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maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -arthur miller

2.13.2005

Scientific study of twins

This is My Scientific Study of Twin Behavior. Well, not really. It's more like My Complete Review of the Behavior of Television Twins (that I can think of right now).

1) Nicky and Alex, from Full House



We got to know these two crazy kids for the first few years of their lives, and boy were they cute. The defining episode of their twin-ness was the one where Aunt Becky and Uncle Jesse go to a parents-of-twins support group and meet all these crazy parents-of-twins, like the pair whose grown sons wear lobster suits or something all day, for a reason I can't remember. The point is, these grown-up twins do EVERYTHING together because their parents were too stupid to ever have them do things apart, or dress them differently or whatever. So Jesse and Becky learn that they have to send Nicky and Alex to different play groups if they ever want well-adjusted children. Turns out that Nicky and Alex only want to play with each other at first, but if I remember correctly it all turns out okay in the end, with new (and different) friends for each kid.

In what may or may not be the exact next episode, Nicky and Alex are entered in to some "Cutest Twin Contest", or some such nonsense. The key part of this episode is that Stephanie really wishes she had a twin so she could go out on a little-kid date with these super-cute twin boys, who only want to date twin girls. So she makes up "Bethanie", which is her in DJ's cardigan. When I first saw this one I thought she had made up the name Bethanie, but it turns out I was a pretty dumb kid. This episode ended with Stephanie realizing it wasn't the end of the world to not have a twin, and with Nicky and Alex doing a dual Elvis impersonation that won them the contest.

I basically think the twin thing was handled well on Full House. We got to appreciate the cuteness of matching babies, but with some acknowledgement that they were indeed two seperate beings.

2) Tia and Tamara, from Sister, Sister



The premise of this show made the twin issues a little different than other shows on this list. Tia and Tamara were seperated at birth, and somehow at 14 scam their single mom and single dad in to moving in to a house together so the two girls can finally be sisters. Or something. Since they are pretty old (certainly too old to do dual Elvis impersonations), they already have their own distinct personalities, which is sort of the point: they are twins, but very different people.

Twin-ness comes in handy for these two when they pretend to be each other for lots of stupid reasons that we all dreamed about when we were younger-- to catch people talking about us, to take tests for each other, good things like that. Tia and Tamara had good, clean fun with their twin-ness, which I appreciated.

So overall, the Mowry twins did well on Sister, Sister. The main thing that bugs me is that it planted the weird idea that maybe we all have secret twins running around out there. Creepy.

3) Sam and David, from 7th Heaven



Like Nicky and Alex, we got to know Sam and David from their very conception. Now, I don't watch 7th Heaven with any regularity at all, but I read the recaps on TWoP because they tend to be freakin' hilarious, and I catch the reruns when there is absolutely nothing else on any channel. In my experience, Sam and David have absolutely nothing to do on this show except stumble in to cute little kid trouble together. In most episodes they get to one stupid twin antic between the two of them. I haven't ever seen one of them in a scene without the other. Also, they have creepy voices. Or, rather, a creepy voice. Just one between the two of them.

I'm sure theat the actors playing the youngest Camdens are very nice little boys, but the material written for the characters are complete drivel. Worst handling of twins ever on TV.

4) Assorted twin-pairs, on MTV's True Life: I'm a Twin

I only remember two sets of twins from this show. One was a pair of boys who were 18 and heading off to college. They were sad to leave each other, but knew it was time to go their seperate ways. It all seemed very nice. Then the one who actually left home to go to college decided to drop out and move home to got to community college with his brother, because he missed him so bad. Whatever.

The second pair were these girls who were maybe 14 or 15, but super-crazy immature. They went to some twin convention, with the sole purpose of meeting twin boys to date. Like, the sisters who looked exactly alike wanted to be dating brothers who looked exactly alike. Obviously, they failed in this enormously creepy task, but remained optimistic that someday they would find identical boyfriends.

I would find a way to insult this show even more, but I think I have to commend MTV for having the balls to show such thoroughly fucked up people in all their fucked up glory. Thank you, MTV. Just bring back the twisted cartoons and I'll be happy.

5) Brandon and Brenda, Beverly Hills, 90210



I liked how these two barely ever mentioned their twin-ness, referring to each other as "my brother" and "my sister" rather than "my twin". Well done, Walsh family. You managed to escape Minnesota with not only no trace of a Fargo accent, but two relatively well-adjusted twin teenagers. Granted, Brenda eventually revealed herself to be a raving bitch, and Brandon stuck around so long most 90210 fans were ready to run him out of town themselves, but god bless Aaron Spelling's minions for never, ever making the twin thing an issue.

6) Tess and Kate, ER

The only purpose of Tess and Kate were to cause their mother Carol a lot of grief and eventually run her back in to the arms of beautiful, beautiful George Clooney, who had left the show two years earlier. They caused a mountain of angst while in utero, but did not manage to lure their papa back until they had popped out and hung around ER as the resident cute babies for a few months. Cute babies they were, and they served as the catalyst to send Carol to Portland to be with Doug (which was one of my favorite TV moments ever), so I like these two even though they never got out of baby-hood.

Well, this concludes My Complete Review of the Behavior of Television Twins (that I can think of right now). I'll add more later if they come to me.

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