20 October 2014

TV Set Review: "Wizards of Waverly Place": Volume One

Rated: TV-G
Starring: Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin, David DeLuise, Maria Canals-Barrera, and Jennifer Stone
Released: 2007 - 2008 (Disney Channel premieres)
The Russo kids--brainiac Justin (David Henrie), savvy Alex (Selena Gomez), and young Max (Jake T. Austin)--may seem like normal kids on the surface, but, they have a very big secret: they're wizards in training! Their father (David DeLuise) is teaching them the art of spells and magic in hopes that one of them will be the family wizard! They're not supposed to use magic outside of their lessons, but that doesn't stop them from doing so anyway...and getting themselves and their friends--including Alex's BFF, Harper (Jennifer Stone)--into all sorts of predicaments! In this first volume, Max's magical powers come in with insane results, Alex finds herself actually in a slasher movie, and Justin's pimple accidentally comes to life! In this wizarding family, love and laughter always ensue!
As seen on the Disney Channel.  Features guest appearances by Tiffany Thornton (Sonny with a Chance), Malese Jow (Unfabulous), and Lucy Hale.

The Good
This came on when I was spending some time away from Disney Channel, so, I didn't see much of it when it originally aired.  I now realize I missed out, because this show is really cute and funny.  It may have been a star-making show for Selena Gomez, but, the other characters prove that this show isn't all about her.  Better yet, the lack of profanity, sexual content, drug use, and violence puts this a step above pretty much any primetime program on the major networks.  The use of magic is much closer to that of Bewitched than Charmed.  There were also many positive moral elements.

The Bad
As good as this is, I do have a few complaints.  First and foremost, as a big Jennifer Stone fan, I was dismayed to see her absent--outside of the opening credits, that is--in five or so episodes in this set.  Also, there was a bit of immodesty; Theresa, the kids' mother, often wears low-cut shirts, and the final episode has hula dancers in strapless, swimsuit-style tops.  That's about it, though.

Sure, I've seen a scant few of these episodes previously thanks to the DVDs and the off chance I watched it when it was originally on, but, this time, I really enjoyed them.  I'm glad I have the next two volumes already; I know what I'll be spending my next iTunes card on.

Score: 4.5/5

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