NEW YORK–Bright colors, silly jokes and one-dimensional characters inhabit ABC’s “let’s put our in-house stars to use” vehicle, “To Grandmother’s House We Go.” While somewhat crass for the season, this Christmas spec will amuse the very young.
The Olsen twins (Ashley and Mary-Kate) of “Full House” fame star as precocious and, to alternately amusing and grating effect, obnoxious sisters who run away to give single mom Rhonda (Cynthia Geary) time off from their antics. Their plan is to go to Great Grandma’s house, first by bike (they don’t get far; they can’t cross the street), by bus and then by sneaking into an overnight delivery truck (driven by cowboy wannabe Eddie, who, it’s been established, has a crush on Rhonda).
Now comes the real adventure. Seems a couple of kooky and inept thieves (Jerry Van Dyke and Rhea Perlman) have been hijacking said trucks and, in the last one they go for, they discover the extra load. Smelling ransom money in the air, they’re delighted.
The twins, of course, handle their captors with aplomb; Eddie eventually rides to the rescue; and mom loosens up, falling hard for her hero.
The only real problem here is that this supposed Christmas spec is hot about money. Eddie (J. Eddie Peck) has a winning lottery ticket, which the twins are carrying and which is why, for most of the telepic, he wants to rescue them. At the end, when the kids are back with mom, Rhonda asks a police detective to speed Eddie into town to make the televised drawing. The cop says no way, until the gathered townspeople start chanting “Christmas Eve! Christmas Eve!” Seems the real spirit of Christmas is making a TV gameshow where you spin a big wheel and win the big bucks.