Stacked: The Complete Series

Exploring the proverb "you can’t judge a book by its cover” on multiple levels, Stacked is a surprisingly enjoyable sitcom with a sharp cast that convincingly blends innocence with innuendo. Though the show is a vehicle for Pamela Anderson to pose in tight, revealing outfits as super-babe "Skylar,” it’s also quite Meta, suggesting that perceptions about Anderson and the show are superficial. Virtually every storyline has to do with people confronting their own preconceived notions about others and realising that they’ve underestimated someone or misjudged a situation. The ensemble of seasoned comic performers features Elon Gold ("Gavin”), Brian Scolaro ("Stuart”), Marissa Jaret Winokur ("Katrina”) and, most surprisingly, Christopher Lloyd ("Harold”) playing your standard group of wacky, eccentric TV characters, but their timing is excellent and the writing is sharp enough to give them dimension. The "fish out of water” premise sees Skylar, a voluptuous party girl used to having sex with rock stars, challenging herself by settling down and working at a small bookstore run by two well-educated brothers. Invariably, her physical appearance causes her to be misjudged as a ditzy blonde by lustful men and envious women alike but she proves to be more substantial than expected. She too must confront her stereotypes of "nerds” like Gavin and Stuart, grasping that her conceptions about them may not entirely ring true. In a sense, the whole show operates with this chip on its shoulder, presuming that it will be written off as tawdry by critics and viewers alike because of its buxom star then loading episodes with clever plotlines and smart jokes. While the boob and sex bits are childish, they playfully jab at Anderson’s aura, with Skylar’s desperate hope to rid herself of "bad boys” reflecting the Playmate’s own infamous history. With the only worthwhile featurette entitled "Nipplegate,” which focuses wholly on Anderson’s breasts and fashions, Stacked pokes fun at itself for sure but, under the guise of a light, bawdy sitcom, the star and its creators convey a hopeful, if not elementary, moral. Plus: Five unaired episodes, "Show us Your Bloopers,” "Skylar’s Guide to Dating.” (Fox)