Last week, I took the week off because of the heat.  However that did not mean that there wasn’t some cool entertainment on TV provided by Disney Channel.  In fact, 2 cool shows to be exact.

 

Last weekend started with the premiere of “Teen Beach Movie”.  First off I want to say that this movie actually didn’t suck unlike much of the kinds of movies that both Disney and Nickelodeon have been known for lately.  In fact, I would put this movie in the same sort of category as Disney’s last big movie “High School Musical”.  In fact, I actually enjoyed this one much better than that.

 

On its premiere last Friday night, the film was dedicated to Annette Funicello for her work on beach movies of the past.  Unfortunately, subsequent airings didn’t have this dedication.  This really makes me think that this was a half-hearted dedication.  If you don’t know who she is, go ask your parents or grandparents.  Chances are that they still may have a dusty copy of “Beach Blanket Bingo” lying around somewhere to pop into the VCR.  After watching that, it is easily understood where this movie was coming from. This may be the movie’s biggest strengths and possibly its biggest weakness.  Certainly the Geritol generation will get this movie idea, but the youngsters may be a little confused.  Somebody like me this movie is almost a perfect fit.

 

The main idea behind this movie is that 2 teens go surfing and wind up in some strange wave landing on a beach that seems to be a place where everybody lives on a beach spending their day singing and just hanging around the beach.  The characters on this beach seem to be trapped in a movie life.  Add to this a mad scientist who seems to want to harm the beachgoers and you get a fun movie.  I really didn’t understand the mad scientist plotline, but apparently they needed some sort of plotline.

 

This movie is full of fun songs and dance numbers, which actually were rather enjoyable.  The only downside to this movie was one scene which featured a green screen background of waves behind the main characters.  I am dropping my final score by a ½ point because of this.

 

While Friday night premiered the standard version of the movie, Saturday morning featured a “live chat” edition and Sunday night featured a “Sing Along” edition.  Next Saturday night is scheduled to feature “Learn the Dance Moves” edition.  If most of these sound familiar, these were mostly done with the HSM movies as well.

 

Do I recommend this movie?  Most definitely especially for the parents.

 

Friday night also saw the premiere of the new series “Liv & Maddie”.  This show focuses on 2 teen girls, Liv (a former Hollywood star who just ended a 4 year TV series run) and her twin sister Maddie (a basketball player with her own odd personality).  When Liv comes back home, Maddie seems to live in the shadow of her twin.  Breaking out of her shadow for Maddie seems to be what this show is all about.

 

When I first saw the preview for this show, I thought “real twins” just like the Sprouse twins were on the show “Suite Life of Zack and Cody”.  Surprise!  This show is played by one girl (Dove Cameron) and she actually pulls it off really well.  The scenes between the twins are well-integrated making it seem like this is really 2 girls when it is really one.  While this concept has been overused over the years, it seems to get better with each show and this one it is really convincing.  I still think this is portrayed by 2 actresses, but nowhere does it point in that direction.  It is really that good.  I have high hopes that this show continues the high of this preview episode as compared to the type of junk released by Nickelodeon recently.

 

Summary:

 

“Teen Beach Movie” – A great movie with a 1960’s theme.  This is highly enjoyable by both parents and kids alike.  I see a strong possibility of a sequel or 2 in the future.   The movie is currently running on Disney Channel and is also available on DVD.

 

My Score:  8.5

 

“Liv & Maddie” — Twins reunited with cute premiere episode.  This show is highly promising given that a single actress is playing both of the twins.  Preview episode airing now with series premiere in mid-September..

 

My Score:  9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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