Does the pre-teen audience understand that the makers of stuff like this think you are so stupid that this will suffice as your entertainment? That bothers me.
This teen sitcom follows the adventures of Taina in high school etc. She dreams of being a famous singer one day and has to content with competition from other singers in the school and other things that come her way. But with the support of her family, her best friend Renee and the goofy Lamar and Daniel, she usually overcomes.
OK lets look at this in a fair balanced light. This programme is for pre-teens, pre-teens don't want that don't want demanding stimulating programmes. Pre-teens like junk food, they like mass produced, manufactured food and clothes that don't make them stand out from their friends as being geeky or different in an uncool way. To meet that audience Nickelodeon produce sitcoms by formula only changing a few basics such as setting, cast and usually ethnic make up of the cast. There's nothing wrong with that is there? If that's what the audience want then where's the harm?
OK enough `fair and balanced' what do I think of this? I think it's rubbish pure and simple. It's nothing more than a rehash of Moesha and every other teen sitcom ever made. The Moesha bit is recreated by Taina being an aspiring singer (clearly hoping for a real life career too) but, oh, its different because she's Hispanic and not black a whole new demographic group makes it a different, original show yeah? No!
The plots are the same basic set ups as in every other sitcom they are so weak that they can barely stretch to fill the short 23 odd minute running time. Here they delivered with very little conviction either it's like everyone knows that they just retreading old ground and are not even bothered! The recorded laughter covers the embarrassed silences well certainly I rarely laugh out loud when the jokes are told.
The characters are cliched Tai and Renee are `sassy and streetwise' not exactly breaking the mould. And of course we have two goofy characters (Lamar and Daniel) who have their own short subplots to help make up the time but also provide more of the out and out comedy (in theory) beside the main comedy/message story. They also cover all ethnic bases as well.....hmmmmm....wonder if that was just a fluke of casting.....
Vidal tries hard as Taina but she can't act .she can do the TV acting of look sad, look sassy etc but she can't do anything different from anyone else even her songs sound just like any other teen in the charts great, all we need is another manufactured act feeding off the publicity of a TV show Adams is OK but again just does what it said on her box she is only a sassy side kick after all. Knowings and Cohen are just a waste of space their subplots are rarely funny, rarely have anywhere to go and often just stop rather than come to a conclusion it's clear from both of them that the casting director just wanted a black guy and a white guy who could `do wacky'. They can't even do that well.
Overall this will please the pre-teen audience it's aimed at. But really this is lazy TV making. I think that if this is what we give kids growing up then they settle for this type of manufactured dross when they get older .and that's why Baywatch and the like are the most watched TV shows in the US while Woody Allen struggles to get a hit movie (despite being the toast of the much more discerning Europe). Please don't let this set the standard of your viewing.
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