What I Like About You
As is the case with so many successful teen stars, Amanda Bynes plays both the movie and TV game, if for no other reason than to keep her youthful profile in front of as many people as possible. Her WB sitcom, What I Like About You (returning this fall on Thursday nights), showcases everything that has made her famous. Her cute clumsiness. Her winning, slightly goofy personality. And her uncanny ability to deliver â€œthe big lines.â€�
Bynesâ€™ character, 16-year-old Holly Tyler, lives with her older sister, Val, in a rent-controlled New York City apartment. With Dad working in Japan, and school rarely intruding on her social life, she has lots of time to hang out. Holly isnâ€™t just partying and having fun, though. Sheâ€™s constantly being thrust into situations that force her to learn one life lesson or another as her big mouthâ€”and two left feetâ€”lead her in all the wrong directions. When borrowing her sisterâ€™s car without permission gets her into one such jam, she tries to extract herself by telling ever bigger fibs. â€œYou lied to me,â€� Val finally says. â€œYou looked me right in the eye and you lied to me!â€� Holly is always apologetic for her blunders, but this time itâ€™s not so simple. â€œIâ€™m not going to ground you, thatâ€™s too easy,â€� Val says quietly, assuming a parental role. â€œIâ€™m just not going to trust you.â€�
When What I Like About You teaches honesty, loyalty and self-respect, itâ€™s second to none. But when it ventures into sexual territory, it takes after Holly; it stumbles and falls. What happens when Holly discovers that one of Valâ€™s boyfriends has a bedroom full of stuffed animals? Jokes fly about him being gay. Then, when itâ€™s revealed that each animal is a souvenir from a heterosexual conquest, Val blurts, â€œI liked it better when you were gay!â€�
As the spring season wound down, the showâ€™s sexual floundering escalated. In the finale, Val found Holly at home alone with a boy. The best advice she could muster was, â€œWait until youâ€™re ready. ... Sex is not a game. It is a magical, mystical, special connection.â€� Shortly thereafter, Holly discovered Val showering with a man. â€œYou are so hypocritical,â€� Holly exclaimed. â€œYou have one set of rules for me and another set of rules for yourself!â€� Valâ€™s response? â€œItâ€™s complicated.â€� No, actually, itâ€™s not. Despite its natural sweetness and fun-loving spirit, attitudes like that make it hard to like What I Like About You.
Feb. 21, March 7, April 25, May 2, 9, 2003