Pepper Dennis is an ambitious reporter with her sights set on anchoring Chicago's top-rated evening news broadcast. Complicating her daily life is the fact that her spoiled, needy and ... See full summary »
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2006  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Pepper Dennis (13 episodes, 2006)
...
 Charlie Babcock (13 episodes, 2006)
...
 Kathy Dinkle (13 episodes, 2006)
...
 Kimmy Kim (13 episodes, 2006)
...
 Chick (13 episodes, 2006)
...
 Blanca Martinez (10 episodes, 2006)
...
 Les Gaye (8 episodes, 2006)
...
 Garfield (6 episodes, 2006)
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Storyline

Pepper Dennis is an ambitious reporter with her sights set on anchoring Chicago's top-rated evening news broadcast. Complicating her daily life is the fact that her spoiled, needy and recently separated sister Kathy, has moved in with her. Worst of all, the hot guy Pepper woke up with one morning, Charlie Babcock, just showed up in the newsroom, grabbed her dream job and is now practically her boss. She's trying to despise him, but Charlie is smart, handsome, funny, available and interested. She gets much needed support from her close friends, the TV station's makeup artist Kimmy, and cameraman Chick, who has a secret crush on Pepper. Written by JustAli25

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She's big news!

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Comedy | Drama

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4 April 2006 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Rebecca Romijn and Lindsay Price went on to appear in another series that was canceled after just one season, ABC's "Eastwick (2009)". See more »

Soundtracks

Better Half
(uncredited)
Written by Chris Trapper
Performed by Chris Trapper
(Title Theme)
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User Reviews

Plagued with freshman season kinks, bad slapstick and a happy-go-lucky take on the press, but "Dennis" is an original, ambitious and downright adorable screwball throwback
19 July 2006 | by (www.liquidcelluloid.blog.com) – See all my reviews

Network: WB; Genre: Comedy, Guilty Pleasure; Content Rating: TV-PG (for some sexual content); Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);

Seasons Reviewed: Complete Series (1 season)

In "Pepper Dennis" one of the most beautiful women in the world shows that she needs to be doing more comedy. Rebecca Romijn (now free from the shackles of the Stamos) plays the title character, an ambitious news reporter for a local Chicago affiliate who lives somewhere between our contemporary world and "His Girl Friday".

"Pepper" takes a shallow and rather simplistic approach to local news as a subject of ridicule. It is a target just dripping with sweet nectar just begging to be bitten into and show after show has gone a softer direction. You won't find anything more biting here than wooden anchors with white teeth and weaselly news directors that implement wacky stunts to get the ratings up. The show's treatment of journalism as a noble endeavor in which Pepper crusades to uncover the truth and bring it to the public is from a time long past.

I didn't like "Pepper" at first, but it grew on me. There is a delightful old fashioned screwball whimsy to the show that we just don't have enough of on TV today. So for that, I'm going to forgive it for some truly lame and predictable slapstick. This is a guilty pleasure with enough cutely funny moments to make it work and a willingness to go deeper into the gags than I'd expect from a fluffy WB show. It isn't unusual to do bit where an anchor is causing a viewer to have seizures, but not very many series will go as far as to show us the seizure and play it for laughs. Whoa, I like it.

The stories pull themselves along with one improbable leap in logic after another in a fantastic contortion to get where it wants to go. But thanks to some fast and witty dialog, the show pulls it out. Witness the "ACoRNs" episode in which local news awards become a red-carpet spectacle so we can have Pepper rent out designer earrings, save the day with an impromptu crisis news stand-up and reconcile with her neglecting father. There is a gag involving an automatic flush toilet I've just been waiting for someone to go for.

Dropped like an anvil in the middle of this old-fashioned screwball romantic comedy are snappy real-world one liners (Pepper gets a "Today Show" style wedding). The shows light jabs at contemporary media figures are much appreciated, but awkwardly fit. "Pepper" wants to have its cake and eat it too.

At the center of this silliness is the 6-foot Romijn who melds with the cartoonish beats of the show and throws herself headlong into Pepper like a comic natural and forces everyone else to keep up. That includes Brooke Burns as her virginal, recently divorced sister, Lindsey Price (the US "Coupling") as her experienced best friend/make-up artist and Rider Strong who has apparently given up on breaking away from his "Boy Meets World" persona and settles in the thankless role of Pepper's unrequited love.

The show gets better as it goes, like many, but it still never fully gels together. If "Pepper" could have developed all of the relationships just a little bit more, and it wasn't canceled, it could have been something great. What is a screwball comedy without a romance, and "Pepper" delivers us a couple right off the bat with Pepper and Charlie Babcock (Josh Hopkins), the new anchor who took the job Pepper felt was rightfully hers. While we don't necessarily root for them (the unrequited love from Chip could have been a compelling story, but the show's heart isn't in that), everybody tries to give us the feeling that there is sharp banter going back and forth - even if Romijn and Hopkins don't have the greatest chemistry. The show also sets up Pepper as an independent single women, but only so we can root for her to find romance, mellow out and join the flock.

"Pepper" could easily be self-indulgent - easily. So easily that it deserves real credit for not going that direction. By God, you wouldn't know it to hear about it, but Romijn sells this wackiness. "Pepper Dennis" tries to do a lot that is admirable, and the show is an entertaining guilty pleasure even if none of the parts really quite come together, and its grasp on journalism as a target is flimsy at best. What it suffers from are typical first season kinks that would have easily been ironed out and made the show recommendable.

* * ½ / 4


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