17 May 2013

DVD Set Review: "Shake It Up!"

NOTE: The episodes reviewed below are available as a package deal with the DVD of the Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) Geek Charming.  That is a good movie and worth watching at least once, but I actually bought the DVD only for the Shake It Up! episodes.  Currently, other than on iTunes or similar services, the episodes are not available elsewhere, though there is a DVD of the show slated to be available in stores soon.

Rated: TV-G
Starring: Zendaya, Bella Thorne, and Roshon Fegan
Released: February 7, 2012 (DVD package with Geek Charming)
Synopsis: Raquel "Rocky" Blue (Zendaya, Dancing With the Stars) and Cecilia "CeCe" Jones (Bella Thorne) are a bit of a yin and a yang.  Rocky does well in school; CeCe couldn't care less about her grades.  Rocky is well-behaved; CeCe can't seem to stay out of trouble.  However, they have two very big things in common: They are best friends...and dancers on Shake It Up, Chicago!, a local dance show.  The unlikely duo, along with their peers--foreign rivals Tinka and Gunther Hessenheffer (Caroline Sunshine and Kenton Duty), "con man" Deuce (Adam Irigoyen), and all-around good guy Ty (Roshon Fegan, also a DWTS alum)--get into one misadventure after another.  Whether they're dealing with a washed-up choreographer, taking an accidental bus trip to a small town, or hosting an episode of Shake It Up, Chicago! because the regular host is sick, prepare for plenty of laughs, zaniness, and insanity!

Plots: 4/5
I'll be honest; sometimes these ten episodes delve a little into inanity.  Still, for the most part, they are entertaining, cute, and funny, in the way only sitcoms on the Mouse network can be.  Those who are familiar with Disney Channel productions should expect more of the same from this one; that, in my opinion, is a good thing.

Production Values: 5/5
I honestly can't think of anything bad in this area.  Not only does this show excel in the normal categories--acting, sets, costumes, etc.--but the dance moves and music are really well-done.  It's no surprise that Zendaya is doing well on Dancing With the Stars this season.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Mildly suggestive dance moves and a few mild quips.  Passionate kissing in one episode, though it is later revealed that the two who were smooching are married.
  • Nudity: Short skirts; sleeveless and off-the-shoulder tops.
  • Language: Mild name-calling is as bad as it gets.
  • Drugs: None. (This is Disney Channel, people!)
  • Violence: Entirely slapstick.
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Anything that would normally be frightening is made silly by the tone of the show.
  • Other: Deuce is a con man who sells items from his jacket, but it is played for laughs; some bathroom humor.
Conclusion: Some may scoff, but, in my opinion, Disney Channel knows how to create a sitcom.  With plenty of humor, great performances, and two attractive leading ladies, what's not to like?  Now, if only the Mouse House would release a complete season set, something they haven't even come close to doing with any of their sitcoms other than Lizzie McGuire.  (Come on, Disney executives; Shake It...er, I mean, step it up!)

Score: 4/5

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