The entire premise of TLC’s latest reality series, “Abby & Brittany,” can be summed up in a phrase you’ll typically find in your favorite weekly celebrity magazines: They’re just like us! But instead of celebrities, the show profiles 22-year-old conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel as they graduate college and hunt for a job.
After watching the first two episodes of the show, it’s easy to see that despite their obviously unique situation, Abby and Brittany are smart, pretty, well-adjusted girls with a great group of girlfriends to boot.
“Abby & Brittany” is structured like your typical reality series, with each event punctuated by confessionals explaining what happened. The premiere was slightly different because it showed extended interviews with the gals’ friends talking about what lovely people they are in addition to the main storyline of the girls prepping for their 22nd birthday party. The second episode followed the girls on their spring break trip to Houston as they interviewed for teaching jobs.
Their bubbly personalities definitely came across, but what seemed to be missing from the positive presentation was any in-depth focus on the real struggles the girls endure being so different from everybody else — not in personality or intellect, but in the fact that most people spend their whole lives without meeting conjoined twins, and the reactions they get when they go out in public have to be varied.
“Abby & Brittany” did an excellent job establishing how normal the girls are, and honestly they seem like a blast to hang out with. They finish each other’s sentences (adorably) and they bicker and they eat ice cream and ride bikes.
But — and please feel free to weigh in if you felt differently — the show just seemed to be missing something. The girls’ friends kept talking about how brave and courageous they are, but we didn’t see any true struggles. Watching them try on clothes was fun, but frankly not all that interesting after the first three outfits — there’s a reason why so many movies turn those scenes into montages.
We get it — they live totally normal lives. So why are we watching them? We’ve got plenty of nice friends who we love hanging out with but wouldn’t want to watch on TV. After the initial introduction to the sisters and their unique situation, we just kept waiting for more. Are we too jaded? Do we watch too much shocking TV that we kept holding out for drama that wasn’t necessary?
Don’t get us wrong, we’re actually psyched to see how good people can be and what great girls the sisters have surrounded themselves with, but not focusing on anything negative seems to be a mistake. It’s not like they need to dedicate too much time to it, but a mention would be nice.
One thing’s for sure: Abby and Brittany seem great. But their show? Eh.
“Abby & Brittany” airs back-to-back half-hour episodes Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on TLC.