Friday, October 4, 2013

Long Due Reviews of Disney Channel Shows

I am SO SO SO SORRY about promising to write reviews of the Disney Channel shows and not following up.  One word: homework.  I promise, this is the post you've been waiting for.

Disney Channel shows have long been reputed to be "family friendly," "funny," and many kids' favorite shows.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone say, Oh, I like watching Good Luck, Charlie, or something equally similar.

But as we watch the kids around us behave sometimes inappropriately, we wonder: are these shows really that impressive?  Or is are they just a motley of weak potty humor and sass-mouthed children?

So, in this post, I'll be listing the pros and cons of Disney Channel shows.  Parts about Disney Channel shows that I do like, and parts about Disney Channel shows that I don't like.  And, at the end, I will include a little description of some Disney Channel shows and my thoughts on them.  All in all, this will probably be a very satisfying post :)  Yay!

Pros of Disney Channel Shows:
-Language-wise, it's pretty decent.  People don't say "crap," or other common "ugh" words, and the language on the shows is actually not very reminiscient of the things kids say today.

-Some parts are funny.  Okay, so it sounds very scripted (maybe it's because it is scripted).  But some parts can actually come across as fairly humorous, and maybe every ten minutes I do a kind of teh chuckle, or maybe a weak ha-ha.  

-There's usually a lesson at the end.  Of course, it's probably blatantly obvious, but still, it's something.  For example, many lessons of different episodes border on being yourself and not caring what others think.  Yeah, that's a true one.  Of course, there will naturally be a few bad apples in the bunch, but for the most part, the lessons are good ones (although they're often redundant and repetitive).

Cons of Disney Channel Shows:
-The kids are many, many, many, many, many times disrespectful and rude, especially to adults.  It's atrocious.  Likewise, the adults are portrayed as incompetent bumbling fools who don't know what they're doing.  The kids (especially Luke in Jessie, Gabe in Good Luck Charlie, and all those troublemakers) are sassed-up arrogant fools, but they seem to have reason to as the adults in the shows are many times dumb.  Of course, it's so stereotypical that nobody can take it seriously, but even the most exaggerated shows rub off on people.

-Stereotypes.  There's always a nerdy person, a vain person, a levelheaded person, a dumb person, and a troublemaker, and a twirl-minded fiddlesticky adult.  For example:

in A.N.T. Farm, 

Olive is the nerdy person
Lexi is the vain person
Chyna is the levelheaded person
There is no real troublemaker, because all of them get into trouble at one point or another
Cameron/Fletcher are the dimwitted/dumb people
The twirl-minded fiddlesticky adult is Principal Skinner, and pretty much the other adults in the series

in Good Luck Charlie, 
There is no real nerdy person in Good Luck Charlie
There is no real vain person in Good Luck Charlie
Teddy is the levelheaded person
Gabe/Charlie are the troublemakers
PJ is the dimwitted/dumb person
The twirl-minded fiddlesticky adults are the parents

I find that the whole "stereotype" thing going on is mostly in A.N.T. Farm.

-Formulaic.  Like I said before, they have a bunch of stereotypes that I think that Disney feels like makes a "good show."  The plots of the stories seem so old to me--big families of four/five children for plenty of sibling rivalries (Good Luck Charlie, Liv and Maddie, Jessie), everybody seems to want to act/sing/dance (Shake It Up, Good Luck Charlie, Liv and Maddie, Jessie, Austin & Ally, A.N.T. Farm).  Sure, the shows are funny, but sometimes they get redundant.  Repetitive.

Disney shows?  They're heartwarming, funny, feel-good.  Stereotypical, formulaic, kids-know-best.  It depends on which factors play out for you the most.  For me, even though I watch them, I have to be careful.  If the kids' sassiness gets into my life, they might be influencing me too much.  And sometimes I want to envision life as a Disney show: where a right-on-cue audience laughs when I say something typically funny, where everything works out in the end, kids triumph over dimwitted adults, and life goes on.  Nope, that's not how it works.  Life is going to be full of disappointment.  Adults are actually smarter than kids are.  Some things that you say might be funny to a studio audience, but not to the people you make fun of.  So in the end, Disney shows are cool, they're nice to watch, but they aren't very real.  Life isn't a Disney show, and that's the truth.

Here I'm providing a little insight on the plots to different real-life Disney Channel shows.

A.N.T. Farm
Starring China Anne McClain, A.N.T. Farm is about a group of gifted sixth graders who jump into high school early as part of an advanced program.

My thoughts: Like I said, A.N.T. Farm is stereotypical.  Sure, the titles of the episodes are impressive (all with the acronym ANT in it), but the episodes I've watched haven't impressed me much.

Austin & Ally
Starring Ross Lynch and Laura Marano, Austin & Ally is about a singing duo pursuing separate careers and helping each other out along the way. 

My thoughts: I actually like this show a lot.  It's heartwarming, and although there's some dating and stuff in it, there's a lot of great stuff about friendship and whatnot in it.  Besides, Dez is awesome.  He's my favorite Disney Channel character BY FAR.

Austin & ally tv series logo.png

Liv and Maddie
Starring Dove Cameron as both Liv and Maddie, Liv and Maddie is about a pair of polar-opposite twins who struggle to support each other as sisters/friends.

My thoughts: I only saw the pilot, but it wasn't very good.  It seemed exactly like every other show, and it honestly wasn't very funny (let me tell you one thing: they put all the good parts in the trailer and left the stinky parts out).  You know how the little kid is always supposed to be the comic relief (see Shake It Up)?  Uh-huh, no, this kid's no Flynn.
Liv and Maddie Logo.png

Good Luck Charlie
Starring Bridgit Mendler, Good Luck Charlie is about a family of six-seven going through life as a regular hardworking family.

My thoughts: This is a good show also.  I really enjoy it.  Even though the parents annoy me, I think it's a great example (though not necessarily portrayal) of family.

Good Luck Charlie logo.svg

Starring Debby Ryan, Jessie is about a nineteen-year-old working as nanny for four rich rambunctious charges.  

My thoughts: It's a pretty cool show, although watch out whenever Luke opens his mouth.  He especially enjoys sassing Bertram, the plump bald butler.

Jessie logo
Shake It Up
Starring Zendaya and Bella Thorne, Shake It Up is about two girls trying to make it big through their dance moves by dancing on a TV show.

My thoughts: I love the dry humor of Rocky, and CeCe is pretty hilarious too.  This is one of the funniest shows on Disney Channel.  Oh, and Flynn?  Really funny, too, and smart for a little kid.  

Shake it up logo.png

Overall, Disney Channel shows.  Not completely great, but not completely trashy, either.  But what I'm really wondering about is a marketable Christian TV show.  I mean, I think there's something called iShine.  But honestly, why not a Christian TV show?  Something like Disney Channel--wonderfully relatable, comedic, yet simple and unique and Christian at the same time.  And it doesn't even have to be a TV show.  Why not do it like Dude Perfect--post it on YouTube?

It's just a thought, but when there are things like Pretty Little Liars on TV, we need something other than, say, TBN on there.  

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