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Twins aired from September 2005 until September 2006 on the WB.
Farrah and Mitchee ( Molly Stanton, Sara Gilbert) were 28-year-old fraternal twins but the only things they had in common were their parents , Lee and Alan ( Melanie Griffith, Mark Linn-Baker). Farrah was beautiful, sexy and flighty while Mitchee was plain, bright and had great business sense. Despite the differences, Lee and Alan , who were hoping to retire, decided to make their daughters copresidents of the Los Angeles-based family lingerie business, Arnold Undergarments. Farrah, whose only previous experience with the company was as its model ( or "Spokes-butt"), was enthusiastic while Mitchee, who had spent several years working on the management side of the business, had serious reservations. Although they had planned to retire, vain Lee and frumpy Alan, who rarely agreed on anything themselves, stayed as advisors, giving their daughters helpful suggestions and mediating their frequent disputes.
Gay Neil (Christopher Fitzgerald) was one of the firm's loyal employees and Jordan ( Steve Braun) the newly hired marketing hottie to whom Mitchee was attracted. Unfortunately a bad business decision Jordan made forced Mitchee to fire him. In February the twins bought a fancy condo apartment together and, as was the case with their working relationship, Farrah was much more enthusiastic about it than Mitchee. On the last episode Mitchee's grad school boyfriend returned to Los Angeles and, after they went out and spent the night together, he proposed-and she accepted.
An Article from Time Magazine
The WB: Is "Be Young" Getting Old?
Tuesday, May. 17, 2005
By JAMES PONIEWOZIK
Because there is such limited information about new shows at the upfronts, and so much spinning going on from the executive speakers, one has to judge the quality of the networks by more subjective and arbitrary criteria. Amenities for the press, for instance. Yesterday, NBC offered a harried check-in at Radio City, with confused staff directing reporters away from the actual press entrance, around the block, and onto a street where the sidewalk had been cordoned off for VIPs, leaving us to dodge taxis and avoid becoming media roadkill.
This morning, on the other hand, The WB had a designated reserved press section on the floor of Madison Square Garden, along with free bagels and coffee. (You may be wondering whether press are allowed to accept goodies like these. A general rule is that anything you can eat or drink is acceptable. You'd be surprised how easily an iPod Mini goes down with a little mayonnaise.) Therefore, The WB is currently leading the competition for Best Broadcast Network in America. Competitors, consider the gauntlet thrown. May I suggest: complimentary wi-fi access; grilled-chicken wraps; backrubs.
The WB's slogan this year is "Be Young," which is ironic in two ways. First, no sooner had the slogan appeared on screen than WB executives immediately noted that they are now trying to attract older viewers along with their traditional 12 to 34 year-old target audience. Second, the once-buzzworthy network's programming style earnest dramas with cute young stars and flyweight young-adult sitcoms is starting to look way, way old.
The best WB series, present and past "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Felicity," Gilmore Girls" had fresh voices and crossed category boundaries. The WB once broke the mold; now, from hunky, heartfelt "Smallville" to hunky, heartfelt "One Tree Hill," it is the mold.
And none of the network's fall sitcoms and dramas broke much of anything, including a creative sweat, at least in trailer form. (Again, these snap judgments could totally change once we see full episodes or once shows are retooled and recast.) The one new fall sitcom, "Twins," put the woefully underused Sara Gilbert ("Roseanne") in a grim-looking vehicle about two sisters, one smart and plain, one pretty and dumb, who work in a family lingerie business. The company's new product is a pair of panties called the "Buttpucker." The joke got funnier each time it was repeated, but only because of the thought that some poor schmo at the Parents Television Council is going to have to type that word over and over again in the FCC complaint letter.
"Twins" did introduce several WB themes this year: siblings, good actors in questionable roles, and dumb blondes. Siblings are the focus of "Related," a comedy-drama about four sisters who express their love for one another by talking on cell phones a lot, and "Supernatural," a horror drama about two brothers who investigate the paranormal, with perhaps the most blandly descriptive title in the history of TV. Jay Baruchel, a fine young actor in great shows ("Undeclared") and bad ("The Stones") is an 18-year-old trial lawyer in the dull-looking procedural "Just Legal." (I'd have gone with "Barely Legal" or maybe "Doogie Howser, J.D.") His mentor is played by Don Johnson, whose ex, Melanie Griffith, is in "Twins," which will make for great fun at the network Christmas party.
And finally, the dumb blondes, who believe it or not may be the network's saving grace. The WB's most promising new show may be the summer reality show, "Beauty and the Geek," introduced by producer Ashton Kutcher. (Perhaps as a sign of respect, when Fran Drescher later came out to talk about "Life with Fran," in which she plays a cradle-robber, no one made the obvious Demi reference.) It's the highest of high concepts: seven gorgeous but dim women are teamed with seven genius nerds to compete for $250,000 and maybe at least the WB prays hook up.
The show is offensive on many levels, of course. The men look like the cast of a mythical, long-lost '80s teen comedy called "Dork House," while the hot women are cruelly set up to look stupid. (One clip made fun of a babe for saying that Columbus "sailed the ocean blue" in 1942, while ignoring the fact that her geek partner claimed, wrongly, that it was the year of the D-Day invasion. Though that may be more of a comment of The WB's opinion of its audience's historical knowledge.)
The clips looked lowbrow, crass and stereotypical. They were also hilarious, good-natured and surprisingly sweet. I'm putting the show on my TiVo list first chance I get. And that ain't just the bagels talking.
An Article from Entertainment Weekly
Published on September 9, 2005
Ex-''Roseanne'' star Sara Gilbert returns to TV. Forever a brainy, mopey teen in syndication, she becomes a brainy, mopey lingerie mogul in ''Twins''
By Christopher John Farley
Everyone has grade school hairstyles and fashions they'd rather forget, but most people can just hide their yearbooks to keep them out of sight. Unfortunately for Sara Gilbert, her puberty lives in syndication forever. ''Being a teenager is a naturally difficult time,'' she says. But oversize Frankie Say T-shirts and bad dye jobs aside, she has no regrets about the nine years she spent on Roseanne, from ages 13 to 22. ''I'm so grateful that I wasn't reporting to a regular high school, that I got to have this creative experience growing up. It would have been miserable to have a normal adolescence.'' Plus, she wouldn't have earned two Emmy nominations for her role as wisecracking daughter Darlene Conner.
After Roseanne ended in 1997 and Gilbert received her degree from Yale, the actress' career could have gone in one of two directions: Childhood star grows up and makes Lifetime movies-of-the-week; or childhood star grows up and becomes tabloid fodder. Gilbert followed neither path. Instead, she dropped out of the Hollywood scene and took a series of low-profile acting roles. There was a supporting part in Riding in Cars With Boys, some blink-and-you'll-miss-'em turns on TV series like 24 and ER, and one blink-and-you-missed-it sitcom, 2000's Welcome to New York. In fact, Gilbert's most high-profile project since Roseanne has been...the recent release of Roseanne's first season on DVD.
Until now. Gilbert, 30, is back in The WB's Twins, another family sitcom. But this one was conceived with her in mind. After she taped a Will & Grace guest spot in 2003 as Cheryl the Fanilow, the ultimate Barry Manilow fan, the show's creators, David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, had lunch with WB Entertainment president David Janollari. According to Kohan, Gilbert's name popped up along with that of another actress, ''a blond bombshell.'' Kohan joked that the two were twins. ''We kind of laughed and returned to our salads,'' he says. ''But Janollari was looking at us and saying, 'Go on.''' A few meetings later, the pair had a deal for a new sitcom.
In Twins, Gilbert plays Mitchee, the ''brainy, shut-down dork'' (that's Gilbert's description) who runs the family undergarment business with her twin sister, Farrah, a ''ditzy'' lingerie model, played by Passions' Molly Stanton (a bombshell, but not the one originally mentioned). Mark Linn-Baker and Melanie Griffith were cast as the pair's equally mismatched parents.
Gilbert's own family background is just as colorful her grandfather, Harry Crane, co-created The Honeymooners. ''He was friends with all the old comics,'' says Gilbert, ''Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, Phyllis Diller. When he had a party there would be all these comics telling jokes and roasting each other.'' Sara's older sibling, Melissa Gilbert, her sister from her mother's previous marriage, starred as Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. ''I grew up with Melissa from the time I was born, so the fact that we shared one parent versus two made no difference,'' she says. But getting Gilbert to open up about her current personal life is tougher than getting prepublication plot details on a Harry Potter book. Only after several conversations, she mentions, ''I have a son, but that's all I'll say on that.''
Gilbert has no illusions that Twins will be the next Roseanne, but she thinks it has staying power. ''I've continued to work, but it's been on things where you don't feel like you're on a train that's moving,'' she says. ''It is possible for [Twins] to keep going and that is a different feeling.'' And the series' creators have at least one sordid plan for keeping it in motion. ''There's an outside chance Mitchee's going to sleep with Antonio Banderas [husband of her TV mom Griffith] before the year is over,'' jokes Mutchnick. Another proud moment to live in syndication forever.
30 SECOND BIO
ON SIBLING REVELRY When she decided to become an actress like her already-famous sister, she took the name Gilbert (her last name was Abeles, from her father, Harold Abeles). ''I wanted people to know we were siblings, and I didn't want to answer questions about it for the rest of my life.''
ON SIBLING RIVALRY At the audition for Roseanne, producers asked Gilbert to ad-lib some lines. ''I had to trash my [TV] sister and that came easily to me for some reason.''
A Review from Variety
(Series -- WB, Fri. Sept. 16, 8:30 p.m.)
By BRIAN LOWRY
Taped in L.A. by KoMut Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television. Executive producers, David Kohan, Max Mutchnick; director, James Widdoes; writers, Kohan, Mutchnick;
Mitchee - Sara Gilbert
Farrah - Molly Stanton
Lee - Melanie Griffith
Alan - Mark Linn-Baker
Perhaps the least flattering thing that can be said about this family comedy is that it feels like a perfect addition to a Friday lineup that includes "Reba" and "Living With Fran," which is to say broad, obvious and not particularly funny. The creators of "Will & Grace" serve up a pair of genetically mismatched twin sisters with equally unlikely parents, leading to a parade of "Dumb blond"/"You're ugly" jokes. Any show that features designer panties called the "Butt-Pucker" can't be all bad, but "Twins" comes pretty close.
Sara Gilbert at least brings some human dimension to the otherwise relentless silliness, playing the smart if rather plain half of twin siblings being left to run their parents' thriving lingerie business. The setup is that Mitchee (Gilbert) resembles her cerebral dad (Mark Linn-Baker), while the aptly named Farrah (Molly Stanton) -- the company's shapely "spokesbutt" -- is the spitting image of their ditsy former-model mom (Melanie Griffith).
In the premiere, the parents' marriage has hit a rough patch, prompting Mitchee and Farrah to contemplate quitting in an effort to bring them together. The plan is complicated when the bookish Mitchee develops a crush on the new head of marketing, which seems preferable to fishing for men in an advanced-degree singles chat room. That storyline continues -- mostly predictably, as Mitchee tries to convince Dad to think of her as a woman -- into the second episode.
Aside from the bickering sisters, there's two generations worth of blond jokes -- think the "Legally Blonde" series that was discussed but never made -- plus a little After School Special lecture about families learning to appreciate their differences.
Creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick elicit a snicker or two from the sheer incongruity of some of the dialogue (Farrah, for example, accuses an irate Mitchee of possessing "weird gorilla strength"). Yet despite Gilbert's "Roseanne"-honed skill of delivering a tart zinger and Griffith's game willingness to dive into full "Born Yesterday" mode, there's a limpness about the premise, which vaguely resembles an old, short-lived ABC series about unlikely sisters, "Good & Evil."
In this case, the sibling disparity would more accurately be characterized as "Blondie and the Brain," but the low-grade insults, coupled with gags about Farrah getting out of her "work clothes" (that is, underwear) and worshipping Paris Hilton, only go so far.
The WB doesn't require much wattage to keep the lights on between "What I Like About You" and "Reba," and with Stanton adding another dazzling smile to the netlet's billboards, "Twins" just might fill that order. Strange, though, how a show engineered much like the "Butt-Pucker" -- designed to lift (the spirits) and separate (young from old) -- barely has the wiring to raise a titter, much less genuine laughs.
A Review from The New York Times
The Look of Maturity, as Both Desperate and Cool
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
Published: September 16, 2005
Television allows men to grow old and forces women to stay young.
There is no better illustration of that disparity than the latest his/hers series on WB. On the sitcom "Twins," Melanie Griffith plays a wife, mother and trussed-up bimbo. "Just Legal," a procedural drama, stars Ms. Griffith's ex-husband Don Johnson as a hard-drinking trial lawyer down on his luck.
Ms. Griffith, who was so delightful in the 1988 movie "Working Girl," was the bigger star and still shows glimmers of a unique, offbeat charisma; she was totally inexperienced and magnetic as Roxie in a Broadway production of "Chicago" in 2003. Mr. Johnson, whose career peaked with "Miami Vice" and "Nash Bridges," now has the far better role, and better series, and he did not have to lose weight or have a face-lift to play the part.
He looks seedy, pouchy and not too bad. Ms. Griffith is artfully big-lipped and unlined, but strapped into the wardrobe of a 16-year-old sexpot, she looks desperate.
"Twins" is supposed to be a light-hearted comedy, but there is something ineffably sad about Ms. Griffith's struggle to cheat time, a real-life version of the HBO satire "The Comeback." On "Just Legal," Mr. Johnson plays a corrupt sleaze with a secret, haunting sorrow, and he manages to pull off both sides of his character with persuasive panache. He has the easy grace of the men in that other HBO series "Entourage."
It isn't fair.
Or so it would seem. Yet there is such a thing as free will in an age of limitless cable. Even on broadcast networks, plenty of actresses find roles better suited to their age and experience, from Allison Janney on "The West Wing" to Geena Davis on the new ABC drama "Commander in Chief ." Ms. Griffith has never had much luck broadening her range; we must never forget her performance as an undercover officer posing as a Hasidic Jew in the 1992 film "A Stranger Among Us." But there should be a way to tap her comedic talents and baby-doll voice without making her look like the butt of the joke.
"Twins" was produced by David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the creators of "Will & Grace," but this sitcom lacks that NBC series's wit and anarchic spirit. The title refers to two sisters who are set to take over their parents' ladies undergarment business. Mitchee, the plain and brainy twin, is played by Sara Gilbert ("Roseanne"). Farrah (Molly Stanton) is her dumb, blond and sexy sister: she models the underwear that Mitchee designs, including the "butt-pucker." Farrah takes after her mother, Lee (Ms. Griffith), who also modeled lingerie in her younger days, while Mitchee is closer to her father, Alan (Mark Linn-Baker), a smart, nebbishy inventor and businessman. Alan and Lee's stark differences are pushing them toward divorce; their equally ill-matched daughters want to keep them together.
Ms. Gilbert, a master of deadpan sarcasm, has a few good moments, and there are a few funny lines of dialogue. But over all, the pilot is surprisingly flat and uninspired. It leaves Ms. Griffith with little to do but act dumb and look sexy, and that is not really fair.
Her ex-husband was luckier. In "Just Legal," Mr. Johnson plays Grant Cooper, a cynical, sloppy lawyer who settles cases too easily, hustles at golf and drinks too much. He keeps a shabby beachfront office in Venice, Calif., living off his fees as a court-appointed attorney. His caddy, David (Skip) Ross (Jay Baruchel), is a 19-year-old prodigy who finished law school at the top of his class but cannot find a firm that will hire him. (It doesn't help that his mother drives him to job interviews.) Grant offers to hire Skip to do his paperwork in exchange for time in the courtroom.
Skip, who dreams of becoming a great trial lawyer, balks when Grant cuts a deal with his friend in the district attorney's office for a young woman accused of murder. Grant assumes she is guilty, and doesn't bother to prepare a defense, while Skip determines that she is innocent, and that he can prove it to a jury. He learns belatedly that Grant was once a top defense attorney who arrogantly took to trial a case he could not win, and his client received a death sentence. Grant's life and practice fell apart soon after. But Skip's idealism rubs off a little, and he begins to take an interest in the case.
Grant is basically a small-screen version of Paul Newman's character in "The Verdict," but Mr. Johnson is surprisingly deft, and even at times poignant, in the part. Even when the plot and other characters turn cartoonish, he manages to strike a deeper chord. Skip, too, is a bit more textured than the average television nerd, and the two men have a pleasing chemistry.
That was once true of Mr. Johnson and Ms. Griffith. They were married twice, once when she was still a teenager and later, after she made a memorable 1987 cameo appearance on "Miami Vice." That marriage also ended in divorce, but it's a shame their careers had to diverge.
She may be the better half, but he got the better part.
WB, Friday at 8:30, Eastern and Pacific times; 7:30, Central time.
David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, executive producers. A KoMut Entertainment production in association with Warner Brothers Television Production.
WITH: Sara Gilbert (Mitchee), Molly Stanton (Farrah), Mark Linn-Baker (Alan Arnold) and Melanie Griffith (Lee Arnold).
WB, Friday at 9, Eastern and Pacific times; 8, Central time.
Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and Jonathan Shapiro, executive producers. A Jerry Bruckheimer Television production in association with Warner Brothers Television Production.
WITH: Don Johnson (Grant Cooper), Jay Baruchel (David "Skip" Ross) and Jaime Lee Kirchner (Dulcinea "Dee" Cruz).
The schedule note in Weekend yesterday with a television review of "Just Legal," a new WB series, misstated the day it will run. It will be Mondays, not Fridays.
An Article from MSNBC
Disrupting stereotypes on Twins
Sitom seeks to play havoc with brains vs. beauty
Mon., Oct. 3, 2005
LOS ANGELES - Melanie Griffith isn't having an easy morning on the set of the WB's new series Twins. Adjusting to the constant script rewriting typical of sitcoms can be difficult for someone new to the genre.
I had a scene that was 10 pages and I only got it this morning, she says. That's hard for me. I'm not used to that. I'll get used to it.
The Golden Globe winner for 1988's Working Girl plays Lee Arnold, the glamorous mother of two adult daughters, Mitchee (Sara Gilbert) and Farrah (Molly Stanton).
Griffith encourages herself by recalling how well she held up when making her Broadway musical debut in 2003's Chicago.
They bet I wouldn't last four days without having to take a break. So I was determined. I did 98 shows without missing a show. You have to stick to it and say, This isn't about me. I can do this! That's why I'm an actress, to give, and to make other people feel.
Meanwhile, it's not yet clear how many episodes of Twins will be making people feel, well, anything. Since its mid-September debut, the sitcom's suffered poor ratings in its 8:30 p.m. Friday timeslot, wedged between established comedies What I Like About You and Reba.
But the WB is more inclined than other networks to give new shows a chance to find an audience. And what's more, Twins has an excellent pedigree.
It's creators and executive producers are David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the Emmy-winning team behind the NBC sitcom Will & Grace.
Show developed over salad
The concept for Twins arose just as the salad was being ordered during a lunch the partners were having with WB Entertainment President David Janollari.
They asked what actors the network had deals with.
Janollari mentioned Gilbert, best known as the smart-tongued Darlene Connor on Roseanne, and a blond bombshell whom the pair prefer to leave nameless.
David (Kohan) said, There's your series, recalls Mutchnick.
I was kidding, injects Kohan.
But Janollari liked what he heard and pressed the duo to develop the idea with at least Gilbert in the mix.
Now Gilbert's one of the non-identical twins who inherit a lingerie business from their parents, Alan and Lee.
Alan (Mark Linn-Baker) is a brainy scientist, who after he developed a fabric which proved perfect for sexy underwear married the beautiful but maybe not so bright lingerie model Lee.
One kid seems to be just like dad, the other more like mom. But like Will & Grace, which creates great laughs by both embracing and overturning sexual stereotypes, this sitcom seeks to play havoc with preconceived notions of brains vs. beauty.
My character is, I guess, supposed to be the square, brainy twin, says Gilbert, and I think what is great about this show is that it does find the comedy in a lot of the stereotypes, and is pushing people to know that those stereotypes aren't always completely accurate.
Gilbert was about to rehearse a scene at a business meeting in which her supposedly less smart sister is the one who actually comes up with the bright idea for a new product line.
It just so happens that Kohan himself is a twin, but the inspiration for the Arnold family is based more on observing a family the creators know, where one of the children mirrors the father and another the mother.
Liable to begin and end each others sentences, the longtime collaborators are smart talkers, just like the characters they create.
We are really just at the beginning of the learning process of the right way to bring the family together and pull them apart, says Mutchnick.
Says Kohan: You figure out what is vitally important to each character and then figure out a way to disrupt that thing. Rewriting on the fly is natural to them, and they are open-minded to suggestions from cast, crew and network.
We are like college students, says Mutchnick. You don't really get the final version of the paper until the night before.
For more on Twins go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twins_(TV_series)
To watch a promo from Twins go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3Maq-m_u-0
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