Stacked: The Bookshop Makes It To TV!
By Michael Stillman
The bookshop has finally made it to the small screen. Thanks to the good folks at Fox TV, a mythical bookstore will be delivered to your home at 8:30 (7:30 Central Time, as they say) every Thursday night for a six-week trial run. If popular, it will undoubtedly be back next fall, so be sure to tell your local Fox affiliate how much you like this show.
The name of the series is "Stacked," and it takes place in a bookshop that may be a lot like yours, if you have a bookshop. The star is Pamela Anderson. Yes, she is the most famous of the old "Baywatch" beauties. And yes, she is older now, 37 to be exact. But, in bookman's language, Pamela is still in "very fine" condition, "like new." One suspects she has had an expert restoration. She is justification enough for watching this show, and that's a good thing, because not much else is.
If you picture Pamela for a moment, you will understand where they got the title "Stacked." It is one of those double entendre things. "Stacked" has two meanings, one of which refers to a pile of books. If nothing, this show is certainly clever.
Now for the plot line. The bookshop is run by two brothers. One is named Stuart or Stewart. I missed the other's name. The first, I'll call him "Stuart," is a regular kind of guy, someone who probably watches lots of shows on the Fox network. The other is a more erudite, geekish, intellectual, someone who probably watches PBS when he is not reading and writing books. It is unlikely he ever watches Fox Network, Fox Sports, or Fox News, and may not even know who Bill O'Reilly is. You know, the elitist type. Other characters include an elderly professor, the stereotypical stuffy, professorial type, and a dumpy looking young woman who evidently makes lattes and such. Give these brothers credit for figuring out how successful bookstores make a living, by selling lattes.
Into this prototypical book world steps Pamela Anderson, who goes by the name of Skyler or Schuyler. Or maybe she spells it some other way. No one much cares about her name. Anyway, it's a good thing she does appear, because the rest of these characters have been given a truly awful set of lines. For example, when the intellectual brother laments the lack of standards today, where a Britney Spears book outsells his own, the professor responds, "standards can kiss my ass!" This is evidently a funny line, as the canned audience breaks out in canned laughter. Fortunately, Pamela arrives just in time to save us from this excruciatingly bad dialogue.
The Fox Network-watching regular-guy brother, I think that is Stuart, immediately falls in love with her. This is the only believable thing that happens in the entire show. The nerdy intellectual brother finds her shallow and annoying. He pines for a reconciliation with his ex-wife, a stuffy, unsmiling woman that no one on earth, not even the geekiest nerd on the planet, would pick over Pamela Anderson. No, they would have to find another title for this show if she were the star.