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Apt. 2F

This wildly unfunny sitcom revolving around twin brothers looks more like a TV Land reject than an MTV-sanctioned production. Jason and Randy Sklar, while exhibiting nice brotherly chemistry and comic timing, have transferred characters and bits from their New York stage shows to a boringly traditional sitcom setup.

With:
Cast: Jason Sklar, Randy Sklar, Zach Galifianakis, Matt Price, Emmy Laybourne, Florence Clutch, Leila Sbitiani, Upright Citizens Brigade, Keith Robinson.

This wildly unfunny sitcom revolving around twin brothers looks more like a TV Land reject than an MTV-sanctioned production. Jason and Randy Sklar, while exhibiting nice brotherly chemistry and comic timing, have transferred characters and bits from their New York stage shows to a boringly traditional sitcom setup.

The premise has the brothers dwelling in a skanky downtown apartment in Gotham. Randy is a film student at NYU, works in a video store and hosts a comedy club in the student union. Jason works in a large corporation called Products Inc., which would be funny if the joke weren’t so obvious.

The “Apt. 2F” episode reviewed, dubbed “Sometimes When We Touch,” centers on the fact that the guys can’t bring themselves to touch each other, which becomes a problem for the boys when the women they are involved with or want to be involved with take this as a sign that the twins have trouble with intimacy.

There is no character development. The Sklars, who wrote this episode, have thrown a bunch of people at the audience with nary an introduction: It’s like watching a bunch of exhibitionist strangers spew dialogue. The classic three-act structure clunkily sketches out the type of plotting not seen on TV since “Joanie Loves Chachi.”

“Apt. 2F” is also infected with the standup-to-sitcom stiff acting syndrome. Jerry Seinfeld had it, Roseanne had it, and the Sklars have it. Fortunately, as Roseanne and Seinfeld have proven, this is a curable disease, but the supporting cast of the show is amateurish, and could do a little more time in the Actors Studio.

MTV has shoveled out a lot of misses, but its hits have all turned on some original, edgy, non-network concept: “Beavis and Butt-head,” “Daria,” “The Real World,” “Oddville.” What’s most disappointing about “Apt. 2F” is the conventionality on display here, complete with on-cue studio-audience laughs.

The Sklars could take the format into wild extremes: The comedy club offers an opportunity to showcase standups mid-show (the mildly funny Keith Robinson was featured in this episode); another promising idea is the Sklars’ insertion of satirical short films into the plots, like this episode’s “Bleeding Fist of Liberty” cult-recruiting video (although the satire, of Heaven’s Gate and anti-government militias, misses the mark).

Tech credits are average.

Apt. 2F

MTV, Sun. July 13, 10 p.m.

Production: Taped by MTV. Executive producer, Michael Dugan; producer, Bob Maurer; director, Pamela Dessert; writers, Jason Sklar, Randy Sklar.

Crew: Production designer, Andy McDowell; post-production producer, Todd Stevens; original music for opening, Mr. Blue. 30 MIN.

Cast: Cast: Jason Sklar, Randy Sklar, Zach Galifianakis, Matt Price, Emmy Laybourne, Florence Clutch, Leila Sbitiani, Upright Citizens Brigade, Keith Robinson.

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