It is a measure of 12-year-old Gaby Hoffmann’s skill that Someone Like Me, a standard-issue sitcom, is as brisk and funny as it is. The shrewd scene-stealer from Sleepless in Seattle plays Gaby Stepjak, a St. Louis 11-year-old living with her mom (Room for Two’s Patricia Heaton), stepdad (Anthony Tyler Quinn), older sister (Nikki Cox), and younger half-brother (Joseph Tello). The dialogue is chock-full of hip-kid references — from cool-rock-band-of-the-moment Nine Inch Nails to those ponytail-holding ”scrunchies” — planted to convince young viewers that Gaby is indeed someone like them.
But what’s more impressive about the show is that it really revs up the usual sitcom pace. Hoffmann serenely snaps out her lines at a breathless clip, and the effect can be exhilarating. She’s especially good in rapid-fire exchanges with Cox, who is terrific as a self-absorbed brat. Someone Like Me is a sort of apotheosis of the wiseacre-kid show, a genre I usually find detestable. This one, however, is too well done not to admire. B
Someone Like Me