Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nikki Cox

Married with Children was a hugely popular show during its ten year run (1987-1997), and spawned an unbelievably shameless rip off in 1995, Unhappily Ever After (which ended in 1999). Each character from Married With Children is copied exactly, even the dog (who appears in the latter show as deranged puppet bunny; the dog’s thoughts, often voiced on Married with Children, become Bobcat Goldthwait's talking bunny). Nikki Cox was hired to play the analogue to the Christina Applegate role, the unbelievably sexy older sister (the twist being that Nikki Cox's character was very smart where Kelly Bundy was very dumb).

Nikki Cox is now on the show Las Vegas, but between Unhappily Ever After and Las Vegas she had a short-lived sitcom called Nikki (2000-2002). It’s a predictably terrible show, at the same quality level as Christina Applegate’s post Married with Children sitcom Jesse (1998-2000). But Nikki Cox has an odd quality one imagines escaped the producers of Unhappily Ever After, and could not be properly directed on Nikki (though at least they tried). Nikki Cox a beautiful actress, but a Mary Tyler Moore quality interferes with her obvious sexuality. You can see a good mix of pictures of her here (compare the picture in the upper left to the one in the lower left of the page). Someone like Jessica Simpson is more alluring for being so wholesome, it's part of her appeal. But with Nikki Cox something has gone off the rails and you can see, in the sitcom Nikki, a battle between sexuality and the ghost of Mary Tyler Moore. Like a good Freudian slip, miscasting can reveal a lot about the inner workings of a show, its creators, and the actress in the odd position of having to navigate between two very different kinds of signals.

6 comments:

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Geoff Klock said...

Those deleted posts were spam.

ping33 said...

"a Mary Tyler Moore quality interferes with her obvious sexuality."
But MTM was a uber-babe until about the 2nd season of her eponymous show.
Also who's to say that self-conscious goofiness isn't sexy?
On "Las Vagas" Cox is cast more in the mode that you are talking about, the duller girl-next-door who's obvious hotness can't hold a candle to Vanessa Marcil's total package and isn't supposed to hold a candle to (the banal beauty of) Molly Sims.

On the topic of beautiful actresses cast against type, I see that the most recent Amadovar movie Volver comes out in America this week. If you are a fan of his earlier work or the writing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez you should make a point of checking it out. It's a really fun and playful piece which subverts some classic Magical-Reality cliches. It stars the somewhat controversial Penélope Cruz who both me and my wife think is gorgeous but many people seem to hate... not sure if it's due to Tom Cruise or the fact that the character she played in Open Your Eyes/Vanilla Sky was so unlikable.

ping33 said...

also, weird side-note: In ep 3 or 4 of Heroes the Casino which Hiro and Ando get thrown out of is the same one from Las Vegas.
Heroes has been injecting more of these subtle comic-book things. My wife noted that on this week's ep there is a scene shot through a screen door which has circular looking holes in it and so the characters speaking look like they were printed using the old four-colour method.