EW Online tells you how it scores

By Craig Seymour
Updated February 14, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST
Courtesy MTV Networks


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What’s MTV’s highest rated Monday through Friday show among 12- to 34-year-olds? Sorry Backstreet fans, it’s not that daily dose of Carson Daly on ”TRL,” but rather the steamy late-night sex-fest ”Undressed,” which starts its second season — aptly enough — on Valentine’s Day (11:00 p.m.).

As fans know, each 30 minute episode of ”Undressed” consists of three separate vignettes, dealing with teens and twentysomethings (i.e., MTV’s demo) in a romantic relationship or sexual situation. Unlike a typical soap, there’s no back story and very little setup.

That said, here’s what you need to know to prepare for the show’s second-season premiere:

The Formula According to MTV’s head of original programming, John Miller, is ”fast-paced… not too heavy-handed… conflict in every scene… tongue-in-cheek.”

Setting ”Any town, any dorm, any apartment,” says Miller. Or at least any town, dorm, or apartment where people get inexplicably handcuffed to beds or receive oral-sex lessons using an assortment of fruit.

Cast A no-name bunch of WB network look-alikes who you needn’t grow attached to — the characters generally last for only one plotline, which runs from three to five episodes. Still, some are used more than others, like the first season’s dueling blond good girl/bad girl sisters. ”We spun a bunch of other story lines from those two,” acknowledges Miller.

Sample Dialogue ”It was your unit that got us into this mess”

First Season Stats 30 episodes; 103 speaking parts; 23 story lines; 9 sets.

Second Season Premiere Stats Number of times a girl takes off her shirt: 4.5; number of times a guy wears women’s clothing: 2; number of times a guy grabs his package and you hear (and almost see) said guy relieving himself: 1

Who Knew? That this light-hearted romp is exec produced by Roland Joffé, the Oscar-nominated director of ”The Killing Fields.”

The Queer Quotient The first season — which featured an ”intervention” where some gay friends confront a similarly inclined pal about his stash of straight porn — earned an Outstanding TV Drama nomination from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. GLAAD’s Entertainment Media Director, Scott Seomin, says the show deserved the nod for its refreshingly different take on gay life, ”We don’t see a teen struggling to come out [as on most shows] — it’s already been done.”

Sister Act 2: Never one to buck a ratings-grabbing trend, MTV introduces a new set of sisters in the premiere: twins, one straight, one lesbian. They trade identities to take a statistics test but soon find themselves on dates with the others’ partner. Let the switch-hitting begin!

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