29 September 2014

TV Episode Set Review: "Kickin' It": Volume One

Rated: TV-Y7
Starring: Leo Howard, Olivia Holt, Jason Earles, Mateo Arias, Dylan Riley Snyder, and Alex Christian Jones
Released: 2011 (Disney XD premieres)
Rudy (Jason Earles) is Sensei of the Bobby Wasabi dojo, located in a shopping mall.  His students--clueless Jerry (Mateo Arias), geeky Milton (Dylan Riley Snyder), karate master Jack (Leo Howard), sweet-but-uncoordinated Eddie (Alex Christian Jones), and lone female Kim (Olivia Holt, I Didn't Do It)--are the best of friends, and always look out for each other...though that doesn't stop them from getting into various misadventures! In this first volume, Rudy gets an offer to star in a commercial, Kim writes an essay that wins her school a concert from a pop star that isn't all he seems to be, Jack gets stuck in a retro dream, Jerry tries to train the karate kids in the art of dance to defeat his rival Smooth (Roshon Fagan, Shake It Up), Milton plays a live-action version of an RPG, and Eddie gets blackmailed after being caught dancing with a punching dummy...all in the name of laughs and martial arts!
As seen on Disney XD.

The Good
I expected this show to be good...but it ended up being amazing! Not only did I find it insanely hilarious, but the karate theme added a new element--slapstick humor--that you don't see that much in Disney Channel sitcoms, especially the recent ones.  All of the actors did amazingly, especially Olivia Holt, who is now my number one favorite celebrity as a result of watching this.  Even the theme music is an awesome rock tune, and is used very well throughout the show.  There wasn't much to complain about, but...

The Bad
I did have a few quibbles with the set.  My biggest issue was with the episode being out of order; the series premiere is a few episodes into the set, which makes the continuity awkward.  Other--and more minor--problems I had were with the character's slightly immodest fashion sense--did we really need to see Kim's bra straps or Jerry in a 70's-style top that exposes most of his chest?--and a few "PG"-level crude moments.  The "TV-Y7" rating is likely because of the karate violence, which, though never the least bit bloody or gory and always played for laughs, would be far too easy for little kids to imitate.

Despite its flaws, this is my new favorite show! I've already got the second volume on iTunes, and hope to watch it sometime soon! If you haven't seen this show yet...you're missing out! Go and buy the first volume, NOW!

Score: 4.75/5

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