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TV REVIEWS : ‘Sister, Sister’ Likable but Dysfunctional

ABC’s “Sister, Sister” is an amiable comedy series about identical twins who reunite at age 14 after having been parted at birth and adopted separately. No big laughs but lots of smiles.

It introduces Tia and Tamera Mowry as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell. Neither knows the other exists until they stumble upon each other while shopping with their respective adoptive single parents. Tamera lives with reserved, strait-laced, well-to-do Ray Bampbell (Tim Reid) and Tia with earthy, mouthy, pushy, jobless Lisa Landr (Jackee Harry).

Anyone who follows sitcoms will recognize what’s coming: Although the parents have nothing in common and don’t get along, the two families ultimately will merge under one roof, becoming a graceless, even dysfunctional foursome in the swanky Campbell home.

Proving that this is hardly an epic comedy that you’d want to build an evening around, the premiere sharply disintegrates as it winds down. Yet the coming-of-age theme is appealingly executed--witness the second episode, which finds the sisters having a conflict over dating.

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And the girls, who sometimes address the camera from their shared bedroom, are cute and likable, as is Marques Roper as their romance-minded next-door neighbor, Roger.

Here’s hoping there will be much less of the parents doing their bickering than of the kids awkwardly navigating their way through teenhood.

* “Sister, Sister” premieres at 8:30 tonight on ABC (Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42), with a second episode at 9:30 p.m.


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