Stacked: The Bookshop Makes It To TV!
Pamela Anderson is the subject of this National Enquirer biography
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.
Stacked: The Bookshop Makes It To TV!
Pamela Anderson is an author herself, penning this tale of a young lady with a life not totally unlike her own.
We discover that Pamela-Skyler has a problem. She is always falling in love with the wrong type of man. Despite a wealth of choices, she finds herself attracted to the abusive type. Her current boyfriend is an abusive cheater with a tattoo who plays in a band. At this point the show gets a bit creepy, as the parallels are obvious with Pamela's real-life one-time boyfriend, the abusive Motley Crue musician, Tommy Lee. Perhaps others find the parallel funny, but this melding of horrid reality with light comedy makes me uncomfortable. I hope this Tommy Lee character disappears before the next show.
Skyler has come to the bookstore to find a book on relationships, something to help her overcome her proclivity to choose the wrong men. Stuart quickly tries to hit up on Miss Skyler, but she seems oblivious to his moves. He slyly tells her he can be found in the store "under dangerous men," to which she replies, "so can I. That's why I need the book." Oh those double entendres!
Now in real bookshops we don't break for commercials, but books and lattes don't pay the bills at "Stacked." So onto the screen comes that grotesque Burger King king. You know the one with the mask head that shows up at this poor guy's door first thing in the morning with some greasy, cholesterol-laden breakfast thing. In one episode he even climbs into bed with the confused man. Is that Michael Jackson under the costume? Maybe it's just me, but does this "king" give you the creeps almost as much as Tommy Lee does? Aren't these the same people who gave us the infamous "Herb" campaign, featuring the repulsive character who was supposedly the last person on earth with sense enough not to eat at Burger King? He ended up driving customers away. Still, not even he was as creepy as this king with the fixed smile. He'd keep me from going to Burger King even if I didn't already know what the food was like.
If this isn't bad enough, it is followed up by a commercial for Pamela Anderson's Instant Lip Solution. The same Pamela Anderson who stars in our show is suddenly seen hawking some potion to make your lips look larger. Even this lady's lips are "stacked."
After this diversion, the return to "Stacked" is actually welcome. While Pamela's reading her self-help book, in walks nerdy brother's ex-wife and two children. He wants to win her back, but she has bad news for him. She is seeing another man, a doctor, and a urologist at that (I think he was a urologist, but maybe he's a neurologist). Not to be humiliated, the brother not named Stuart pulls Skyler aside and asks her to pretend she is his girlfriend. For any of you who run a bookshop, if you asked the most gorgeous customer to ever walk through your doors to pretend she/he was your girl/boyfriend, do you think that person would oblige? Well this is not a reality show, so Skyler does. The ex-wife is horrified by Skyler's blatantly provocative behavior towards her ex-husband. The son, precocious little brat that he is, responds, "way to go, dad." This further horrifies his mother. The daughter, more rational than the rest, asks Skyler, "are you Dad's midlife crisis?"
They all leave, but ex-wife, who only wants what she cannot have, returns begging her former husband to take her back. Meanwhile Skyler's boyfriend, dressed in the image of Tommy Lee, but with one of those Crocodile Australian accents (does Tommy Lee speak this way?) appears. While the boyfriend admits to having had a sleazy affair with some other women, he protests to Skyler that, "I was only thinking about you, and another you." Think back to the title of the show to get this joke. Somehow they get rid of both the boyfriend and the ex-wife, and the show comes to an end, but not before the lovely Miss Skyler is offered a job at the store. You can sense that, to regular guy Stuart's chagrin, something is going to happen between the nerdy bookseller and Pamela Anderson's character. Dream on, all of you booksellers out there. It's not going to happen to you. This is fantasy, something like Fox News. But be sure to tune in on Thursday evening to follow the adventures of one lucky bookseller who hit the jackpot. Pamela Anderson is worth the price of admission.