Still Standing

CBS's sitcom Still Standing, starring Mark Addy and Jami Gertz, is average in every way. The show is about regular people who have regular jobs and regular friends. I prefer my TV Buffy-style, with good and evil battling for control of the universe. So why did I tune in to Still Standing last night? It had something I've never seen on Buffy -- David Hasselhoff.

The episode, "Still Hairdressing," features Hasselhoff as Judy's expensive hairstylist, Gary. The premise: Judy's husband calls her beloved hairstylist a rip-off artist, and then discovers a new appreciation for the man. Baywatch fans won't find any near-drownings on this show, but there were some entertaining moments. Since you probably weren't watching, I'll include my favorite part for you here.

Bill goes to the salon to smooth things over with the hairdresser, and towards the end of their conversation Gary pats him on the head.

Gary: "My god, your hair is bone dry. What kind of conditioner do you use?"

Bill: "I don't need conditioner."

Gary: "Well, tell that to your hair follicles. Of course, they won't listen. They're too dry."

Hasselhoff's delivery of that line was laugh-out-loud funny. His sense of comic timing, underused on Baywatch, shines in a sitcom setting.

The only thing that struck me as a little odd about this episode, and this is the fault of the writers, not David Hasselhoff, was the overemphasis on his character's heterosexuality. In a half hour show, where Gary doesn't have that many lines, they managed to work in two references to Gary's wife. I got it the first time. He's a hairdresser and he's straight. Randomly mentioning his wife again seemed forced. I couldn't help wondering if it was added into the show so conservative viewers would feel more comfortable with the scene where Gary rubs Bill's shoulders. (Gary's one of those fancy hairstylists who also gives his customers a massage.)

I probably won't watch Still Standing again. David Hasselhoff was the only thing that made the show stand out in my mind, and he's only on this episode. Still Standing might fill a need for viewers who aren't interested in reality TV or WB dramas, but it does nothing for me. CBS had the right idea by bringing in Hasselhoff to spice things up, but I'd rather watch Baywatch reruns, where I can see him still saving lives. Still swimming through the waves. Still running in slow motion. Anything's better than Still Standing.

--Lisa Beebe

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