Hello, Spongey here.
It didn’t take long to follow up on my promise, eh? Yep, I said I’d do some TV reviews, and here I am. This time we’re going back to the Wonderful world of Disney Channel.
A while ago, I started a retrospective on Disney Sitcoms. ..Yeah, I’m not finishing it. My work got eaten up and a bunch of crap came up that prevented me from wanting to do it. I bet you all wanted me to go into the deep complexities of Dog with a Blog, but it’s not gonna happen.
Don’t worry, I will do a little something with Disney Sitcoms but that’s going to remain a secret for now. In the meantime, a few of my upcoming TV reviews are of some of my least favorite Disney Sitcom episodes. Won’t that be fun?
First up, we have an episode from Shake It Up. Without going into too much detail (because I promise I will get to it some other time), this one is a tad low on the Disney Sitcom Totem Pole for me.
It’s still a Guilty Pleasure one but it had its share of issues. This one is about two girls named Rocky (Zendya), and Cece (Bella Thorne) who land a spot on this dance show and hilarity ensues.
It mostly fell into some of the traps of stuff like Hannah Montana with the mean humor and stuff like that. It’s still alright but I’m more Apathetic to it than some others. It’s mostly notable in how its stars took off.
Seriously, I didn’t expect Zendya to explode the way she did. She was notably younger than people like Debby Ryan yet she ended up just as important to Disney. She got a couple movies, her own whole show, and a notable music career.
Bella Thorne got an Adam Sandler movie. Life is cruel. Seriously, I like her a bit more but she gets the short of the end of the stick.
And oh hey, she’s going to guest star on K.C. Undercover was part as Gimmick-y Theme Weekend #445. I hope they don’t make any dumb actor al-
“It never hurts to shake it up”:
To “Celebrate” that, let’s look at my least favorite episode of Shake It Up. I’m sure there’s somehow a worse episode I haven’t watched yet, but I doubt anything can top this. It’s problem goes a bit deeper than just cruelty…though it has plenty of that.
So, let’s see how this show handles a topic that’s already tricky for writers.
This, is Review It Up
Writer: David Holden
The episode starts with Cece telling Rocky if she’s heard of a dud named Andy Burns.
“Andy Burns writes the coolest entertainment blog in Chicago. I only see movies, listen to music, or eat at Restaurants he recommends”
Nah, you’re not getting the Spongebob gag this time.
“He just burned Shake It Up Chicago”
You can immediately tell what the problem with this episode is going to be, can’t you? Yeah, roll the review…Andy’s review, not the one…I’m doing now.
“The teen jam show Shake It Up Chicago showcases some of the worst dancing ever. It should really be called Makes Me Want to Throw Up Chicago”
Eh, you could come up with a better pun than that. How about just “Throw Up Chicago?”. It’s way easier, and a bit funnier.
“The music is juvenile and the set looks like leftovers from a Disco yard sale. The only thing missing is a cheesy, egotistical host, oh wait they have that too”
See, now that’s much better.
“He gave us the grade of C-“
…Worst Dancing ever=C-? That’s way too nice given what he said. Joking aside, this eerily sounds like what a real negative of the show sounds like. Intentional? I don’t know but as we go on I think we’ll have a likely answer.
After the theme song, we start the subplot. The subplot is easily the best part of the episode, so we’ll cover that to save my sanity. Deuce, one of their friends, is hanging out with his girlfriend Dina. He talks to Rocky’s Brother, Ty, as we find out their 1 year Anniversary is coming up.
Naturally, he has trouble coming up with a cool gift and after some jokes, we sadly get back to the main plot. See, Rocky is not too happy with the review, mostly because of the grade. Cece doesn’t really care but Rocky is…well trust me, this isn’t too out of character for her. Unfortunately.
Thus, they decide to visit Andy Burns’ workplace, but are stopped by a guard. Conveniently, Andy Burns walks in at this very moment. He is played by Ben Savage. ..Well, that’s interesting, and I honestly didn’t plan for my tie in for this theme weekend to also belong right on there.
“I’m sure it’s easy to hide behind the internet and say mean things to people”-
Yep. You suck.
-“but I dare you to say it to our faces”
“Okay, your show is terrible and you’re dancing stinks”
Now, I must point out that, as you can tell, they seem to have a hard time decided what kind of person Andy is. On one hand, he seems to have a Straw Man thing going on but he also says some legitmate things here and there, and they really shouldn’t be bothered some random guy who doesn’t like them.
Well, clearly they picked the former because right after that, he is hit in the face by hot coffee, by accident. Oh boy, get ready because Theater Thug is about to look pretty tame in a bit.
Back to the subplot, Dina gets some advice from Rocky and Cece about her anniversary gift. They say she shouldn’t go too overboard with it. Sadly, she has to leave so we can get back to the crappy plot.
“Please, just Let It Go”
I will not let someone from Disney tell me that!
“It’s just a stupid review on a Stupid blog”
No, THIS is a stupid blog.
Rocky brings up a part in the review where Andy insulted Cece’s bangs and now she’s angry. Wait, how did she not see that part before? Also, now neither of these two are likable.
They head back to his building, but this time they approach his office from the side, with one of those….thingys. You know, the things that plenty of Comedies use to give wacky side of building hijinks?
They talk to him about changing the review, but he won’t budge. They try to change his mind with a dance, because dancing on a small platform high up is a great idea!
Of course, their boom box falls down and lands on Andy’s car. Then he randomly walks into the window and hurts his eye. That was contrived and not funny, but you know that already.
Back with Deuce, he tells Ty he’s gonna get Dina a hope ring. Ty says he has to give it to her in a smooth manner and so they practice. Deuce tries out a speech that makes Ty cry. Got nothing to say there, it’s actually a decent scene.
Can’t say the same for the next scene, as our “heroes” try another attempt to woo Andy. They will give him a box of chocolates and dance for him. They gang up on him in an Elevator.
They will try to dance in a small space. Guess how well this turns out.
“Thanks to you, my eye is messed up, I have a concussion, and I need a new windshield”
Ouch, I’m starting to feel kind of bad for him. I hope nothing worse happens to him next. …And the Chocolate they shove into his mouth is Coconut, which he is allergic to. Okay, as long as nothing even worse-and they start dancing in an Elevator. Why do I talk?!
Of course, this leads to him getting injured like 50 times, and it turns out he’s Claustrophobic Okay this was painful at first, but now it’s getting silly. Contstant mean spirited torture is not funny, especially with it happening as fast as it does here!
Sure, it is an accident but after the first one, these girls should know when to quit or at least feel some bad for hurting him instead of just hurting him more!
Then it just kind of moves on after the guard pops up when the Elvator opens. We cut to the next day at school as Rocky decides she just accept that she has a C. Then the subplot starts up again, yay!
Today is the big day and we get some banter. Dina acts like she forget the anniversary and he thinks she actually did. Wah wah. It’s dumb and cliché as that is, it’s still funnier than the real plot.
Dina saying she should just do things her way inspires Rocky to want to go bigger with Andy. Never mind, the subplot sucks now. We cut to his office as we see he has a seriously injured leg. This is starting to get really sad.
The girls pretended to be people offering him a free dinner at their obligatory sitcom hangout, Crusty’s Pizza. He buys it because the plot says so.
We cut to there as we see Andy is with his girlfriend and she is a huge controlling unsympathetic bitch. Seriously, this is depressing. Anyway, Deuce bakes his ring into a pizza as a way to patch things up with Dina.
Guess how well that goes.
Speaking of things going badly, Rocky and Cece pop to dance for Andy. After a few minutes of that, it seems to have gone well…but Decue’s ring ends up in Andy’s girlfriends Pizza.
“Andy, I will marry you!”
Okay, I have to put my foot down here. Usually, constant torture like this is just painful or stupid. This is genuinely depressing. It’s not even slapstick anymore, it’s just giving this guy bad luck for no reason.
Let’s think about this. His girlfriend here is an annoying bitch who barely cares about him, and he spent his whole week being in pain thanks to 2 girls who don’t respect opoins. I feel really bad for this guy!
Seeing this, Deuce tells Dina what happened and she finds it sweet despite the mishap. Thankfully, she got him a ring as well and it’s intact!
“Let’s promise we will always be ourselves when we’re around each other.”
End of subplot. Hmm, that was actually kind of funny, and really sweet with a decent moral. …Why wasn’t that the main plot?!
The girls talk to Andy.
“Are we really that bad?”
He admits their latest dance wasn’t too bad. But he reveals he knows some of the other dancers names, which Rocky points out.
“Tell us the truth or we’ll just follow you around for the rest of your life”
He finally reveals the truth: 15 years ago, he auditioned for Shake It Up and got rejected.
“You wrote that review after all these years to get even?”
…Wow, and I thought this episode couldn’t get any worse. Do I even did to mention the problems here?!
Let’s think about it. This whole time the critic was only being negative because he was just petty and jealous. That sends some…unfortunate implication to say the least. And so does the fact that he is tortured for this throughout the whole episode.
I’ll explain more in the final thoughts, but you already know the immediate problem here. I bet you just expected it to be like the Fluttershy Mirco with the bad moral, but this is going the extra mile to screw it up.
And again, the bit just kind of ends there, as he agrees to change the review. And because the critic who bashed them just ended up being a jealous man and changes his review, this sends out a moral even worse than it they just went the Mirco Series #4 route.
We cut to later, as Andy moves into a new place with his new wife…and its next door to Rocky and Cece. Oh come on!
To make it worse, his wife continues to be a bitch, due to this apartment being bigger than his. I won’t comment on what apartment could stand for.
“This is all your fault!”
Well, it’s actually Deuce’s fault…meaning the subplot sucks now.
“I can’t see anymore, I’m going blind, I’m seeing spots. I’ve got to get out of this place!”
He runs and…falls down the stairs.
“Eh, I give it a B-“
Ugh. Of course, this is where the episode ends. This has to be the most depressing Tween sitcom episode ever made, with this ending. He’s changing the grade and he’s still being tortured?
Whatever, at least we’re done here.
It’s somewhat common for writers to screw up a story like this. You know how they screw it up: By having the story say ‘screw all Critics”. That’s….not good. However, some have good intentions despite that, like the Austin & Ally episode “Critic & Confidence’ which is flawed but at least tries.
Then there’s the Big Time Rush episode “Big Time Blogger”. Guess how the conflict with the reviewer is solved. It’s solved when the boys stop doing the thing they were criticized for!
Yes, sometimes some people criticize you, you honestly do have a problem to fix. I know, what a novel concept! Sadly, that’s the closest episode like this I’ve seen to getting it right, though a Littlest Pet Shop did manage to spin it in a different direction. So if that counts, it’s the best I’ve seen, but that’s a discussion for another time.
This episode fails even by those standards. We have the obvious problems that come from this kind of story, but it’s even worse here. They seemed to be going the route where they say to ignore criticism but instead they give us a plot point where the critic changes his grade and he was just a jealous douche the whole time.
Again, really unfortunate implications. Most stories like this don’t go THAT far with it, and at least those end up giving the bad moral. This one just avoids it, and while it gives us the moral, it’s due to terrible implications. Somehow, that’s worse because the writers couldn’t even get an easy bad moral right!
Speaking of getting things wrong, we have Andy. Usually the critic is a straw man but they couldn’t decide with this guy. If I cut out the bit with the review, he would just seem like a guy who disliked their show…and that’s it. At no point when he is on screen, does he seem like a terrible jerk by any stretch.
Only at the end does that come out, which means we’re just sitting there watching an innocent man get hurt until then. And of course I just mentioned the problem with that twist.
Then of course we have the torture, which is really cruel even by torture standards. Besides it being painful and repetitive, it just gets really sad.
I see how the usual torture can be funny, especially since the writer clearly sees him as in the wrong, but the crap with the wife is in no way funny.
It’s not slapstick, it’s not silly, and it’s just really really depressing stuff.
Hell, the fact that he was so mad he didn’t get the part that he wrote a negative review to get even, makes him even more of a tragic figure.
With all that crap that happens to him, you just feel bad for him. It’s not funny, and honestly, it’s some of the worst torture I’ve seen in a live action episode. Even a certain one we’re tackling soon doesn’t go THIS far!
On the bright side, the subplot is pretty good and there a few amusing moments here and there. But with how broken the writing is, and how painful and depressing it gets, it’s not worth it.
It’s certainly the worst episode of this show, as well as one of the worst Disney Sitcom episodes in general. I can’t even guy the good intentions argument like with that Austin and Ally episode.
So yeah, it sucks, the end.
I don’t know which episode I’m doing next. Maybe we’ll see who nose best, maybe we’ll go do the dogs. I don’t know, but I do know I’ll see you Wednesday for part 1 of a Bay fest!