|Stacked: The Complete Series (2005)
Starring: Pamela Anderson, Elon Gold, Brian Scolaro, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Christopher Lloyd
I know, you’re secretly hoping that I’ll start this review by suggesting that there are only two reasons to buy “Stacked: The Complete Series,” then give you a knowing wink and a sharp elbow to the ribs before doing an imitation of Todd on “Scrubs” and loudly clarifying, “I’m talking about her breasts! You get it? ‘Two things’…? Dude, can I get a high-five?”
Uh, no. That’s not going to happen. So keep your palm to yourself.
The tagline for “Stacked” is this: “She sells books. Like you care.” Actually, you almost do care, because the idea of setting a sitcom in a bookstore is a pretty good one. In addition to the inevitable wealth of humor provided by customers, having book signings provides the opportunity for celebrity guests. In fact, the potential for high-brow comedy seems tremendous…but, then, you realize that the reason people had even the slightest curiosity about tuning in was nothing to do with the premise and everything to do with the show’s star.
It’s ironic that ABC, NBC, and Fox actually got into a bidding war over “Stacked” after Pamela Anderson became attached to it; in truth, she’s easily the least valuable player in the show’s ensemble. Anderson plays Skyler Dayton, a sexy party girl who convinces the owner of Stacked Books – Gavin Miller, played by Elon Gold – to hire her. Of course, she has no real customer service experience, rarely reads, and in no way deserves her position, but the premise requires that Gavin hire her, and so he does. Gavin can’t decide whether he’s got the hots for her or not, but his brother, Stuart (Brian Scolaro), is smitten from the get-go. Kat (Marissa Jaret Winoker, who starred in “Hairspray” on Broadway), who runs the store’s coffee shop, is far less in love with the blonde bombshell, but she grows to respect her quickly enough.
It would unfair to suggest that Anderson’s forte lies solely within the field of looking pretty and keeping quiet, but it would not be inaccurate to suggest that she has no place in a sitcom, predominantly because, although she delivers her own lines well enough, she has absolutely no idea how to react to anyone else’s. Whenever someone says something that’s funny, she invariably produces a look of confusion and bewilderment that’s some would call crazed. It’s not even what you’d call an “are you kidding?” expression; I mean, she’s offering reactions that would be considered excessive even for someone who’s just witnessed a person’s head turn into a bowling ball, roll off their neck, and pick up a 7-10 split.
Fortunately, the rest of the cast is able to pick up the slack to a certain degree. Gold plays the staid, stuffed-shirt Gavin well, and both Scolaro and Winoker have deliveries – his deadpan, hers frantic – that make the dialogue seem funnier than it otherwise would. You’ve got writers with credits that include “Greg the Bunny,” “The Critic,” “Frasier,” and “Cheers,” but the results tend to be pretty mainstream and not much funnier than your average sitcom in ABC’s “TGIF” lineup. The one consistent exception, however, comes via the dialogue uttered by Christopher Lloyd, who plays Professor Harold March, a regular at the coffee shop…one so regular that his life would appear to limited to getting up, coming to the shop, and going home to bed. Everyone knows that Lloyd is generally the saving grace of most any project in which he participates, but no one comes anywhere near him on “Stacked.” His character offers a teasing glimpse of how the show could’ve gone highbrow:
- “Standards can kiss my ass! Standards keep people from taking chances! At NASA, we used to have a poster on the wall. It said, "If you wanna make an omelette, you have to break a few eggs!” (PAUSES) “The astronauts did not like that poster.”
- “I am a respected man of science; I would hardly characterize myself as cute. True, in 1938, I did win Most Adorable Baby of Midfield County…but, to be fair, most of the competition was wiped out by typhoid.”
- “If I had wanted to lecture to a bunch of kids whose only accomplishments were playing video games and throwing up, I would never have left Dartmouth!”
Unfortunately, Christopher Lloyd isn’t the star of “Stacked.” Hence the two and a half star rating.
Special Features: Presumably, the only people who had any love for “Stacked” were those who worked on Pamela Anderson’s wardrobe, since no one else from the show contributes a blessed thing to this set; the only featurette that isn’t 100% the result of recycling existing footage is one about the various outfits Anderson wore on the show. Otherwise, there’s a collection of bloopers that isn’t overly funny, along with Skyler’s dating tips, which just combines clips from throughout the show’s run, but that’s it. Not a single person affiliated with the show can be bothered to provide audio commentary. Yikes, there’s a testimonial for you.