though Carli flirts with him heavily when they first meet.
- Carli even conspires with Rob to inflict a punishment on Scott when he messes up the store after getting a job there.
- Bland-Name Product: Parker Foods is a Whole Foods ripoff.
- I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: In one memorable episode of Reba, Barbara Jean develops a crush on her preacher, who she nicknames "Reverend Yummypants." Now, the same actor plays Carli's boss, who Carli has a crush on.
- And, of course, Reba herself.
- Large Ham: Melissa Peterman's stand-up comedy background means that Carli is going to naturally gravitate toward this, especially in a Jackie from Roseanne neurotic kind of way.
- One Head Taller: Inverted with one of Carli's dates, played by David Faustino. He's 5'3", she's 5'10". Justified for him because he just got through a messy divorce with a woman who's shorter than he is.
- Out of Order: It would appear that way. In episode 7, Rob didn't recognize Scott, despite hiring him as a stockboy the week before.
- Melissa Peterman's Twitter intimates that they shot the episode featuring Reba last. It was the third aired episode.
- Perpetual Poverty: Bad enough for Carli to have to water down milk every so often, but not bad enough that they don't have an internet connection.
- Although in the episode "Lunch Lady," it's implied that they moved to a better town so the kids could go to a better school, many of which do incorporate internet use (if nothing else, they might need to do online research.) Besides, internet access has gotten dirt cheap in recent years and a family of five would go through milk pretty fast.
- Statuesque Stunner: What Carli imagines herself to be: "All this is worth the climb!"
- Whole Episode Flashback: "Hire Education": Carli tells of how her family moved in under the guise of getting an Employee of the Month award. The flashback is actually the pilot episode.