31 December 2015

iTunes Episode Set Review: "Austin & Ally": Volume One

Rated: TV-G
Starring: Ross Lynch, Laura Marano, Raini Rodriguez, and Calum Worthy
Released: December 2, 2011 - March 4, 2012 (original Disney Channel premieres)
Synopsis: Austin Moon (Ross Lynch, Teen Beach Movie) has just become an overnight sensation, thanks to the music video of his new song going viral! There's only one problem: The song wasn't originally his; he actually used a tune composed by shy songwriter Ally Dawson (Laura Marano, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?) When Ally finds out about it, she isn't too happy...but, they agree to have a partnership: She writes the songs...and he sings them.  With Austin's newfound fame, he needs a manager, and he finds one in job-hopping Trish (Raini Rodriguez, Paul Blart: Mall Cop), while his longtime flighty best friend Dez (Calum Worthy) serves as his music video producer.  In these ten episodes, watch as Trish celebrates her quinceƱera, Ally comes face to face with her crush, Austin becomes the target of a hateful blogger...and more!

The Good: Most of these episodes are ones I've seen before, but, they stand up to repeat viewings.  Cute and funny moments abound, alongside great performances from Ross Lynch.  In typical Disney Channel style, this series keeps it clean...which is just how I like my shows.  The closed captioning was nicely done, and, all in all, I don't have really anything about which to complain.

The Bad: Well, okay, I have a minor complaint or two.  First off, Trish's catchphrase ("Guess who got a job at...?") was cute at first, but, it got a bit grating after a while.  Also, I wish iTunes would release entire seasons of these shows instead of just "volumes."  Those are small potatoes, though.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Flirting; totally innocent romance. 4/5
  • Nudity: Ally wears short skirts sometimes; people in swimsuits are seen lounging on the beach at a distance; off-the-shoulder and low-cut tops are seen a time or two. 4/5
  • Language: Mostly nothing worse than name-calling, though there is a scene where a written profanity is implied. 4/5
  • Violence: Entirely slapstick and played for laughs. 4/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Sequences: Some of the insanity can be over the top. 4/5
  • Other: Occasional crude humor, i.e., burping. 4/5
Conclusion: This is one of my favorite shows, so, how could I not give it a positive review? Not only is it cute and funny, but it features great music and my favorite kid from Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? in a main role.  Still, I was late to the party, so, I'm using iTunes to catch up...and, I'm glad I did! Fans of shows like this know what to expect...and that's what they'll get here.

Score: 4.5/5

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