Liv and Maddie Reviewed: Haunt-a-Rooney (#3.04)
What is it? multi-cam kidcom, half-hour (24 minute) length
Where did it air? Disney Channel
Who stars in it? Dove Cameron (guest bit in Shameless, but this really is her first "breakout role"), Joey Bragg (ditto), Tenzig Norgay Trainor (ditto, also grandson to the guy who co-climbed Mount Everest for the first time, true story bro), Kali Rocha, Benjamin King, with Jessica Marie Garcia, Audrey Whitby and Jimmy Bellinger as significant guest star roles.
Why are we reviewing this? Because this was when I thought it was realistic to review every single damn show on the network, and sure I can do all of this frickin' Monstober crossover nonsense, no problem, and had to learn the hard way this takes hours of work per review because I didn't pay attention to when Christian and Sean were doing it.
Why is this ahead of the traditional opening quotation instead of behind it? Because it makes the most sense to keep it this way to preserve the original context. Trust me on it.
OMG LOLDEN LOLDEN LOLDEN RUCAS RUCAS RUCAS LOLDEN RUCAS LOLDEN RUCAS RUCAS OMG TESSIE TESSIE TESSIE RUCAS RUCAS RUCAS TESSIE RUCAS TESSIE RUCAS TESSIE TESSIE TESSIE RUCAS RUCAS RUCAS LOLDEN LOLDEN LOLDEN RUCAS TESSIE RUCAS LOLDEN RUCAS RUCAS GIRL MEETS TEXAS RUCAS TEXAS RUCAS TEXAS OMG JOGAN JOGAN JOGAN RUCAS RUCAS RUCAS TEXAS RUCAS GIRL MEETS TEXAS AUSALLY AUSALLY RUCAS RUCAS GIRL MEETS TEXAS RUCAS RUCAS RUCAS
God, can we stop it with the ship spamming?
This Monstober has been as much about shipping and A-B-C plots as it has been about the crossover gimmick and, you know, actual Halloween. Oddly enough Girl Meets World and I Didn't Do It are the least offenders despite normally being the biggest shipping feeders. But that's ok because they more than made up for it with promos for their next episodes which is all about OMG RUCAS RUCAS RUCAS JOGAN JOGAN JOGAN RUCAS RUCAS RUCAS GIRL MEETS TEXAS RUCAS RUCAS RUUUUUCAAAAASSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And just to be clear, I'm not talking about shipping in the shows themselves (though Lord knows I've seen that handled poorly in anime circles) but specifically the fan reaction to it. Jesus Christ I think the "core demo" of GMW just about collectively wet their pants when they ran the Meets Texas promos. But I think I'll save that for another rant. Long story short, I've been massively disappointed by the fandoms at large, especially the GMW fandom whic is so bad I think it's actually ruining the show. On that note I really need to do a review or so of a little something called Inuyasha while I'm at it. IN-U-YASHA! KA-GO-ME! IN-U-YA-SHA! KA-GO-ME! RUCAS RUCAS RUUUCAAAS!
Yeah I'll quit that joke it's even getting on my nerves. You get the point.
Anyway, Haunt-a-Rooney. Really, this show consistently proves why I think it's the best show on Disney Channel right now. It was laugh out loud hilarious and they not only handled the crossover pretty well (Hey! They actually acknowledged shows other than the ones directly involved in the crossover! Hey! Shelby and Cyd actually contributed to the plot!) but also the shipping aspect. See, most relationships in high school are what we in the real world call awkward. Girl Meets World kind of sort of gets into it but it tends to get drowned out with RUC...well, you know. It's pretty ballsy of LaM to completely torpedo not one but both of their major ships like this and make them stick, at least for now, especially given how shipping-obsessed the Disney Channel fandom at large is. Yeah, Liv and Holden and Maddie and Diggie will probably get back together. In fact I hope so! I like Lolden and Miggie! The show actually bothered to make me care about Lolden and Miggie instead of force feeding us RUC...you know.
Anyway, there are these two characters named Cyd and Shelby who are in this show called Best Friends Whenever and they actually met these characters named Liv and Holden where they did this thing called interaction. And Cyd and Shelby did this thing called they helped Liv and Holden out with a problem. And then Cyd, Shelby and Liv did something really amazing, called bringing attention to the fact that there are other shows involved in the crossover. Cyd and Shelby going nuts over Austin Moon just about won the night, even if we never even saw Austin Moon. It's kind of odd that for example Jessie never mentioned Austin Moon even though they sang a duet together or never ran into Liv even though they spent a Christmas as neighbors (again, unseen in that one for some reason). It's a nifty attention to detail thing and I think this show is pretty keen on those little details that other people may forget or even actively scoff at.
Then we have the A-plot (yes the Lolden/Cylby drama is really the B-plot) of Johnny Nimbus swearing revenge on Maddie and then dying. Haha, I wish all my enemies would just keel over every time they swore revenge against me. Of course it was part of a prank to scare Maddie, it's almost impossible not to know that coming in. It's one of those things that tends to get telegraphed a billion lightyears away no matter how you handled it - so you handle it by making it funny and enjoyable. Take notes here, other shows.
And then we have the C-plot which like on Jessie was barely there, just Mom Karen and Pops uh I forget his name learning that if you give out toothbrushes and tongue scrapers on Halloween, you're going to get a piss-poor yet well-deserved reputation, and their efforts to better that rep. It's been done to death on these shows, thank God it's got like 3 minutes of actual run-time.
Joey's costume fucking rules, BTW.
Of course, absolutely nothing of what I just said above will matter to the rest of the fandom.
Big thanks to Liv and Maddie creators John D. Beck and Ron Hart for playing along on Twitter.
Yeah, there's no way we can give the rest of the shows their own reviews and not be typing here until Wednesday and just keep crowding things, I say we just mash K.C. Undercover, Best Friends Whenever and I Didn't Do It into one review, especially since I Didn't Do It and K.C. Undercover were pretty damn bare anyway. What say you, Mike?