‘Home Economics’ First Look: Who Has Connor’s Heart on Valentine’s Day? (PHOTO)

Home Economics - Tetona Jackson + Jimmy Tatro

By now, it should be no surprise that Home Economics is a lesson in how to make a modern family fun to be with. Currently in its second season, the endlessly delightful ABC sitcom about the financially disparate Hayworth kids — rich Connor (Jimmy Tatro), struggling Tom (Topher Grace), and poverty-level Sarah (Caitlin McGee) — has moved into that sweet spot where sharp comedy and relatable sibling dynamics commingle with subtle social commentary and unabashed heart.


What is surprising, to us at least, is the show’s decision to pair Tatro’s divorced dad Connor with JoJo (Tetona Jackson), the influencer sister of Sarah’s immensely quotable wife, Denise (Sasheer Zamata). Introduced last Thanksgiving, JoJo could have been a one-off guest star brought in to flesh out Denise’s backstory. The actress’ on-screen connection with not just Zamata but also Tatro clearly changed some minds.

“We thought it would be fun to have Connor secretly date Denise’s sister,” explains Mike Colton, who exec-produces with John Aboud and Grace. “They had so much chemistry that we extended it longer than we originally intended.” The characters recently—finally!—admitted they were seeing each other. And in these exclusive first-look pics, we can confirm she’ll even be around for the February 2 Valentine’s Day episode…as will the other woman in Connor’s life. And we’re not talking his daughter, Gretchen (Shiloh Bearman).

Home Economics - Tetona Jackson + Jimmy Tatro

(ABC/Temma Hankin)

“Tetona is such a fun contrast to the rest of the family,” continues Aboud. “So we thought the next iteration to play with would be her meeting Connor’s ex-wife, Emily [Justine Lupe]. Throwing them together unexpectedly seems like a fun way to go.”

For the couple in question, maybe not so much!

“What happens is, Connor has this whole Valentine’s Day plan,” Colton says. “He’s gotten a reservation at the hottest restaurant in the Bay Area, and all the other characters are jealous. It’s, like, super expensive, super elite.” When JoJo says she was hoping for something more low-key instead, Connor passes the rezzie to his sibs and sets up a casual night at home with wine and pizza. Cue doorbell.

Home Economics - Justine Lupe + Shiloh Bearman + Jimmy Tatro + Tetona Jackson

(ABC/Temma Hankin)

“Emily shows up because Gretchen has forgotten her stuffed animal,” he continues, laughing that the new couple resorts to their old ways of hiding their relationship. “We have a fun bit where, as soon as they see Emily on the security footage, JoJo immediately goes ‘Okay, I’ll be in the pantry.’ And he’s like, ‘Great. There’s peanut butter in there if you get hungry.’ It’s just their usual thing.”

Home Economics - Caitlin McGee + Topher Grace + Karla Souza + Sasheer Zamata

(ABC/Raymond Liu)

We won’t spoil how it all shakes out, but suffice it to say things get awkward fast. Ditto for the rest of the Hayworths, who wind up having a messy time at the chichi eatery, courtesy of a certain woke sibling’s gripe with the corporate malfeasance of Cupid’s big day. “We set up that Sarah is a Valentine’s Day hater,” offers Colton, not shocking us at all. “She feels it’s commercial, like ‘Why do I need to spend hundreds of dollars to express my love?’ and ‘Do you know the labor problems within the flower industry?!'”

“It’s the holiday created by Big Candy,” Aboud quips before hinting that the most pragmatic Hayworth of all may actually have “a bigger romantic” side than anyone suspected.

Sweet, we can hardly wait!

Home Economics, Wednesdays, 9:30/8:30c, ABC