Ok. I am going to admit it. I LOVE Disney Channel. Really. New Disney, Old Disney, Everything-But-Hannah-Montana Disney; I’ve watched it and I love it all. However, because I don’t have at TV at Purchase and Disney Channel isn’t on Hulu (or HuluPlus) so I only get to catch up on the goings-on on the Mouse when I’m home on breaks. So this Thanksgiving I hunkered down in front of my HD Flatscreen and caught up on some of Disney’s newer shows. Except, some of them didn’t seem so new. Maybe it’s true that there’s no such thing as an original idea anymore, but I feel the need to dissect the Top Five Derivative Disney Shows:
1. Shake it Up
Shake it Up is a show about a group of pre-teen girls (like most D-Chan shows) who have fulfilled their dream of dancing on their fav Chicago television show. High-jinks ensue.
Dancing? On Television? Chicago? Where have I heard that before?
Oh right. 1984’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt. The kids maybe younger and the parents maybe less strict (because now dancing to rock music does not seem as evil as it did in Footloose) but the driving force behind the plot is pretty much exactly the same. Though kudos, for more dancing on Television.
2. A.N.T Farm
Ok, I haven’t actually seen this show, but from my understanding it is a show about a group of Genius kids who are sent to high school for a more advanced education.High-jinks ensue.
So, it’s Smart Guy with more kids.
3. So Random
(Should be called ‘So Predictable.’)
Unfortunately, I have seen this show. After Demi Lovato checked into rehab (thus, removing the Sonny from the D-Chan show Sonny with a Chance) the Disney Execs realized that they were still contractually obligated to another two seasons of air time for the rest of the cast. But, a Demi-less show would be stifling so they decided to focus on the overly-written, boring, un-funny sketch-show-within-the-show “So Random”. High-jinks ensue. (Apparently).
I know, you think I’m going to compare it to SNL..but let’s get real here. This show isn’t Live. Know what sketch show of the 90’s was also not live, but was actually funny?
I knew you’d Figure It Out! (Nick Humor!)
4. Good Luck Charlie
Cashing in on the iCarly Market. High-jinks ensue. What more can I say?
I saved this one for last not just because THEY ARE USING MY NAME (sorta – I usually kill people who call me Jessie) or for the addictive theme song, but because it is the most complicated. Jessie is a show about a small-town girl from Texas (the totally maj and completely adorable Debby Ryan of DCOM: 16 Wishes) who moves to New York City to follow her dreams (whatever they may be, the pilot was not specific about that) and ends up being the Nanny for four crazy kids (two of whom are adopted). High-jinks ensue.
It was hard to pinpoint where this show comes from. The main plot line is more or less Charles in Charge. But the fact that they’re in New York and rich adds a touch of Family Affair (they even have their own butler to Mr. French it up!). But there’s also a touch of Marlo Thomas in That Girl.
However, though this is obviously the most derivative of D-Chan shows (because most of the others were practically copies) it is also the most interesting. I don’t know why, but after seeing one episode I had to go and find the rest online to watch. There’s something refreshing about it even though (or maybe BECAUSE) it has so many blatant inspirations from shows of the past. It’s worth a watch.
Way more than So Random does.