Best Friends Whenever Reviewed: "A Time to Rob and Slam" (#1.05)
What is it? Multi-cam Disney kidcom, half-hour (24 minute) length
Where did it air? Disney Channel
Who stars in it? Landry Bender and Lauren Taylor (whom you might remember from Netflix's Richie Rich, one of the worst shows in literal all of history, I mean it) as the two main female leads, with Gus Camp and Ricky Garcia (the latter who actually sings the theme song) rounding out the important billed cast
Why are we reviewing this? Because it's a Disney Channel series and this blog is called Nick and Disney Channel Reviewed
Pretty straightforward, but there's a twist - according to their gossiping chem teacher, Rob's an asshole because back in middle school some "cold-hearted Felicia" shot him down - which if you're savvy about this type of show naturally turns out to be Shelby. They go back in time to try to fix it and Shelby becomes Rob's girlfriend - with the second twist being that Rob's still an asshole, maybe even a bigger one. So yeah, the entire episode ends up being a big Mulligan on the A-plot as Cyd and Shelby push the giant reset button on everything.
As I said the humor is going to be concentrated on the slapstick and over-the-top back-and-forth between Shelby and Rob. The arguably more intriguing part of the episode is the B-plot, involving Cyd and Shelby's male friends Barry (the obligatory nerdy,socially-awkward super-genius) and Naldo (the obligatory clueless guy). They're setting up a film club and watching a movie called Spark Dynamo: Space Cowboy, a movie so utterly awful "it simultaneously started and ended the space western craze of January 1993." Naturally, Naldo thinks it's quite literally the greatest movie of all time. Barry wants to insist that's objectively awful, culminating with Barry hiring the actor to tell Naldo his own movie is bad (in exchange for helping him crowdfund his new movie, Crabnormal Activity - "it's about crabs who ain't actin' right") and Naldo being completely oblivious to his arguments. Barry finally gives up and shows his appreciation for Naldo's appreciation by recreating the space cantina (more generic 90s syndicated sci-fi than any real Star Wars riff) in the school lunchroom. Meanwhile, Spark Dynamo's actor is left speechless by how much the movie rips off Shakespeare and The Wizard of Oz - because as everyone knows the most straight line towards a successful space western is a mashup of Dorothy meeting Shylock.
Again, it's just fluffy entertainment, and eh, it works. It's pretty emblematic of the more base yet more successful efforts from Disney Channel - it's so over-the-top it succeeds on raw effort. The B-plot with Spark Dynamo is rather charming too, and hey I'm enough of a sentimental mush to buy into the message that nobody can dictate what you like "objectively" and you're free to like whatever sappy, low-value crap you happen to like.
Like, say, children's shows in Disney Channel.
Episode MVP: I'm tempted to give it to Brenden Meyer ("The Rob") but I think I'm going to give it to Randy J. Goodwin (Vance Carroway/Spark Dynamo). You have the right to remain spacedust! Plus Cyd, Shelby, Barry and Naldo have the rest of the series to earn MVP.