Last week we covered a selection of Nick shows, this week we’re moving on to Disney. There’s a lot to choose from, especially in the Bad category. They seem to be making a lot of new shows these days, and sometimes it seems like they are going for quantity over quality.
Phineas and Ferb
My love for Phineas and Ferb is well documented. It is one of those rare shows that manages to please both children and adults equally and with ease. I love the Fletcher-Flynn family, and all their cohorts, but it is Perry the Platypus and Dr. Doofinschmirtz that really make my day. They remind me of watching Get Smart when I was young.
So, for the uninitiated, Phineas and Ferb are step-brothers who build amazing things, like roller coasters or working rocket ships, in an attempt to make every day of summer vacation the best day ever. Their pet, Perry the Platypus, leads a double life, sneaking off every day to become Agent P and battle with the ineffectual Dr. Doofinschmirtz who is intent on conquering the “entire tri-state area!!!” My favorite of his evil plans was the Ball Gowninator. He planned to put dresses on all the men in the tri-state area so that he would be the manliest man around – you know, by comparison.
Wizards of Waverly Place
Last week someone mentioned in the comments that they flip by Wizards as fast as they can. It may not be for everybody, but I like it. It’s kind of like a weird mash-up of Harry Potter and Bewitched. It stars three teenage wizards-in-training who have to hide their powers from the non-magical world. It is very much a classic sit-com, the words “hijinks” and “antics” come to mind, but I like classic sit-coms. It is definitely better now that the young actors are older, but even the older episodes are watchable. Part of this may be because the dad is played by David DeLuise and I have had a weakness for the DeLuise brothers since 21 Jump Street. It’s not perfect, but I will confidently call it Good.
The Suite Life of Zack and Cody/The Suite Life on Deck
Like Wizards, this show got better as the kids got older, but it’s still pretty bad. It stars twin actors Cole and Dylan Sprouse as Zack and Cody, first causing trouble while living in a hotel, then causing trouble on a cruise ship/boarding school. Cody is the smart one, Zack is the playboy slacker. One of my friends refuses to let her kids watch it because of the character London Tipton. London is rich, spoiled, and stupid and her daddy owns the hotel and the cruise ship. In my friend’s words: “No one that stupid should be allowed on a kids’ show.” It doesn’t bother me quite as much because the clueless rich person is a comedy archetype, but it disappoints me a little. Especially because I’ve seen Brenda Song, who plays London, in a few other things and she is a fairly good actor. I hope she doesn’t get pigeonholed as an airhead.
My biggest problem with the show is constant overacting. It gets painful at times. In it’s favor, the adults on the show, Phil Lewis and Erin Cardillo, are truly funny. They make their somewhat stereotyped roles enjoyable to watch. And, because my daughter loves Zack and Cody and I’ve watched it about a million times, I got attached to the characters enough that I teared up a little while watching the recent series finale.
Pair of Kings
This show reminds me of Joey. They have nothing in common plot-wise, but just like Joey was something for Matt LeBlanc to do after Friends, Pair of Kings seems like something for Mitchell Musso to do after Hannah Montana. Two brothers from the big city learn that they are the rightful kings of a small tropical island nation. Like Big Time Rush, all I really remember about the episodes I’ve watched is running and shouting. And a cranky fish puppet.
Shake it Up
Shake it Up is about two young teen girls who get to be backup dancers on their favorite dance show “Shake it Up Chicago.” Think Girls Just Want to Have Fun or Hairspray without the talent. The girls they got to play the leads are good dancers, but it’s obvious that the casting director was looking for cute girls who could dance, rather than actors who could learn to dance. I feel like I’m being mean to young people, and that makes me feel like a cranky old bitch. It’s probably not their fault that the show is so bad, and there’s every possibility that it will get better as they mature. Until then, I will be watching Phineas and Ferb.
Jury’s Still Out
Good Luck Charlie is a fairly new show on the Disney channel. I was surprised to see that we were half-way through season two, I thought there had only been about 10 episodes total, not 37. It seems they blend together a little in my mind. So far it’s not bad, but it hasn’t done much to distinguish itself yet. It’s entirely possible that it is a horrible show, but I have been blinded to its flaws by the awesome cuteness of baby Charlie.