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What I Like About You is an Americanmarker television sitcom set mainly in New York Citymarker, following the lives of two sisters, Valerie Tyler (Jennie Garth) and Holly Tyler (Amanda Bynes). The series ran on The WB Television Network from September 20, 2002 to March 24, 2006, with a total of 86 episodes produced. With the exception of a brief period early in the second season, What I Like About You was a headline on The WB's Friday night comedy lineup.

Cast and characters

Synopsis

What I Like About You tells the story of Valerie "Val" Tyler and her younger sister, Holly Tyler. Val Tyler (Jennie Garth) is an uptight taskmaster who is very organized and somewhat neurotic. Holly (Amanda Bynes) is a rambunctious and narcissistic teenager who doesn't want to move to Japan where her father has a new job, arranging instead to move in with her older sister Val, in her apartment in New York City. The show featured two strong sisters who love each other. They have equally loyal friends (Val's Lauren and Holly's Gary, or in later episodes Tina, for example).

Some of the early episodes featured physical comedy done by Amanda Bynes. Her performance style was compared favorably by critics to that of Lucille Ball. The physical comedy was, however, deemphasized in later episodes. The humor of the show spoofs pop culture and uses extreme deadpan manner.

The series frequently made references to previous episodes of the series starting with the second season giving the show continuity. Some of the show's storylines ran independently, and sometimes led into further developments, similar to that of the popular series Friends (a series co-creator Wil Calhoun previously wrote for). As well as being similar to Grounded for Life due to flashbacks during the series.

Major changes

Between the first and second seasons of the series, What I Like About You made numerous changes. The show was somewhat notorious for its cast changes. Simon Rex (who played Val's ex-boyfriend Jeff Campbell) was written out of the series after the first season finale. He was written out as Val said that they shouldn't see each other anymore "until they can do it without 'doing it'" (referring to a sexual escapade they had although they had broken up months earlier, which Holly found out about).

2003-04 season

For the 2003-04 season, five cast members were in the series including two recurring characters from the first season. Three new characters were introduced for the second season. Vince (played by Nick Zano) became Holly's new love interest and later boyfriend, Tina Haven (played by Allison Munn), was Holly's new best friend, who was somewhat troubled in the relationship department, almost as much as Val and Peter (played by Stephen Dunham). Peter was Val's new boss until she and Lauren quit Harper & Diggs to start their own PR agency. He was also briefly Val's love interest. In addition, two recurring cast members from the first season, Leslie Grossman (who played Lauren, a co-worker of Val's and made numerous attempts to get Val to have more fun in her life) and Michael McMillian (who played Henry Gibson, Holly's boyfriend) became series regulars. Their additions to the cast turned the series from a core four-person ensemble to an eight-person ensemble. Dunham was soon written out of the show after having appeared in only six out of the first eight episodes.

Other changes made to the series were a new opening credit sequence, remixed theme song and music cuts. Holly and her friends' hangout changed again from Jeff's restaurant B-91 in the first season to the Liberty Diner in the second, only to be changed again to Val's new bakery Sugar Babies in the latter part of the third season. Holly and Tina were best friends. Val and Holly also moved out of their apartment and moved into a loft (larger than the apartment they lived in the first season and the first four episodes of the second season) so Val could have a larger office space for her PR business, which Lauren later destroyed.

2004-05 season

In the 2004-2005 season, Michael McMillian left the series only to write an episode later in the third season. Season 3 also added David de Lautour as a series regular (although he was never added to the opening credits) as Ben Sheffield, a musician from England who became Holly's new boyfriend, after she met him when she was in Europe.

2005-06 season

In the last season one recurring cast member Dan Cortese returned to the series as a regular character (although he, too, was never added to the opening credits) as Vic Meladeo, Val's former boss, who became a firefighter, dyed his hair, and got married to Val in Atlantic City while they both were drunk. Val was protesting the marriage, insisting that they "did everything backwards." Val wanted Vic to sign annulment papers. Vic said that he wanted to wait six months, and if Val didn't love him by then (which Vic said was very unlikely), he would then sign the annulment papers. At the end of the six months, Val decided she loved Vic and wanted to stay married to him. Val and Vic soon found out that they weren't legally married. Therefore, they decided to remarry. Their wedding is the Series Finale. There were rumors of a 5th season posted throughout various fan sites. However, in the end, the WB Television Network decided to cancel the series.

Season summaries

Season One (2002-2003)

Holly moves into her sister Val's apartment in New York where on her first couple of days there she manages to save the dog of a prospective client of Val's. Later, Holly misinterprets a comment by Val about feng shui and rearranges the furniture. Later Holly goes to Val's business party with her new client Tony Hawk as a special guest. There, Holly tries to ride Tony's skateboard and accidentally sends it off the roof. A boy gets it off of a balcony causing Holly to try to convince the boy to give it back. When Holly goes through the roof access ladder, she opens the door to the roof and accidentally causes Tony Hawk to lose control of his skateboard while performing skate tricks causing him to crash into the food. Holly thinks she's messed up bad and decides to move to Tokyo with her dad, but Val convinces Holly to stay.

Holly ends up scoring a job at Jeff's restaurant and ends up causing a mess of things even when Val and Gary come to help her out. Val and Holly come upon an old teddy bear the two cherished when they were kids and decide to give it to a little girl who ends up treating the bear less than a cherished toy and the two manage to rescue it at the girl's birthday party. Val tries to give Holly a bit more freedom and acts less like a mom and more like a "cool older sister" which backfires when Holly and Gary go to a party on Long Islandmarker and end up stranded in the middle of nowhere. Val then realizes that she can't give Holly total freedom but she'll lighten up a bit on her. Samantha, Holly's old friend comes to town and the two get along like they were never apart leaving Gary as the third wheel. Gary immediately dislikes Sam, but later Holly becomes the third wheel when she catches Gary and Samantha making out in an elevator. Holly finds out what kind of friend Samantha is when she tries to set up her and Holly with two guys in a rock band and plans to blow off Gary.

Holly thinks a guy named Jake Wood (Penn Badgley), at her job at a copy store, likes her, (she would not date him because if they ever married she would become Holly Wood!) and tries to straighten things out, but Jake tells her that he doesn't like her, and tells everyone in the store about her mistake, and so they come to the conclusion that she is conceited. Later on, Holly finds out that Jake is a player and thinks that 'she's not too bad', and Holly tries to find a way to prove to her fellow employees that it was Jake that had made the problem. She tries to set her camera to catch a photo of her and Jake kissing, but when she asks Gary to print out the photo in poster format, she makes a mistake and he prints out the wrong number (she wanted photo 10, but realized, too late, that she had made the mistake and had printed out a picture of herself). Gary clears up her mistake by paying another worker at the copy store to kiss a vacuum cleaner while it was on. Holly meets a college student named Evan, and in order to get together with the guy, switches her cell phone with his. She gets invited to a college party where Gary unwantedly invites himself and finds that Evan is a two-timer. Holly finds this out when she catches Evan and another girl making out in the shower. Holly gets locked in Evan's bathroom and accidentally splits her pants, but luckily Gary saves the day using a college student to break the door down and giving Holly his pants. When Jeff goes out of town, Val and Holly go on a girl's night out. There, a guy Holly has a crush on named Hunter makes a pass at Val and Holly ends up getting angry at Val. There Holly meets Henry, whom she and Val met during an argument in the men's bathroom. Val tries to set her sister up with Henry. Holly later realizes Hunter was a jerk and sticks up for Val when she meets Hunter's girlfriend who is trying to start a fight with Val for "macking" on Hunter.

Gary meets and falls for Jill, an assistant to a millionaire to whom Gary gave the Heimlich maneuver. On a date with Jill, (the "Bob the Builder on Ice" show) Gary tries to prevent saying stupid things by stuffing his face, a plan which ends up backfiring. Henry scores a "not-date" with Holly on Valentine's Day and both go on a double date with Gary and Jill. Holly sees Henry's sweet albeit unusual side during the date. The same night, Jeff and Val while stranded in traffic talk about their future in which Jeff doesn't want to get married because of his parents' own recent breakup. Valerie's one year relationship with boyfriend Jeff comes to an end after the two had a vacation in Vermontmarker. Holly convinces Val to vent and deal with her feelings after the breakup as Val is acting very unusual (even for herself). Holly also convinces Val to start dating again going out with Henry's doctor brother who has a stuffed animal collection. Val then (although she tries to deny it) falls for her new boss Vic. The two share a kiss but their relationship never materializes. After Val catches Henry and Holly about to make out in Holly's room, Val sees it as an opportunity to talk to Holly about sex and tell her that she should wait until she meets the right person. However, a one-time fling with Val's ex-boyfriend Jeff ends up making Val look like a hypocrite. Val decides it's best if she and Jeff don't see each other anymore.

Season Two (2003-2004)

Henry becomes a little jealous about Holly and her new bike messenger friend Vince. Holly tries to assure Henry there's nothing going on and accidentally says "I love you" to him. Holly later says that she doesn't love him yet but is on the way there. She says she lo-s him. Val becomes suspicious that Holly will fall for Vince's charms and she'll get hurt because Vince is a "playa." Holly ends up sleeping with Vince (literally) but even though nothing happened, Val still worries he'll hurt Holly. Valerie becomes attracted to and somewhat disgusted by her chauvinistic new boss Peter (Stephen Dunham, who plays Peter was dropped from the series after eight episodes). Back to Holly and Vince, later in the season Val accidentally says Holly has feelings for Vince in front of Henry. After that Henry breaks up with Holly and he tells Vince that Holly likes him, causing Holly to leave the apartment. Then when Holly's car won't start she has to wait for Tina, Val, and Lauren in Vince's apartment. Then Vince tells Henry that he wouldn't date Holly because Henry and him were friends. In the next few days Vince gets in an accident and when Holly visits him at the hospital. They share a romantic kiss, while Gary is sleeping on a chair in the room, and he sees everything. When Holly is on her way to Paris she is kissed by Henry and Vince. While Val is having her own romantic get-together with ex-boyfriend Rick, Holly is on the plane. Holly has her own surprise when Vince ends up on the plane with her.

Season Three (2004-2005)

When Holly comes back from her summer trip to Parismarker, Vince and Henry are shocked to find out she has a new boyfriend, Ben, a musician she met when she traveled to England. Henry, livid that Holly has moved on when he has waited for her all summer, says he never wants to see Holly again. Later on, before he goes off to attend Princeton Universitymarker, he wishes Holly luck with her and Ben and Holly assures him that she'll never have another first love. Holly also assures him that many girls will want to have sex with him. Val thinks she is pregnant and Rick decides to propose to her. When a pregnancy test reveals she isn't pregnant, Rick says he still wants to marry her and Val accepts. The preparation for Val's wedding has several pitfalls including the fact that her perfect wedding dress has already been sold; Miss Gittle, a senior citizen from Russiamarker, who had sewn her new wedding dress, died. Val's dream dress had been sold because all of Miss Gittle's clothes in her home had been sent to a shop. Also Holly learns that Rick and his ex-fiancee Julie had lunch together, when Rick said that he was going out of town. After finding out that Rick called Julie instead of the other way around, Val breaks off the wedding and while drunk makes out with the entertainment, Gavin DeGraw.

Holly gets a new job at a music company and when Holly takes Val to a lesbian bar, Val meets a woman who is in a similar situation as Val whereas Holly runs into her boss who ends up thinking Holly is a lesbian. Holly outs her boss by sitting on an intercom but nobody was shocked as most of her employees figured that already. Lauren accidentally lets Val's PR business run itself into the ground since Val's disastrous wedding. Val later decides to buy a bakery whose owner is moving to the Caribbean. Holly becomes a little jealous when Ben's new signing partner Amber wants to date Vince. On a double date with Holly and Ben, Vince tells Amber a story about his adventure with Holly in Paris. Holly later finds out that Vince won't be seeing Amber again because he's hung up on her. Holly accidentally says "I love you too, Vince" to Ben.

Ben breaks up with Holly because she is not over Vince. Holly later professes her feelings to Vince and he assures her that there are no more lies or other women. However, Tina later blurts out that she and Vince slept together the night before Val's wedding and her friendship with Tina gets ruined as well as her relationship with Vince. Holly and Tina later on through a plot set up by Gary and Lauren, make up. Holly tells Vince she wants to be friends again but Vince says he can't because he wants to be her boyfriend, and that he wants to be lying next to her. But later in the season after Holly tells Vince she still can't trust him he tells her that they can be friends until she is ready and can trust him. Rikki, an ex-girlfriend of Vince's reunites with him and Holly now wanting to get together with Vince throws a birthday party where her and Vince are to be the only ones there until he comes by with Rikki and Holly ends up inviting Tina and Gary, covers up a birthday cake saying "I love you, Vince" by sitting on it. Vince later accuses Holly of not knowing what she wants. Realizing he is right, Holly calls a radio station asking what to do about the entire situation. Vince, hearing this, assumes Holly will come over to talk to him about it but instead ends up going to Princeton to see Henry and ask him. Vince finding out about this with Gary's help decides to go to Princeton to attempt to confess his feelings to her again, but there is a misunderstanding that makes him think that Holly and Henry are together again (Henry says, "I love you, Holly" to his girlfriend of the same name). Holly, now knowing what she wants after talking with Henry, wants to tell Vince, but he is about to leave for the summer to Floridamarker. Holly later decides to confess her feelings to Vince when she stows away in his car but Rikki comes along on the trip as well. Val calls Rick after she learns he is about to marry Julie, and says she has to see him one last time, and they decide to meet in Atlantic Citymarker.

Season Four (2005-2006)

When Holly finally meets Vince in Florida, she confesses to Vince that she loves him and when she does he says "I'm sorry." Holly is disappointed thinking he said it to her when in fact Vince was talking to Rikki. Holly and Vince finally became a couple. Meanwhile Val has a dream that she marries her plumber Todd (Luke Perry) in Atlantic City. Val finds that she didn't get married to the plumber as it was all a dream but the reality was she got married to her old boss Vic. Val believes her marriage to Vic is a joke, and it can't last. Vic believes the complete opposite and tells Val if she isn't convinced in 6 months, he will sign the annulment papers. On Tina's birthday Tina, Holly, Vince, and Gary go to Vermont where Holly decides she's ready for Vince and her to have sex for the first time. But, Gary tells Vince that this is a big deal and Vince gets nervous. So Vince tells Holly that he has poison ivy. So during the night, Holly checks Vince everywhere to see if he was telling the truth, and he wasn't. So, she says something to him and he told her he was nervous. Val finally decides to ask Vic out on a date. Although they ended up having a good time, Vic finally agrees to sign the annulment papers. But Lauren "accidentally" drops champagne on the papers, knowing Val loves Vic and Vice Versa, so they must wait until after Thanksgiving for new papers.

During all of this time Holly and Vince are going strong, and when Gary and Tina joke about their 'love talk' behind their backs, the two end up kissing. Later when Tina confesses this to Holly, Holly becomes obsessed to make them a couple. Lauren has an online affair with her "poker buddy", whom she is surprised to find is married. Gary and Val advise her not to meet him because she will get hurt. Lauren does not listen, and agrees to meet him on Thanksgiving Day. On Thanksgiving, Holly makes a plan for Vic and Val to get together, but it backfires with Vic meeting his ex-girlfriend Bianca. Val tells Holly she has once again made her Thanksgiving miserable, although she later apologizes. While picking up pie, Holly, Tina, Vince, and Gary catch Lauren meeting her online poker buddy, Rick. On Thanksgiving, Val finally gets together with Vic. The next day, Vic is involved in a serious fire accident and unable to walk for a couple of months. While in his hospital bed, Val tells Vic she loves him. They later find out they are not legally married.

Val finds out about Lauren and Rick insists that he won't leave his wife for Lauren and Lauren finds that Val was right but still sees Rick anyway. While making love, Rick suffers a heart attack and Lauren confesses the truth that she was still seeing Rick even though he would not leave his wife. Val gets so angry she ends her friendship with Lauren but Lauren later arrives at the loft to let Val know how guilty she was for the whole thing although through the conversation Lauren makes a few jokes. The two become friends again. Vince finds out that Holly makes more money than him and gets a job as a real estate agent. Holly finds out that Vince's new boss is Robyn, an ex-girlfriend of his. Holly later finds out that Robyn wants to steal Vince from her and Holly tells Vince this but he doesn't believe her. The two go on a "thinking break" but later break up. Holly ends up feeling guilty for breaking up with Vince but later the two decide to become friends again. Holly later decides that since their relationship was so strong, they are incapable of being friends again for a while. Things get even more complicated when Holly finds that Vince got a job offer in Chicago. Vince later finds out that Holly was telling the truth after Robyn makes a pass at him and misunderstands when he says "[He] wants more" when he was talking about his job. Vince realizes Holly may not forgive him, through a role play with Gary, he decides to take the job and leave town.

Val and Vic end up deciding to get married legally. On the day before Vic and Val's wedding day, in the bakery, Val finds out that the Wedding Hall that had opened up at the last minute had a 'Star Wars' theme right before they left. Val, Lauren, Tina and Holly go to an exclusive day spa as a wedding shower. Holly has been avoiding Vince for 3 days now, because she doesn't want to say goodbye to him, but runs into him before they leave for the spa. Holly loses a bracelet Vince gave to her. Val tries to call Vic to tell him she's going to call off the wedding because of the Star Wars theme but Lauren convinces her not to and makes Val realize that she keeps looking for flaws in her relationships. Val takes Lauren's advice and tries to convince Holly to face her feelings about her and Vince's breakup. Just as the four are about to leave, a SWAT team puts the spa on lockdown because police are searching for two escaped convicts just hours before Vic and Val's wedding. Val and Holly later break out of the spa on horseback to go to the church but their horse trots off while the two are taking a picture. Holly and Val end up fighting but realize that they are going to miss each other now that Val and Vic are getting married. Lauren and Tina arrive just before Val and Holly, who arrive in the nick of time just before Vic tries to tell everyone in the hall to go home and Val and Vic get married. Val finds it is a traditional wedding and not the Star Wars wedding she didn't want. Gary gets emotional because he's losing one of his best friends in Vince. In the end Vince decides he can't picture his life without Holly and surprises her at the reception to make up with her with a passionate kiss initiated by Holly. Gary and Tina finally get together, no longer hiding their feelings.

Connections to other series

  • Jennie Garth's former Beverly Hills 90210 co-stars Luke Perry, Ian Ziering, and Jason Priestley have appeared on the show. Ziering appeared in season one's "Copy That"; Perry appeared in season three's "Dangerous Liaisons," "My Boyfriend's Back," and "Enough is Enough"; Priestly appeared in season four's "The Perfect Date" and "Halloween." Priestly mentioned that he thought that Val looked familiar and perhaps they went to high school together, was a friend of his sister, and that he was the editor of the school paper. All of this was true in the 90210 series, but obviously Val is an unrelated character. In one episode, Perry and Garth's characters flashed back to high school, where Perry's character spoke of his girlfriend, Brenda, who was away in Paris; Garth's character mentions that Brenda was her best friend, which was true on 90210.The Flash back also played a tune like the 90210 tune and Garth wore a dress that her character Kelly wore Season 1 "spring fling". Also during the high school scene, Perry says "Hi, Brandon," referencing to another character on 90210.
  • Chelsea Brummet, who played Samantha in season one's "Tankini," appeared on All That, where Amanda Bynes got her start. In fact, Bynes made a guest appearance on All That alongside Brummet in 2002.
  • From Leslie Grossman's former WB series, Popular, two of her co-stars appeared in season three. Tamara Mello appeared on "We'll Miss Gittle, A Little" playing Nikki, a girl who had an overbearing mother and was getting married to her fiance in Val's old wedding dress which they found in a thrift store. Bryce Johnson appeared in "Girls Gone Wild" playing a high school student, Chris.
  • Samm Levine, who plays with Amanda in the movie "Sydney White," appeared in the episode "Copy That" as Shelden, her co-worker who kisses various cleaning tools, but the movie was made a few years after the episode premiered.
  • Jennie Garth and Cameron Mathison both appeared on season 5 of Dancing With the Stars. Mathison appeared in one episode in season one as a date of Val. He played a doctor who was the older brother to Holly's boyfriend Henry. Val ditched him before the date when she discovered his bedroom full of stuffed animals.

Crossovers

  • Fran Drescher and Ryan McPartlin (of Living with Fran, a fellow WB Friday-night sitcom) guest-starred in an episode of What I Like About You. They played their characters from Living with Fran, Fran Reeves and Riley Martin, respectively.


Theme song and opening sequences

The series takes its title from the song of the same name, which was originally released on a hit record by The Romantics in 1980. A cover version of the song, performed by the Canadian all-female rock group Lillix, was used as the theme song for the show. Lillix's cover version of "What I Like About You" was also heard on the soundtrack of the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday and 13 Going on 30. The theme was remixed and turned into a techno/dance style theme for the second season by Philip Steir (who composed the music for remainder of the series including the music to signal commercial breaks).

The pilot episode had a short opening sequence and the cast members' names were only shown in the teaser. The sequence solely consisted of scenes of New York sights with an animation of the show's logo with the letters "i" and "o" enlarging, the word "what" sliding in from the left side of the screen, the word "like" fluctuating in size, the "ab" and "ut" in "about" sliding in from both sides of the screen and the letters in the word "you" sliding up from the bottom of the screen appearing to smack the rest of the title into place. This same animation was carried over to the season one opening titles.

The first season's opening sequence mixed home movies of three sets of two girls representing younger versions Holly and Val for six seconds in the beginning and two seconds near the end of the sequence, along with shots of Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth sticking their tongues out at the camera for four seconds near the beginning and two seconds near the end of the sequence and scenes from the first four episodes, all shown on rounded rectangles which for most of the sequence moved from right to left sliding in from the right side of the screen. Video headshots of each cast member with their names were shown every two to five clips. Newer episode scenes were inserted twice during the first season. First, in the episode "Valentine's Day" and again in the episode "The Fix-Up", which replaced nearly all of the clips from the first four episodes.

The opening title sequence used for the rest of the series featured the show's cast in front of digitally inserted scenes of New York at night. The sequence was modified twice. The first time the sequence was modified was in the episode "The Incredible Shrinking Group" when Stephen Dunham's video headshots were removed and the video of the cast after the show's title was replaced with video of Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth. Stephen Dunham's video headshot was replaced with video of the cast in front of the New York skyline. The second modification was in "The Longest Night of the Year" when all traces of Michael McMillian were removed from the sequence. Added footage was put in to replace the footage of McMillian. A yellow streak of light was added to the sequence as well.

Episodes

DVD Release

DVD Name Release Date Ep # Additional Information
The Complete First Season May 1 2007 22 Bonus features include a Gag Reel.


Due to the cost of music licensing, the theme music has been replaced on the show's first season DVD release.

Syndication

In 2006, the series aired as reruns in a new block on its home channel The WB (called "Daytime WB") alongside Reba. After The CW launched, the series aired on "Daytime CW" for a while. Currently, the show can be seen at 12:00p.m. to 1:00p.m. on ABC Family. On January 1, 2009, the series began airing on weeknights on The N in two-hour blocks, showing four episodes each night. What I Like About You aired on The N until its switch over to TeenNick, where it continues to air today. Currently as of September 7th, 2009, YTV (Canada) still airing What I Like About You at 9:30pm ET.

ABC Family and TeeNick now share exclusive rights to airing the series reruns and has imposed restrictions to not allow any broadcast television networks in the U.S. from purchasing the rights to air the reruns again.

Trivia

  • Executive producer and creator Dan Schneider has worked with Amanda Bynes in the past, on Nickelodeon's All That & The Amanda Show and on the film Big Fat Liar.
  • The episode "Dangerous Liaisons" featured actual footage of a stand-up comedy routine that Amanda Bynes did when she was about 10 years old.
  • For over half of the first season, Jennie Garth was pregnant. Most of her scenes only showed the top half of her or showed her sitting down, behind a couch, etc.
  • The opening theme song, performed by Lillix, was remixed for the Season 2 opening titles. The theme now lasts just under 40 seconds.
  • Stars Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth share a birthday. Jennie Garth was born April 3, 1972 and Amanda Bynes was born April 3, 1986.


References

  1. What I Like About You DVD news: 'What I Like About You' theme song has been changed for season 1 DVD set | TVShowsOnDVD.com


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