Tuesday, September 20, 2005

TV: Twins

The WB's new sitcom Twins is, not unexpectedly, very bad. I'd say it's tied right now with The War at Home as the worst show of the new season that I've seen so far. They're not that awful: neither show is bad in offensively, creatively, painfully, memorably original ways (like, say, Committed was). They're simply bad because they're not good, if you see what I mean.

Twins stars Melanie Griffith and Mark Linn-Baker as a comically mismatched couple -- Mark's smart and dumpy! Melanie's hot and dopey! They own a lingerie design business, and are about to pass the reins of the company over to their twin daughters, the comically mismatched Sara Gilbert and Molly Stanton -- Sara's smart and dumpy! Molly's hot and dopey! Hilarity fails to ensue.

Even though I knew I wouldn't like this show, I kind of wanted to. I remember Mark Linn-Baker fondly from Perfect Strangers, and Sara Gilbert of course was great on Roseanne. But here, as the smart, dumpy ones, they're left to flounder. Their hot counterparts don't do anything to help; Stanton is simply terrible, and Griffith, while she's come back a bit from the pill-popping, smeary-faced nadir she'd hit in recent years, still seems a little out of it, above and beyond the parameters of her character. And the writing is so lifeless, the word "Buttpucker" (a new style of underwear) is used as a punchline about 87 times. Because it's such a funny word!!! BUTTPUCKER!!! LAUGH, DAMN YOU!!!

There was one single moment, one line of dialogue, that made me laugh and wish the rest of the show would rise at least to that level. The new cute guy in the office has made a joke. Gilbert responds with a blank face, and says, "I'm not really a laugher, but I just want you to know I think that's funny." I thought that was tremendously clever, and a winning character moment, and Gilbert is exactly the kind of deadpan actress who can pull off a line like that perfectly. But she doesn't get another good line for the rest of the show, and probably won't for the rest of the series, either (which hopefully won't be very much longer).

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