Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm Still Bitter: So Weird

One of the best parts about getting old is being bitter and annoying about things from the past that can't be changed. I figure, since I just turned 20, that I should just go ahead and start early.

What am I bitter about today? So Weird. Not the show itself, of course. But rather the sucky third season. You know me and Disney are always in a war - an imagined war - but a war nonetheless. And it seems that Disney can do no right lately because, well...they can't. (No one, and I mean NO ONE who greenlights Camp Rock 2 can ever do right again. It's not in line with the laws of the universe.)

In case you don't know,
So Weird was a tv show that aired on the Disney channel way back in 1999. It was about a girl named Fi[ona] (Cara DeLizia) who traveled the country with her rocker mom (Mackenzie Phillips), her brother Jack and some other random people who don't really matter. Oh, except for Eric von Detten who always matters. Anyway, Fi would always run into supernatural occurrences (little girls who were werewolves, aliens, time warps) that helped her connect with her deceased father who was also into exploring the supernatural. Yeah, deep stuff.

When Season 2 of
So Weird ended, the show was getting in there. Season 2 was pretty dark, for a Disney show that is. It dealt primarily with Fi finding out that her dad, like her, dabbled in the supernatural. She also finds out this was probably the cause of his death. In the season finale, Fi discovers that her dad's twin sister receives messages from him in her sleep. Fi has some encounter with a demon on a roof and is saved by the ghost of her father. I mean, this really is deep stuff, guys.

Then season 3 comes around, Fi's gone and we're dealing with people getting sucked into pretty paintings. Um, whaaa? What seems to have happened is, even though the writers had a wicked sick third season planned, DeLizia left the show for whatever reason and Disney said "Uh, no" to what the writers had planned. So, DeLizia was replaced with Alexz Johnson (of
Instant Star fame) and So Weird got itself a nice, light, happy! tone. Blech.

Now, I happen to like Alexz Johnson and I can't blame her for
So Weird's demise. It's not her fault Fi upped and left. But I can blame Disney because I'm in a network blaming mood. *cough*NBC*cough*

If it wasn't for
Even Stevens and, yes, even Lizzie McGuire, I would say this was the end of a Disney era. Disney hasn't had a kid-oriented drama since So Weird ended. (Even though it is dramatically bad, JONAS is not a drama, kiddos). Disney has never really been one to push the envelope but they've really given up lately.

Interestingly enough,
So Weird is an earlier example of the "special teen" formula of which Disney is now so fond. Except, that time, they were doing it right. Hannah Montana, That's So Raven, JONAS, Sonny With A Chance...they are all so overplayed with their identical storylines and bad humor. Wizards of Waverly Place is actually pretty clever in my book (for another discussion). And Suite Life of Zack and Cody (not that "On Deck" sh*t) didn't pander too much to the "special teen" formula. Plus is was mildly funny when it first started. So Weird happened to be creative and entertaining. Also, the main focus wasn't "I'm a special teen who travels with her rock star mommy. I'm so special!" The show focused on cool supernatural folklore and legend and family dynamics. And it was more than just mindless entertainment churned out for annoying 10-year-olds. It looked like a lot of thought had gone into the never seen third season.

Season 3 of
So Weird makes me bitter because it's largely representative of the growing hole in quality television for our precious 9-14 crowd. (Those are made up numbers y'all; I don't know Disney's target audience) Like I said before, I have to forgive the writers because the odds (aka Disney) were against them. But it just gives me more reason to want to give Mickey Mouse a good, swift kick to the gut.

Kids these days need what we had back in the 80s and 90s. Once upon a time kids' tv taught us how to enjoy our imaginations and find the excitement in the mundane of everyday lives instead of sitting around on our bums wishing we were famous pop stars or bad actors. (Yeah, I'm talking to you Nick J.)

And that, my friends, is why I am bitter.


P.S. - Happy
18th Birthday, Taylor Lautner! If your parents love you, they've hired you an entourage of big, burly bodyguards and bought you a house with a reeaaalllyy high, electric fence...Enjoy!

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