Fresh pepper added to a piping hot plate of pasta tops it off perfectly. But add pepper to The WB’s midseason lineup and you quickly realize that it doesn’t spice up everything. “Pepper Dennis” – the new WB lighthearted drama series seriously lacks flavor. And Rebecca Romijn’s performance is just plain bland, to say the very least.
With its ubiquitous marketing push (overload of TV, print ads, and even ads on the side of a bus, like Carrie Bradshaw), viewers were expecting the hit of the year. Instead, “Pepper Dennis” is decidedly disappointing, tremendously tedious, and like a soda bottle left opened, just falls flat.
The characters and plotlines are exceedingly clichéd – there’s the grating, overbearing, condescending mother, the pushover Pepper calls ‘Dad’ and the self–conscious sister Kathy Dinkle (newly–brunette Brooke Burns). Sprinkle in the secret admirer/cameraman, Chick (Rider Strong), pushy pal, Kimmy Kim (Lindsay Price), and exceedingly self-assured love interest Charlie Babcock (Josh Hopkins), and you’ve got your stock drama.
The producers were likely banking on Romijn’s supermodel status to initially draw viewers in. But Rebecca Romijn’s beauty doesn’t translate into a beautiful performance. To put it bluntly – her performance is rather awful. I mistakenly believed that Romijn was one of the few supermodels that could effortlessly transition from the catwalk to the big and small screen. She made the transformation from beautiful to beastly as the shape–shifting mutant Mystique in X–Men. But the lead role in “Pepper Dennis” is obviously too much for this model to handle and she fails miserably.
The show manages to take seasoned performers and turn them into acting amateurs. Lindsay Price and Brooke Burns both overplay their roles; Josh Hopkins is archetypal as the playboy/bad–boy/loverboy; and Pepper’s parents are excessively obvious.
Romijn’s performance is bland, but even worse was her attempt at becoming a triple threat (she tried to sing in one episode). Her voice would have had Simon Cowell hurling his infamous quip – “absolutely dreadful” – at her performance (and probably at the show too).
“Pepper Dennis” lacks zest. Rebeca Romijn should stick to shape–shifting and super–modeling.