Amanda Bynes is the current queen of teen girls everywhere, so the WB should do just fine with the bouncy “What I Like About You.” A Nickelodeon fave with major crossover appeal, a flair for physical comedy and a bigscreen credit (“Big Fat Liar”) under her belt, Bynes makes the leap to primetime with aplomb, and the result should be a solid run for an undemanding series that goes down easy.
Bynes is Holly Tyler, a mischievous Gothamite who crashes with older sister Valerie (Jennie Garth) for a week. Dad (Peter Scolari) is considering a job transfer to Japan, and if the sibs can get along, they will become permanent roomies.
Debut is even more of a young-demo fest when skateboard superstar Tony Hawk is the featured guest at a promo event PR’d by Valerie. Wanting to make a good impression so sis will agree to the move-in, Holly instead ruins the evening — and the buffet table.
Nothing even remotely deep here, but with the confidence of more mature leading ladies, Bynes carries the load, bringing an utter charm to even the most chaotic moments. Not fairing as well — just yet — is Garth, who makes an awkward transition from the melodramatic tones of “Beverly Hills 90210” to rim-shot comedy.
Male relief comes from Jeff (Simon Rex), Valerie’s kind-hearted, wisecracking b.f.; and Gary (Wesley Jonathan), Holly’s friend who will do anything just to hang around the apartment. They are the true supporting cast here — “Like” is a femme-skewing show all the way — but their presence is twofold: to grab the target viewers’ significant others and to play up the battle of the sexes.
Tech credits are neither special nor cumbersome.