An attempt at a comedic “Upstairs, Downstairs,” “Ground Floor” follows Ivy Leaguer Brody (Skylar Astin, “Pitch Perfect”), who works high up in a San Francisco office tower, and his courtship with Jenny (Briga Heelan), who works on the ground floor of the same building (although the set looks more like a basement).
Much is made of their social class disparities. Jenny’s co-workers think she’s uppity for sleeping with “one of those soulless upstairs guys.” Brody’s banker boss, Mr. Mansfield (John C. McGinley, “Scrubs”) worries his protégé will be distracted: “Sure, those ground floor people have fun now, but where are they gonna be in 10 years.”
Does anyone actually talk this way in the real world? No doubt people have these thoughts about lower and higher social classes than their own but the notion that it’s a frequent focal point of discussion seems unlikely.
In some respects, the characters in “Ground Floor” are attempts to mimic the “Scrubs” formula. Mr. McGinley essentially plays a similar version of his “Scrubs” character, a tough father figure, although this one is marginally more sympathetic than his “Scrubs” doc.
And Brody is paired with a best buddy, Threepeat (Rene Gubez), just like J.D. (Zach Braff) and Turk (Donald Faison) on “Scrubs.” But most of the young, relatively untested actors in “Ground Floor” are not nearly as talented at creating endearing characters; in the first two episodes the characters are mostly just ciphers.