I didn't see this series when it was originally aired ... and I am so thankful for the DVD release! The premise is that Ellen is an ex-dotcom exec whose corporation has gone belly-up. She decides to move back to her hometown, the dot-on-the-map "Clark," where she is in for a real culture shock, as she adjusts to life as a guidance counselor at her old high school, as well as living with her mom and younger sister -- who cannot begin to comprehend some of the big-city ways Ellen has picked up in L.A.
The great thing about Ellen is that in every series or show in which she appears, there's a familiar feeling that always brings joy. You don't get the feeling that she's trying to be hip, or play up a role more than necessary. There's always that, for lack of a better term, "Ellen element" that is predictable in the most surprising ways.
The show's heart comes from the hilarious ignorance of the small-town characters (marvelously portrayed by the likes of Kerri Kenney, Jim Gaffigan, and others) and Ellen's attempts to interact effectively with them. Though the first two episodes are a bit slow, the plotlines get funnier and better-paced after that. There are some hysterical moments. For instance, in the episode "Vanity Hair," Pam (Kenney) cuts Ellen's hair, as does a dog groomer -- unbeknownst to Ellen. The dialogue in the process, as well as the results, will leave you out of control!
Also worth definite mention are Cloris Leachman in her role as Ellen's mom, and Emily Rutherford as Ellen's younger sister. They play their roles in a way that is not generically stereotyped, rather, zesty and unique.
I recommend this DVD set to any Ellen fans, as well as any who appreciate down-to-earth situation comedy!