Half & Half is a sitcom that aired on UPN from 2002-2006. The series focused around Mona (Rachel True) and DeeDee (Essence Atkins), a pair of paternal half-sisters that couldn't be more different that reconnect as adults and navigate through their growing relationship. Also as part of the main cast was Phyllis (Mona's mother played by Telma Hopkins), Deirdre aka Big DeeDee (DeeDee's mother played by Valarie Pettiford), Spencer (Mona's sometimes-Love Interest played by Chico Benymon) and Adam (Mona's Camp Gay assistant played by Alec Mapa).
The series was scheduled to continue on The CW, but unfortunately was left off of the launch schedule. The series ended after 4 seasons.
Shares a universe with Living Single, as Erika Alexander and Terrence C. Carson reprised their roles as Maxine Shaw and Kyle Barker respectively in season three's "The Big Performance Anxiety Episode".
In 2020, the series was added to Netflix.
Not to be confused with the manga.
The Big Learning the Tropes Episode:
- Affectionate Nickname: Big DeeDee calls Mona pretty much almost anything but her name.Mona: "I've been every variation of cookie, candy, insect and squash known to man. But never Mona."Big DeeDee: "Hmm. I wasn't aware of that, butternut."
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Phyllis and Big DeeDee to Mona and DeeDee, respectively. The latter for her brash, narcissistic and overdramatic behavior and attitude, and the former for her unnecessary willingness to blab to anyone about humiliating moments in her daughter's life.
- And Starring: Telma Hopkins as Phyllis.
- Awful Wedded Life: Phyllis' marriage to Charles was wrought with fights, financial struggles, and difficulty raising Mona. All this led to their divorce and Charles' leaving them while Mona was young and his marrying Big DeeDee and raising DeeDee years later.
- Aww Look They Really Do Love Each Other: As much as sibling rivalry and family drama keeps putting them at odds with each other, Mona and DeeDee always manage to find a way to move past it and show their love, respect, and appreciation for one another.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Adam is known for usually doing anything but work at the Delicious Records reception desk, but when he notices something that could personally benefit him or sees a music or industry exec whom he is attracted to in the office, he'll act like he's doing nothing else.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Spencer is usually really dimwitted away from work, but is very talented and committed on the job.
- But Not Too Black: It's actually inverted and subverted. Darker skinned Mona is the hard worker with a 9-to-5 and hardly ever gets a handout from Charles. Her maternal grandmother is white and Jewish. DeeDee, on the other hand, is light-skinned, spoiled rotten by Charles and Big DeeDee, doesn't take a regular job until Charles finally cuts her off late into the series, and as far as we know, 100% black.
- Butt-Monkey: Mona with a damn bullet.
- DeeDee becomes one later on.
- Camp Gay: Adam.
- DeeDee: "Oh, Mona."
- Spencer: "Nice. Real nice."
- Big DeeDee: "The time: <insert date here>. The place: <insert place here>."
- Phyllis: "You know what I told you? I'll tell you what I told you! I told you <insert what she told here>"
- The Cast Show Off: Broadway dancer and choreographer Valerie Pettiford gets to display her skills in several episodes due to Big DeeDee's history and ongoing journey as an actress. Telma Hopkins, who worked with Motown and the group Tony Orlando and Dawn during the 1970s as a prominent background vocalist, also showcases her singing talent as Phyllis in several episodes, including in the Mother's Day episodes, in which she throws herself into a duet with Big DeeDee.
- Crappy Birthday Episode: Mona has four, all of which have something bad and/or embarrassing happen to her.
- In the first (aptly and literally titled "The Big Crappy Birthday Episode" from season one), Mona reveals that at her 6th birthday party, thanks to Phyllis and Big DeeDee fighting to take credit in bringing it to her, her birthday cake fell onto her lap. This would happen again, beat for beat, later in the episode at her 25th birthday party.
- In "The Big Birth-Quake Episode" (season two), Mona and the rest of the main cast deal with a major earthquake. At least she would get closer with Big DeeDee and a new car.
- In "The Big Birth-Date Episode" (season three), Mona gets set up with a hot date from DeeDee that turns out to be married. (Meanwhile, Mona also sets DeeDee up on a date literally minutes after he first appears, and unsurprisingly, he is perfect for her.)
- In "The Big Frozen Assets Episode" (season four), Mona wants to have a birthday party again, but later regrets it when Phyllis gifts her a savings account...to freeze her biological eggs... in front of all her guests.
- Comically Missing the Point: Spencer tends not to focus on the more important things from time to time.
- Continuity Nod: The series has such an usually high amount for a half-hour sitcom that you'd have to watch every episode to recognize references to moments (both major and minor) from previous episodes.
- Deadpan Snarker: Everybody gets in their moments. Tina is the biggest offender, spending each of her appearances verbally obliterating the main group at her restaurant.
- Depraved Homosexual: Adam is a non-villainous example. He'll make unwanted and highly inappropriate eye, verbal or even physical contact toward any handsome man - gay or straight - who crosses his path, whether they want it or not - and most of them don't. He was even sent to a sexual harassment seminar... not that that's stopped him.
- The Ditz: Spencer.Spencer: "By the way, how long is permanent?"
- Dumb Is Good: Again, Spencer. He's a really nice guy. He's also really stupid.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Mona is the more level-headed responsible sibling, as opposed to DeeDee who was spoiled and shallow.
- Formerly Fat: Spencer.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Adam. While the rest of the main cast enjoys hanging out with him, he would also exploit them or sell out their private information to curry favor with their boss or advance his own (failing) showbiz career without a second thought whenever the moment arises to their neverending chagrin.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: The show's central theme between the two half-sisters centers on them regularly getting into this before making up by the end of the episode.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each and every episode (including the pilot) features the form "The Big [X] Episode", with the [X] being something (sometimes a pun) based on a popular TV show, movie, song or phrase that correlates with a certain episode's plot.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes / Rummage Sale Reject: Mona's wardrobe (in stark contrast to DeeDee's... and pretty much everyone else's) is a few years (or even decades) out of style.
- And then there's... whatever the hell Adam wears.
- It's All About Me: Big DeeDee. No matter what scene she's in, she'll do her damnest to bring herself or her past experiences into any conversation, or make any event about her, even if she isn't the guest of honor.
- I Want Grandkids: Phyllis. She desperately makes it known to Mona that she wants her daughter to have a child damn near frequently, even though she's highly aware of Mona's complicated love life and very successful (and busy) executive career at Delicious Records. And she won't put it past any man Mona is dating or even meeting for the first time either.
- Lady Drunk: Big DeeDee.DeeDee: "Have you been drinking again?"Big DeeDee: "That would imply that I stopped."
- Lazy Bum: Adam should be lucky Delicious Records never fired him for all the inaction he puts in at the company reception desk.Spencer: "Adam, I need to talk to Mona in private. Can you go to your desk?Adam: "Fine. But there's nothing to do there!"
- My Beloved Smother: Both Phyllis and Big DeeDee tend to be highly overbearing to Mona and DeeDee respectively, although Big DeeDee subverts it by being somewhat indifferent to DeeDee's concerns in lieu of her own at times. Phyllis, on the other hand, is constantly in Mona's ear about finding a man and/or giving her some grandkids, and telling anyone around them any embarrassing moments in Mona's private life.
- Rich Bitch: Big DeeDee, to Charles' eternal chagrin, and DeeDee and Phyllis' annoyance.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Again, Big DeeDee. While she has little to zero interest in almost anything involving the other characters, she has all the time in the world for Charles' wallet.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: You can probably count the number of episodes where this doesn't occur between Phyllis and Big DeeDee (that they're both in) on one hand, if any such episodes exist at all. Mona and DeeDee regularly get into it as well due to The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry.
- Trophy Wife: Big DeeDee
- Too Much Information: Phyllis tends to give this a lot in regards to the most embarrassing moments of Mona's life to anyone they know or even don't know, to her daughter's annoyance and frustration. Most parents would keep stuff like that to themselves.
- World of Snark: Every other character (main and recurring) has a brutal one-liner for one another.