Friday, December 16, 2016

Mike's Quest, Part 2 ("Cali Christmas-A-Rooney")

It's the same show, but it's in California! And we'll keep reminding you that it is until your ears bleed! In the citayyyyyyyyyy of L.A................

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen. This is part two of Mike's Quest. I'm like that guy......that Spanish guy who fought the windmills. I don't know, Don Quixote or something. Anyway, I made a goal to review one episode of every current live-action sitcom on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel by the end of 2016. Some shows will be alright, and some shows will be terrible. But maybe, just maybe, one show will be good at least. My hopes aren't high, but I'm sticking to my promise. Hopefully, I have no idea if I can do this in time at this point. Just a few things to clarify:

1. Shows that I have already reviewed (Henry Danger, Girl Meets World) are off the table.

2. Despite Bella and the Bulldogs ending in June, I decided to make this one exception and review it anyway. It deserves the attention.

Part 1: The Thundermans

http://nickanddisneyreviewed.blogspot.com/2016/10/mikes-quest-part-1-thundermans-secret.html

Okay, let's do this. 

I really know how a lot of reviewers feel now when they have work that can't get done. I promised to do a lot of reviews this month since it's Christmas and I wanted to get in the spirit with a bunch of holiday stuff, good and bad. But the week I said that, I came down with a bad toothache and nearly lost my ability to do anything productive. That has to be the worst pain I have ever experienced in my entire life. I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. I just recently had an extraction to get rid of a baby tooth that suffered from dead nerves. Plus, I have some other dental work to get done but at least now, I'm on the first step to having the teeth I always wanted. It might take a while, but I'm ready to do what I have to do to get my health in order.

Anyway, what I went through set me back for a while and the only thing I really did was work on my show. Even that's taking longer than I anticipated, so in the meantime, it's time to make up for all those lost days. And what better way to start than with killing two birds with one stone: Continue the Quest, and review a Christmas episode.

That brings me to today's topic: Liv & Maddie. No, you're not reading this wrong. This is definitely a Mike review of Liv & Maddie. This is something that has been way overdue. At this point, I shouldn't even need to review this show but.....things happen. Besides, in less than a year, the show is going to end so why not do it now? I came into this show with fresh eyes because I have never watched an episode before this one. Yes, I know a majority of the characters and have a general idea of what the show is about. I also have seen my fair share of commercials. But before today, I had never seen an entire episode. As in, more than two minutes. And from what I gathered over the past year or so, this is apparently Disney Channel's best show. Apparently. So what did I think about this one?

Well, before we get into that, why don't I start us off with the plot? Maddie is homesick because this is the family's first Christmas in California, and it's absolutely nothing like the ones she experienced in Wisconsin. So Liv decides to put together a Wisconsin-style Christmas for her. Meanwhile, Joey takes part in a Santa contest to get the opportunity to hand out gifts to children, and Parker decides to give Ruby her very first snow day.

Honestly, this was a really good episode. At first, I wasn't impressed. The first act moved really slowly and there weren't a whole lot of jokes, just stuff happening. In my head, I was asking myself, "This is the best.....of the best....of the best, of the best, of the best.......that this network has to offer?" But when the Santa contest started, that's when everything kicked into high gear. The episode started firing off some more funny jokes, the plot started moving quicker, and I was entertained the rest of the way. There really weren't any dull moments after that. I know Unknown is a Liv & Maddie fan (and hopes that season four of Girl Meets World never happens) so maybe he can give some insight as to how stories work on this show. Do most episodes have this slow pace, or do they often come out with energy?

I wasn't really impressed with Liv or Maddie too much here. I'm not sure if it's because they need someone to play off of other than each other (which is why Liv's scenes with Diggie were pretty funny) or because they just didn't have much material to work with here. Neither of them stood out much. I will give it up to Dove Cameron for convincing me that Liv and Maddie are played by twins. The way she's able to create two characters with distinct personalities and have them work without coming off as tacky is not easy to pull off in the slightest. But she's doing a real good job separating them from each other. Of course, writing plays a big part in that, but with a show like this, the acting can make or break something like that. Fortunately, Dove makes the characters who they are.

It was Joey who really stole the show for me. I'm not sure who the most popular character is on this show, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was him. He got a lot of good lines and even though he has that nerdy character, it feels like he embraces it and takes comfort in who he is. One of my favorite parts in the episode is near the end when he believes that he's saved Christmas for everyone, and Liv replies by saying he almost ruined everything. His response? "Exactly. Almost." I was really expecting this episode to be uninteresting, but the second and third acts really pulled their weight and made it worth watching. I don't dislike any of the characters (at least not yet) and I felt like the plot was executed.......in a simple way. It was really easy to follow. I don't know if it's because these stories are hard to do or because the writing of Girl Meets World makes it really complicated, but it's refreshing to watch an episode where I didn't even have to think about that.

You know what? I think it is Girl Meets World. The fact that I would dread GMW tackling this story and I literally didn't think about how this plot would turn out says it all. I wouldn't mind watching more L&M episodes, especially the really good ones that gave the show its identity. I heard season one was garbage, but I'm curious to know how good this show really is. Too bad this is the last season, but at least it had a good run.

Episode Grade: B
Episode MVP: Joey Bragg. Enough said. Parker wasn't bad either, but Joey ran away with this one.

EXTRA THOUGHTS
-Okay, I have to ask........why the California thing? I mean, I know why they're in California after doing some research, but why do you have to promote it? Why do you think new viewers will be interested in the show because it's based in California? Is the style of the show different now in terms of storytelling and characterization? Are the jokes more in your face instead of subtle like before, or vice versa? I'm curious, I want to figure this out. Cali-style? Really? I don't know, it comes off as real corny to me. Besides, we all know what happened to the last Disney Channel show that constantly reminded you it was in California. I think the Jonas Brothers were in it, something like that.

-Joey's logic makes perfect sense: He loves handing out toys to kids, because then they're forced to like you.

-I like the theme song. It has a nice tone to it and Dove Cameron is a really good singer. I can see why she was hired now.

-The cutaways that this show uses are nice too. It helps give it a distinct identity away from other shows on the network. I mean, if you're going to have a show, you might as well have that one thing to separate it from others like it.

-In this episode alone, they make three jokes about Parker and Joey destroying the house last season. I didn't laugh at any of them. In fact, the first joke was what led me to do more research in the first place. Is this a running gag? Because this is the sixth episode of the season, and I'm not going to watch the previous five and see these characters constantly remind us of what happened. Makes me feel like I'm watching Fuller House or something.

-I was kinda surprised when I saw Diggie because he's apparently an idiot, and considering Maddie's personality, I would think he was smarter or had some kind of special skill. I don't know, this is the only episode I've ever seen. His scenes with Liv were pretty funny like I mentioned before. Like when he told Liv he wasn't going to say "Surprise!" despite his instinct and the awkwardness of that conversation in general. Or when he was in the box and Liv told him not to move ("I can't move, I'm in a box!").

-It was hilarious when Joey was in the Santa contest and you saw this old guy who barely even tried to give it a shot. Just when it seemed like it was a lock for Joey to win, here comes his enemy Todd Stetson doing the sexy Santa look and pulling it off because everyone was enjoying his shirtless dancing. That sounded wrong, just watch the episode.

-Joey says that he wants to show everyone what Christmas is all about. So, with no irony or awareness of the situation, he steals everything Christmas-related from his own house, including Diggie. The part where he is humming "Deck the Halls" while trying to get the Christmas tree out of the house, then his joyful humming turning into annoyed grunting as he struggles to get the tree through the door, was absolutely hilarious and my favorite part of the episode. Then he continues to hum it while Diggie is on the phone with Liv, scared and confused.

-Parker sounds a lot older than he looks. What did puberty do to him? The weird thing is he doesn't look any different from how he did in season one.

-"Why did you do this for me in the mall?" "That was Joey's fault." "Ugh, he is the worst." *Liv nods in approval* The best part is that Maddie didn't know Joey was Santa. But part of me feels like she would have said that anyway.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Look Back: Actor MVP Tally

Well, it's the end of the year, and the one year anniversary/100th post of this blog was back in September where I vaguely promised we'd run down some stats through this blog but said I'd prefer to do it at the end of the year - and, um, here we are. So let's run down some stats!

I've given more thought to what I said in the last post - about ripping off Christian and Sean over at Girl Meets World Reviewed (but hey, that's what we do literally every day) and doing a best character rundown, except in our case it would be from all over the history of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, and I wouldn't be adversed to venturing a little outside as long as it's aimed at a similar demo (like, we don't need to run down the entire history of Cartoon Network all the way to Master Shake - whom, let's face it, would be #1 for the entire character battle anyway). But I think we need another twist - and really open it up to the readers - that's you (all five of you) to help us pick and choose and run through the rankings here. I think I'll also reserve the rights for Mike and myself to do some arbitrary rearranging (which should be easy because, again, there's only like five of you) but at least I don't foresee why we should deviate from the reader-generated list or suggestions too much.

And speaking of doing a character rundown, let's run down some Episode/Series MVP stats! This should be, umm...interesting to say the least since we're not above awarding MVP status to inanimate objects, actors who didn't even appear in the episode or to the audience at large for tolerating some pretty awful shit. My stats will be in Red and Mike's stats will be in Green, but I'll be compiling the raw data. Of course, Mike will be chiming in with his thoughts as well (hopefully). Series MVP will be counted separately from individual episode MVP awards. Since we'll hopefully have some more reviews up before the end of the year, we'll also go back and update this list accordingly.

Also I sure as hell hope this formatting works.

Unknown

Actor                             # of MVP awards               Series

Randy J. Goodman                 1                              Best Friends Whenever (S1E5)
G. Hannelius                           2                              Dog With a Blog (S3E24; Series MVP)
Meagan Good's                       1                             Minority Report (S1E1; tied with
Redclouds Shirt                                                      Unknown)
Debby Ryan                            5                              Jessie (S1E1; S1E25, tied with
                                                                              Karan Brar and Skai Jackson; Series MVP;
                                                                              S4E20, Nickelodeon's Ho-Ho-Holidays
                                                                               Special*)
Atticus Mitchell                       1                               My Babysitter's a Vampire: The Movie
Chris Gayla                            1                                Jessie (S4E17)
Ben Savage                           1                                Girl Meets World (Girl Meets Cory
                                                                                 and Topanga; tied with Danielle Fischel)
Danielle Fischel                     1                                 Girl Meets World (See above; tied with
                                                                                   Ben Savage)
"The actors playing the              1                            Henry Danger (S2E4)
board members, and also
the actors playing the little
kids on the basketball team"
Benjamin Flores                         1                            Game Shakers (S1E5)
Landry Bender                         1                              BFW (S1E9; tied with Rowan Blanchard)
Rowan Blanchard                  3                                BFW (S1E9; tied with Landry Bender); 
                                                                                GMW (Meets Texas II, tied with Sabrina
                                                                                Carpenter; Meets Jexica, tied with Rider
                                                                                Strong** and Shiloh Strong**)

Piper Curda                            3                               I Didn't Do It (S2E18; series MVP); Austin
                                                                                 & Ally (S4E15*)
Veronica Dunne                    1                                 K.C. Undercover (S1E23; tied with                                                                                            Zendaya)
Zendaya                                1                                 K.C. Undercover (see above; tied with
                                                                                 Veronica Dunne)
Karan Brar                             2                                Invisible Sister DCOM; Jessie (S1E25,
                                                                                tied with Debby Ryan and Skai Jackson)
Cameron Boyce                    1                                Jessie (S4E19)
Sabrina Carpenter                4                                GMW (Meets Texas II, tied with Rowan
                                                                               Blanchard; Meets Texas III; Meets STEM;
                                                                               Series MVP)
Jay Leno                               1                               Last Man Standing (S5E5, yes he actually
                                                                               did appear in this episode)
Ken Jeong                            2                               Dr. Ken (S1E4; Series MVP)
Lucas Adams                       1                                Liv and Maddie (S3E5, tied with...the
                                                                              cowbell gif from SNL? Wow I really do
                                                                              hand these things out freely. Well, what-
                                                                              ever I guess....)
The Cowbell Gif from            1                               Liv and Maddie (S3E5, tied with Lucas
SNL                                                                        Adams)
Audrey Whitby                       1                              LaM (S3E6)
Peyton List                             2                             Bunk'd (S1E5, tied with...worms and
                                                                               Random Samosa? Ok this is much
                                                                               even for me), The Swap DCOM
worms used for bait               1                              Bunk'd (S1E5, tied with Random Samosa
                                                                              and Peyton List)
Random Samosa                   1                              Bunk'd (S1E5, tied with worms and Peyton
                                                                              List - and keep in mind this isn't some
                                                                              actor's name this is literally a samosa)
Maya Le Clark                       1                             Nickelodeon Ho-Ho-Holidays Special
                                                                             (tied with Dove Cameron*, Sofia Carson*,
                                                                              Demi Lovato*, Debby Ryan*)
Dove Cameron                      2                             Nickelodeon's Ho-Ho-Holidays Special*                                                                                   (tied with Maya Le Clark, Sofia Carson*,
                                                                             Demi Lovato*, Debby Ryan*), Liv and
                                                                            Maddie (S4E2, tied with Tenzig Norgay
                                                                            Trainor)
Sofia Carson                          2                            Nickelodeon's Ho-Ho-Holidays Special*
                                                                            (tied with Maya Le Clark, Dove Cameron*,
                                                                            Demi Lovato*, Debby Ryan*), Adventures
                                                                            in Babysitting DCOM
Demi Lovato                           1                           Nickelodeon's Ho-Ho-Holidays Special*
                                                                            (tied with Maya Le Clark, Dove Cameron*,
                                                                            Sofia Carson*, Debby Ryan*)
Raini Rodriguez                       2                         Austin & Ally (S4E19; Series MVP, tied with
                                                                           Laura Marano, Calum Worthy and Ross
                                                                           Lynch)
Laura Marano                         2                          Austin & Ally (S4E20; Series MVP, tied with
                                                                           Raini Rodriguez, Calum Worthy and Ross
                                                                           Lynch)
Calum Worthy                        1                          Austin & Ally (Series MVP, tied with Laura
                                                                          Marano, Raini Rodriguez and Ross Lynch)
Ross Lynch                            1                          Austin & Ally (Series MVP, tied with Laura
                                                                          Marano, Raini Rodriguez and Calum Worthy)
Corey Fogelmanis                  1                          GMW (Meets Money)
Kayla Morrisonet                    1                        Stuck in the Middle (S1E1)
Alex Hirsh & Crew                  1                        Gravity Falls (Series MVP)
"The two little kids                   1                         GMW (Meets the Bay Window)
who played little kid
Riley and Maya,
and also the two adults
who played adult Riley
and Maya"
Kelli Berglund                        1                         Lab Rats Elite Force (S1E1)
Sarah Carpenter                    1                        GMW (Meets Legacy)
"Mike from CAR*BROS"         1                        The Mysteries of Laura (S2E15*)
"Roman from Regular Car       1                       The Mysteries of Laura (S2E16*)
Reviews"
Unknown (yes as in me, the      2                     Minority Report (S1E1*, tied with
guy writing this)                                                Meagan Good's Redclouds shirt); 
                                                                         Undateable (S3E13*, tied with the
                                                                        entire audience as a whole)
The entire audience as a          2                     Undateable (S3E13*, tied with Unknown),
whole                                                               Crowded (S1E1/2*, tied with Francesca 
                                                                         Capaldi* and John Oliver*)
Francesca Capaldi                    1                    Crowded (S1E1/2*, tied with John Oliver*
                                                                        and the entire audience as a whole*)
John Oliver                                1                    Crowded (S1E1/2*, tied with Francesca
                                                                        Capaldi* and the entire audience as a whole*)
John Stamos                              1                   Grandfathered (S1E15)
Juliette Angelo                           1                   Criminal Minds Beyond Borders (S1E9, tied
                                                                        with Jenna C. Johnson and Troian Bellisario*)
Jenna C. Johnson                      1                  Criminal Minds Beyond Borders (S1E9, tied
                                                                        with Juliette Angelo and Troian Bellisario*)
Troian Bellisario                         1                   Criminal Minds Beyond Borders (S1E9*, tied
                                                                        with Juliette Angelo and Jenna C. Johnson)
Ariana Grande                            1                  Radio Disney Music Awards 2016
"The two girls thought-               1                  GMW (Meets High School Part 1)
lessly door-slammed
by Riley and Maya"
Peyton Meyer                             1                  GMW (Meets High School Part 2, tied with
                                                                       Amir Toombs)
Amir Toombs                               1                 GMW (Meets High School Part 2, tied with
                                                                       Peyton Meyer)
Rider Strong                                1                 GMW (Meets Jexica**, tied with Rowan 
                                                                       Blanchard and Shiloh Strong**)
Shiloh Strong                               1                GMW (Meets Jexica***, tied with Rowan
                                                                       Blanchard and Rider Strong**)
"The pretty-ish stunt                     1                Danger and Thunder crossover special
lady whose entire career
is probably light stuntwork
in kidcoms at this point"
William Daniels                             1               GMW (Meets Gravity)
Tenzig Norgay Trainor                  2               LaM (S4E1; S4E2, tied with Dove Cameron)
Sandrine Holt                                1              MacGyver '16 (S1E1)
Kimberly Woods                            1               Barbie: Star Light Adventure Movie (tied with
                                                                       Ben Bledsoe)
Ben Bledsoe                                 1              Barbie: Star Light Adventure Movie (tied with
                                                                     Kimberly Woods
Megan Schull                                1             The Swap (author of original book)
"a really nice redhead                  1              Lost in the West Part 1
the camera panned over
once"
Fallon Smythe                               1             Lost in the West Part 2
Hannah Vandenbygaart                1             Make it Pop! Summer Splash Special
Jade Pettyjohn                              1             School of Rock (Series MVP, tied with Breanna
                                                                     Yde)
Breanna Yde                                 1            School of Rock (Series MVP, tied with Jade
                                                                    Pettyjohn)
Kel Mitchell                                    1           Game Shakers (Series MVP)
Jake Paul                                       1          Bizaardvark (Series MVP)

* actor did not actually appear in this episode but got Episode MVP anyway because why not
** director/production crew member only for that episode/series

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Massive Review Compilation and Catch-up of things I (Unknown) missed!

So yeah, like I mentioned in the last review post (which, as of when I'm writing this, was like five minutes ago) I'm going to just plop a whole bunch of stuff down in here that I've missed throughout the year so far for various reasons. I'll try to make it relatively comprehensive but if there's something I missed, let me know! Format will still be the same as always - opening quote, review body, Episode Grade, Episode MVP, but the review body will be condensed into a paragraph-ish thing and merged with Extra Thoughts. 

UPDATE: I just went by Girl Meets World Reviewed and saw their Best Character feature...so what say you guys? Think we should rip them off and do a best character feature too? We'll probably do all-around Nick/Disney Channel as opposed to specific shows, and leave a comment telling us if we should bother and who you want to see on our list.

So let's get started with whatever happens to pop into my mind first:

Lost in the West

Insert some stupid idiotic "Hoof Hearted" joke in here, which is one of the few things I remember about this pathetic excuse for whatever it is.

Yeah, seriously, wtf? I'm pretty sure I could write a better script as I'm sitting here at Starbucks. I'm really not sure what the thought process going into this is but for one of the very few specials Nick has done that's bothered to be over an hour, this wasn't just a misfire, this was outright piss-awful down to the juvenile-even-for-Nickelodeon-especially-in-2016 jokes.

Episode Grade: D-, into the trash it goes.
Episode MVP: Part 1 - there was like a really nice redhead the camera panned over towards the beginning of the "Old West" part; Part 2 - Fallon Smythe I guess? Part 3 - yeah ain't happenin'.

Make it Pop! Summer Special Yeah Whatever

I don't remember enough to bring up a quote, yeah maybe this is a bad idea, not like this sorry excuse for a "summer special whatever" deserves one

So there's this super-uptight girl (and I do mean girl, she's like 17) running this resort her parents own or something, and she's the designated bad guy because uptight, and there's zero motivation going around other than for plot reasons, and JoJo Siwa shows up.

Episode Grade: D-, I sense a trend here, Nickelodeon. Especially since I really like Make it Pop! and was expecting a solid episode and instead I got...whatever the fuck this sorry paint-by-vague-symbols-because-we-haven't-learned-numbers-yet excuse of whatever is. The weakest episode of Make it Pop! so far, by far, and really they shouldn't have bothered in the first place.
Episode MVP: Hannah Vande...vanderpaulblarrt...something. The poor girl who gets to be in the episode just to have the episode shit on her.

School of Rock S1 recap

Yeah, this show sucks. Season 1 was...just...so...goddamn...stupid. Random motivations and hijinks that makes Austin & Ally S2/3 look like friggin' Drake & Josh, an apparent air of writing quality that can best be described as "loosely lucid day thoughts" and characters defined solely by having a major case of Designated Hero Syndrome. S2 showed some promise with the episode with Daya in it but then the Halloween special came and...no, no, fuck this shit. You guys wanna work so hard to save Girl Meets World? Here's a better idea, start a campaign to cancel School of Rock.

Series Grade, S1: A big fat gigantic F. There you go, Nick, you broke the combo. How this thing got a second season or God Forbid even a third season is fucking beyond me. This isn't just the worst new series on Nick for the '15-16 season, it's the worst show since Bucket and Skinner. Yes, it's worse than Sam & Cat. Yes, it's worse than Game Shakers. It's worse than Marvin, Marvin. 
S1 Series MVP: Give credit where credit is due, this is a tie between Jade Pettyjohn and Brienna Yde. They have the legitimate talent to carry this piece of shit through especially in the rare times the show works (I've literally seen it only once, the aforementioned episode with Daya), too bad it still sucks even with.

Game Shakers S1 recap

Snore, moving on.

Series Grade, S1: D-. Yeah, again, there's a trend forming 
S1 Series MVP: At least this is an easy one, his name starts with "K" and ends with "Kenan! Aw, Kenan!?! Aw man, here we go!"

Bizaardvark S1 recap

Another largely mediocre series that's had some bright spots (we'll review the Halloween episode separately) but yeah, 2016-2017 is going to be the year when the KidCom just keels over and dies, it seems.

Series Grade, S1: D+. Hooray it's at least better than the new Nick shows. 
S1 Series MVP: Jake Paul, because why not. I'm tempted to name what's his name, the Bernie Shotz kid.

...I think that pretty much covers it. We'l look at Legends of the Hidden Temple, Albert, and select episodes of Girl Meets World (mostly the ones Mike was already nice enough to cover) in their own reviews.

Liv and Maddie Reviewed: Linda and Heather-a-Rooney (S4E1)

Kiss kiss! Miss miss!

What is it? Half-hour multi-cam sitcom...inside a half-hour multi-cam sitcom. Wow Sonny With a Chance flashback!
Where did it air? You'll have to check local listings for your next airing of Linda & Heather. Also, Disney Channel.
Who stars in it? Well Linda and Heather obviously. Also special guest stars Dove Cameron, Joey Bragg, Tenzig Norgay-Trainor, Kali Rocha and Jessica Marie Garcia. Some people might say Shelby Wulfert and Emily Buckner but they obviously just can't seem to read "Linda and Heather" for some reason.
Why are we reviewing this?


Because Linda and Heather now, and Linda and Heather FOREVER! 
Together!
Image from the Liv and Maddie fan wikia, BTW.


So I heard that a lot of people are bitchin' and moanin' about S4 of Liv and Maddie so far and I have to say...I'm like, whuuuaaaa? 

Seriously guys, I know I'm one to talk since sometimes I feel like the best thing Girl Meets World can do to immediately improve its quality is to immediately end its existence (and sometimes I make it known on this very blog in my infamous semi-lucid moments) but you do realize it's still the same show, right? So ok, let's look at Ruby. *Looks at Ruby* yup, she's a typical pre-teen girl all right. So people have problems with her but I seriously don't know what. She seems fine to me, in fact I think she actually has a decent amount to contribute to the show, especially since as the show went on longer Liv and Maddie started sharing less and less screentime together (I guess that split-screen technique is more taxing then they anticipated). And at least for her age she's not a bad actress (in fact come to think of it, a lot of people feel the same about Parker, and screw you Parker's like one of my favorite characters!) As for the California relocation...eh. It really doesn't feel like it's making much of a difference either way.

But onwards to the actual episode. The last time we reviewed Liv and Maddie: Cali Style!, it was...oh, crap, all the way back in September. Um, ooops. In that review I talked about my love for Kathy Kan-a-Rooney, the episode that first introduced Linda and Heather, and shared the broad outline for a fanscript I had submitted to Ron and John (thanks SPARF-a-Rooney for giving us that obvious-yet-I-still-didn't-catch-it ship name!) about Parker and Joey meeting Linda and Heather in person (recap: in my script, Parker and Joey would be trying to bring a broken-up Linda and Heather duo, played by Bridgit Mendler and Debby Ryan, back together - while the A-plot was Kathy Kan [Piper Curda] and Fangs [Laura Marano] joining Liv for a day at Ridgewood High. Yeah it was a pretty star-studded script as far as Disney Channel's concerned). Obviously it didn't take, but I'm still very satisfied with what we got.

How Linda and Heather get involved with the actual episode regards Liv's agent getting her a gig directly on Linda and Heather in an attempt to reboot Liv's career after the sudden "I quit" fiasco with Voltage. Immediately cue Parker being interested (he in fact leaps over the entire kitchen begging Liv to take the spot). It's, uh, pretty straightforward from there.

Meanwhile Maddie is all butthurt about Ruby getting a participation trophy in basketball and wants to teach her a lesson about losing so, yeah, naturally Ruby utterly owns Maddie at everything they try to do together. It's actually a nice parallel and light callback to Kathy Kan-a-Rooney since the B-plot of that one was about Maddie being hyper-competitive against Joey after Joey accidentally won a game of H-O-R-S-E to the point where she has to trick victory back from him. So, yeah, spoiler alert Maddie pretty much does the exact same thing to Ruby, but at least not before, again, utter ownage.

And then we get to the C-plot...which revolves around Joey and Willow breaking up over yeah one of those misunderstandings that they do in these types of multi-cam sitcoms all the time. You know, remember in Austin & Ally when Dez and Carrie broke up because they didn't understand they were talking about the dinner and not the date? Yeah. Well Ron and John pulled that off too, and with two characters who are needless to say way more intelligent than Dez or Carrie. But then they realize that their relationship got in a rut (what doesn't help is Joey recreating their very first date over and over again, the munch) and that maybe its best if they give each other some breathing room for a while. Yeah, I think Ron and John may be backtracking here (or maybe they weren't solidly sold on the possibility of S4 when they wrote that episode).

Liv's guest starring role, and the future of Linda and Heather, is put in jeopardy when the title stars threaten to quit after a row, so Liv's agent ropes in Parker (of course he's all too happy to) and put together a fake show to trick Linda and Heather coming back together. Yeah, duh, it works, and it impresses the network heads so much it scores Liv a reprise as Stephanie Einstein on Sing it LOUuuuuuDdeeeeeRRRRReeeerrrRRRRRREeeeRRRRRRRRRRRR-ah!!!!!!!!!!one

For me, it's a pretty basic Liv and Maddie episode, but as a huge fan I can't exactly complain. After all, I'm a fan for a reason - it's a pretty solid overall callback to events referred to in previous episodes, from the title guest characters to Maddie's way-overhyper-competitiveness to events way late in S3. And, hey, it was entertaining which is really all you need from a show like this (screw everybody wanting Girl Meets World to be a combination of DeGrassi-lite with half the taste and all the filler combined with a Reagan-era after school special). 

Episode Grade: A-, though that might be a lot of fan bias showing through. Maybe realistically a B? But whatever, my blog, my grade, so it's an A-. 
Episode MVP:  You get only one guess, but I'll give you a hint: Her name starts with "D" and ends with "Chloe Hosterman." Also, Tenzig Norgay Trainor because Spongey convinced me so, and he needs more MVP love.

Final Thoughts:

 - Yeah, you'll have to Google "Chloe Hosterman," just don't Google it too hard. You'll see what I mean.

 - In the actual version of Linda and Heather-a-Rooney, Linda and Heather are played by Emily Bruckner and Sherri Wertfing or something like that. I probably got both those names mixed around. They may not be Bridgit or Debby but they make a lot of sense since they've always provided the voices for Linda and Heather ever since Day 1 when Kathy Kan-a-Rooney first aired. You might vaguely recognize the names despite the mangling because they're also Chloe Dove's bodydoubles during shots requiring both Liv and Maddie on-screen.

 - It took a lot of effort to not just make the entire Linda and Heather theme song the opening quote.

 - so it's here instead!

Pink pink pink!
Girls girls girls!
Glitter glitter glitter!
Twirls twirls twirls!
Together! Forever!
Its Linda! And Heather!
Best friends!

 - and yes, that was entirely recalled from memory, although it's not exactly a hard theme song to memorize and recall.

 - So yeah, we've had a bit of a schedule slip. I'm not really keen on making a dedicated blog post just to it, so it goes in here: like Mike said, holidays. But wait, the last post your lazy ass made was all the way back in September and October! Um...Halloween is a holiday too.

- Seriously though, I've been doing a lot of prep for a major career change. It might mean less time to blog...it might mean more time to blog. Hopefully around the new year and January and February I'll have time to actually, you know, blog.

 - And with that you'll get one big-ass compilation post where I try to catch up on a lot of things.

Why we're not reviewing Ducktales (until January) and we have a new contest!

So first off, yeah, we're not reviewing Ducktales. Until January. There's a very specific reason why. It's because Disney Chan...