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Kim Possible (2002)
Entertaining if you're willing to suspend your belief
People keep saying how weird and unrealistic the show is.
But that's why I like it.
The premise is so ridiculous it works. High Schooler Kim Possible balances popularity, cheer leading, and saving the world. And yet she still combats her fear of asking out a cute guy to the dance and admitting things her parents don't like to hear. And it still manages to be entertaining. Of course it probably wouldn't be as good without Will Friedle and his character, along with Rufus. His comedic performance kinda carries the whole thing.
What does irk me is that these past episodes have been trying to make Kim more 'human' by suddenly popping up with things she *can't* do. Kim can't cook or drive etc. If they want to make Kim flawed, they should try and do it the way they did it with the Halloween episode where Kim's lying gives her magic suit a 'Pinocchio-affect' where a piece of military technology spreads into a military suit the more she lies.
Overall, if you're willing to suspend your belief, it's a good show.
Lizzie McGuire (2001)
Is my life supposed to be like this?
Am I supposed to have an eating disorder for one day? No? Perhaps become a petty criminal from one trip to detention? Um...no. Have daily warm fuzzy moments with friends and family? Unlikely.
This is just what the 11-13 crowd needs. More brainwashing! Not bad enough that Britney Spears and *Nsync run rampant giving impressionable pre-teens a convoluted idea of how they're supposed to be, we bring in yet *another* example of superficiality. Lizzie McGuire is a sitcom where stupid, pointless situations are politely resolved in half an hour full of low-wit reparte with a sweet, tinge of sappy guitar music and Lizzie hugs someone and it's all better. Blah...blah...freakin' blah
Not to say the show doesn't have its high points. Hillary Duff and Lalaine, the main characters, just aren't counted in them. All the supporting characters are actually quite amusing, Ethan Craft's actor is obviously having a lot of fun with his role as is the boy who plays Tudgeman. I found the episodes highlighting the parents hilarious. Don't get me started on Adam Lamberg, any episodes featuring him are pretty darn good.
But, for you little brainwashed ones out there, go flip on an episode of Daria, the script's better and gives a darn good view of how it's like to have your ass beaten around in high school.
X-Men: Evolution (2000)
Purists, give it a break
Okay, all of the 50-year-old comics purists...Evo? Not for your FLIPPIN AGE GROUP! They should stop bashing it. I mean the show's for people my age? I mean, go to my school and start yammering about Yugioh and X-Evo and people will start talking with you and ENJOYING THEMSELVES? And I go to an all girl's Catholic high school! Clearly the show can't be that awful if a senior has a picture of Kurt in her locker.
As for the people who hate Kitty talking *totally* like this? Comics purists, doncha remember the original Kitty? Ms. Happy-Perky-Gee-Whiz-Star-Wars-Comics? Remember her? Seems only natural they transition her this way? Like and Totally fit my equivalent in the Gee Whiz category. (How do I know this if I am a non-purist, highschool girl snot? Easy, Essential X-Men)
I can't really comment on Rogue. But I have this to say, her voice.severely.annoys me. I dunno, sounds like she needs a cough drop or something.
I mean, for the sort of target audience this show's going for (and by this we're talking about preteens to YOUNG ADULTS) it's an awesome job.
Teen Titans (2003)
Not the best but not the worst either
Okay, let's say this right off the bat. I'm not 3-plus comics purist. I'm a teenage girl who watches X-Men: Evolution and reads Harry Potter about once a week. I saw the commercial for this on the WB and went "Hmm, I'll give this a chance."
The first episode made.me.cringe. I will say it right now. The animation was an obvious attempt at imitating Japanese animation and the humor was corny. It was really just kind of campy.
Then I realized: That's the beauty of it. Instead of being dark and brooding like the Batman/Superman Adventures (was that the name?) or disturbingly over campy like the 70's Super Friends (like I said, I'm not 30-year-old purist, but I did watch the reruns on Cartoon Network). It's cute and kind of campy. It's generally for the younger crowd but I watch it for the same reasons high school seniors watch the Powerpuff Girls. It's not supposed to be five-star, hard-hitting television. It's just supposed to be fun and goofy.
It's what it is
Not the best, but considering some other sequels Disney's butchered out, it isn't bad. The songs were average, some cute, some disturbingly annoying (Upendi...put it back in the vault and, for Heaven's sake, make sure it never gets out), and a couple were touching.
Fact is, Disney targets children and children have lower expectations. The first time I saw it, being nine-ten-ish, I was positive it was 'a totally awesome Disney sequel.' Now older, hopefully wiser, my opinion's changed a little.
The plot was predictable, but hey, it's Disney. Once again, it caters to kids. Kids don't want to see Kovu kick Kiara in the behind in some horrible, ruthless war. Kids want fluffiness to boot. "Oh, I'm evil, but I'm in love with a somewhat vapid character. I am saved. But my mum hates me. Oh well she just died." Disney can come up with some brilliant work, don't get me wrong, but the sequels are made to entertain kids and pay the bills until the next 'family classic' comes along. Simply, it'll be cute, but not up to standards.
Pardon the metaphor but it's the fault of studying for English, it's like a dependent clause. It has a plot (subject) and workable characters (verb), but won't stand alone and doesn't carry the weight of the first movie (the independent clause).
The short version is: It's cute, not up to insanely high cult standards, but cute nonetheless
This happens a bit too often
I've started watching the original episodes on TNT and I have to say, yeah they were better. They were more focused on plot than how much flesh was shown.
Over the seasons, the context of the series has remained the same. There's still the snappy one-liners, which continue to bring that little smile to my face before I turn back to the computer.
But, my God, how many times have these girls been A) Possessed B) Transformed into some creature or B) Gone mental for the episode until she magically brings herself back to save her sisters (that family-strength makes me gag sometimes)
Now, with Prue gone (which is actually just fine by me), the focus has been A) Who is Phoebe shacking up THIS episode? B) How neurotic can we make Piper or C) How unclothed can we make Paige without sending the viewers into pure shock?
Not to mention, the whole Patty-Running-Off-With-Whitelighter was quite obviously a device. In case one of the actresses has to leave (in this case Shannen Doherty) the show can still go on (excuse the pun, if you can even call it that) because Patty had a baby.
I'm not saying I now completely hate it, because I don't. I still find it quite entertaining. But there's a problem with shows that run as long as this. After a while, unless the writers are descended upon by one heckuva muse, the writing just begins to bite. I mean, how many times this season has something happened that was obviously borrowed from a supposedly 'forgotten' past episode.
A jewel of animation with a grain of American salt
I've been a fan of anime since, oh, third grade (though you'll have to forgive me if I say my first exposure to anime was Sailor Moon ::Prepares to be glared at::) and the first time I saw a Miyazaki movie I was blown away. I've seen four of his movies previous to this, three of them dubbed in English, every time I was impressed.
This movie came to my attention when my anime-hating father suggested seeing it. That set off a dinger in my head alerting me that it must be good if my father wanted to see any animated product of Japan.
Anyway, I didn't see it until it came out on DVD. I watched it, then I watched it again, and immediately hightailed it to the Spirited Away fanfictions on fanfiction.net.
Then I saw the biggest of the few problems of creating a movie this great. The sickening magnitude of the 175 fanfictions were essentially the same plot "Chihiro is an older, prettier teenager who goes back and falls in love with Haku" that's the problem with many Miyazaki movies. His beautifully crafted stories rarely have direct romance, so the teeny-bopper writers insist on supplying it in a 30 page work of "Hi Haku I'm older!" "Wow, you're pretty!" *kiss*
So enjoy the movie and if you are a writer, for all that is good and green on this earth (and it ain't much) don't write that plot.
The Princess Diaries (2001)
Warm n Fuzzy
I'm a big fan of Meg Cabot (who HAS written other books) but at the time I saw this movie I didn't know who she was. I was also twelve ::Cough:: At any rate, I get a serious attack of the fluffies whenever I watch this movie. It's almost like eating mashed potatoes when you feel bad (or whatever your comfort food is). Whenever I'm sad it just brightens me up. When I'm happy it sets me quoting it for the rest of the day.
I realize it's not like the books at all. The books are sassier and Mia is a more assertive character, not to mention the Grandmother is the revenge of all grandmothers who have taken for granted. However, this watered-down Disney version stands well on its own, with an easy charm. There are social castes and the movie stretches them to the point that it just makes me laugh (oh like YOUR school was ever that).
Like I said, it's like comfort food and it's sure to give you a case of the fluffs.