Chicago broadcast reporter Pepper Dennis (Rebecca Romijn) lives a life straight out of America’s Funniest Home Videos. Pepper falls down, falls down in water, and gets splattered with paint. And hair gel. And chili. Laughing yet? Because this is the A material.
Aside from proving how accessible Pepper is (she’s sexy and smart — but has trouble moving and holding things!), the mystifyingly hour-long Pepper Dennis revolves around the love/hate relationship between striving wannabe anchor Pepper and Charlie (Cold Case’s Josh Hopkins). Pepper had what she thought was a one-night stand with Charlie. But surprise! Or rather, not at all surprise: The second Pepper sleeps with him, you know he’s going to walk into the station the next day and be announced as the new anchor.
Pepper also has a prissy, sheltered sister (the shockingly perky Brooke Burns) and a best friend (Coupling’s Lindsay Price), which allows for much platitudery about being a chick. They’ve dusted off myriad gooey phrases, all bearing the whiff of a feminine-products commercial: ”I think it’s time I focused on making someone else happy, like me.”
Romijn can’t be blamed for the misfire — she has the appealing stiff-springy, diving-board-style delivery of Candice Bergen (one suspects she has a pile of Murphy Brown DVDs at home). No, one must blame the rush this unimaginative series is in. Clichés take the place of real characters — they even trot out that old standby, Sad Women Love Ice Cream — and by episode 3, Pepper and Charlie have whisked through the relationship trajectory it took Sam and Diane years to develop. The end result is forced, false, and clumsy as a dumb blonde.