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"Half and Half" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 10/08/2002

UPN has had a Monday night block of African-American oriented sitcoms for years, and unfortunately, most of them have been not very funny, at least in my opinion.  This season they only have one good show in that block, “One on One.”  The network got liberated themselves of one of their only other funny sitcoms, “The Hughleys,” and replaced it with this very unfunny show.

“Half and Half” is about two half sisters who had the same father but lived two separate lives.  Mona Thorne (Rachel True) grew up in a blue-collar setting with her single mom Phyllis (Telma Hopkins.)  She is currently working as a music executive.  Dee Dee Thorne (Essence Atkins) grew up in a white-collar home with her mother, Big Dee Dee (Valarie Pettiford), and her father, Charles Thorne (Obba Babatunde.)  Dee Dee moves into a building owned by their dad, after deciding to move to the city to make it on her own.  Mona and Phyllis happen already live there, so the sisters are living together for the first time.  The series is about the sisters getting to know each other for the first time and learning to depend on each other.  They both grew up very differently, so their cultures clash often.

The performances are fine, but the writing is awful.  I don’t remember laughing once during the show.  The opening episode has the sisters going after the same man, an exterminator named Brian LeFine (James Lesure), who might end up being a recurring character, but if you checked out the show like I did, you won’t stick with it long enough to find out.  Hopkins plays the same character she has played since “Gimme A Break!”  I wonder why no one has given this former backup singer for Tony Orlando a chance to stretch.  The rest of the cast is fairly unknown, and I really don’t think this series will be their breakout roles.

FOX’s “The Bernie Mac Show” and ABC’s “My Wife and Kids” have proven that it is possible for an African-American show to be funny and culturally diverse.  As I stated before, “One on One” is the only UPN show that is even halfway funny, and that is mainly because of the talent of Flex Alexander, who plays Flex Washington, and the chemistry he has with his TV daughter Breanna, played by Kyla Pratt.  I wonder if they would consider a single camera, no laugh track sitcom, like “The Bernie Mac Show,” or even possibly...a drama?  Anything would work if it will save us from more laugh-free junk like “Half and Half

Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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