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TUNED IN

Bouncy 'Braceface' Flashes a Smile

June 02, 2001|STEVEN LINAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two new comedies for kids and the return of an old favorite that's strictly for adults highlight this weekend's schedule.

"Braceface" (9 a.m. today, Fox Family) is likable, candy-colored animation about a perky, popular blond (voiced by Alicia Silverstone, who doubles as executive producer) grappling with the pitfalls of adolescence.

Odd things happen to bright, bare-midriffed student Sharon Spitz after she gets braces one afternoon. Strange stuff like pulling in her older brother's phone conversation or breaking the camera on picture day at school.

No logical explanation is given for this unusual occurrence, but that will come in future episodes focusing on typical teen issues such as dates, dances, bullies and sports. If today's bouncy debut is any indication, Sharon's friends and foes will be an enjoyable bunch that kids can follow on Saturday mornings.

Unfortunately, there's nothing remotely enjoyable about "So Little Time" (noon, Fox Family), a drab, live-action sitcom aimed at teens and tweens.

Appearing in their third series, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen play twin sisters with little in common other than recently separated parents (Clare Carey and Eric Lutes) and an exasperated housekeeper (Taylor Negron).

Charm and humor are nonexistent in this posh Malibu household, where Lutes' mopey, dopey father constantly hangs around in spite of that recent separation.

Our advice: Don't give this one the "Time" of day.

Moving on to Sunday, we suggest tucking in the tykes before turning to "Sex and the City," which opens a fourth saucy season with back-to-back episodes starting at 9 p.m. on HBO.

The first finds a distressed Carrie turning 35, conservative Charlotte speculating on soul mates and predatory Samantha lusting after an unattainable priest (Costas Mandylor).

"She wants him, but she can't have him," notes Carrie. "It's all very 'Thorn Birds.' "

In the second show, Carrie reluctantly participates in a fashion show organized by a trendy, profane producer (Margaret Cho). Meanwhile, Miranda meets a guy at the gym and Samantha poses for nude photos.

Written by executive producer Michael Patrick King, the so-so episodes hit the heartstrings much harder than the funny bone, but fans may savor them just the same.

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