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"What I Like About You" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 09/28/2002

This show was definitely a curiosity for me.  Though I’d never seen “The Amanda Show,” I had been a devoted follower of “Beverly Hills, 90210” during its ten-year run.  When I heard that Jennie Garth (Kelly Taylor on “90210”) was doing a new sitcom on the WB with Amanda Bynes, I had to check it out, if only to see if Garth had even passable comedic skills.  Not only did she do well, but “What I Like About You” held some other pleasant surprises for me.


What I Like About You” is the story of Holly Tyler (Bynes), a girl who is tired of moving around with her dad (played by Peter Scolari.)  When he learns that he has gotten a great promotion that requires him to move to Japan, Holly is happy for her dad, but really doesn’t want to go with him.  She was planning to visit her sister Valerie (Garth) anyway, so she decides to suck up to Val to convince her big sis to take her in as a roommate so she won’t have to go to Japan.  One problem:  Val has just gotten rid of her overbearing former roommate and was looking forward to having her apartment all to herself.  She is excited to be living the single life with her great job in public relations and spending time with her boyfriend Jeff (Simon Rex.)  She welcomes the visit from her sister Holly, but becomes increasingly tired of Holly’s ways to try to please her, like rearranging her furniture fung shui-style (which makes Val’s bed end up in the kitchen.)  Some of Holly’s schemes are done with the help of her friend Gary (Wesley Jonathan), who helps her because he doesn’t want Holly to move and he is in love with Val (who can never remember his name.)  After Holly screws up an event held by Val to promote the latest project by pro-skater Tony Hawk, Val almost kicks her out.  When Holly explains that all her intentions were good and she just didn’t want to move to Japan, Val lets her stay.


The show is a little cheesy, but surprisingly funny.  Garth proves that not only is she adept at comedy, but she may even be better at it than drama.  Bynes is very funny as Holly, and she doesn’t share her fellow former Nickelodeon alum Melissa Joan Hart’s tendency to be too Nick-like cheesy (actually I blame that more on the writers of her show, “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” then I do on her.)  A huge surprise is Rex.  He annoyed me when he was on MTV, and I never got into “Jack & Jill” enough to notice his dramatic skills, but he is actually funny on this show.


What I Like About You” is not the smart, hilarious comedy that last season’s “Maybe It’s Me” was, but it is humorous.  I just hope it doesn’t suffer the same fate as some of the funniest comedies on the WB, like “Maybe It’s Me” and “Grosse Pointe”: cancellation after season one.


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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