REVIEW: MELISSA & JOEY – SEASON 1-4

 

MAIN CAST

Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina: TTW)
Joey Lawrence (Blossom)
Taylor Spreitler (Amityville: The Awakening)
Nick Robinson (Jurassic World)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lucy DeVito (Girls)
Elizabeth Ho (Fifty Shades of Black)
Megan Hilty (Shrek The Third)
Rachel G. Fox (Dream House)
Scott Michael Foster (The Pact 2)
Chris Brochu (The Vampire Diaries)
Christopher Rich (Boston Legal)
Anya Monzikova Iron Man 2)
Joel McKinnon Miller (Super 8)
Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings)
Gregg Sulkin (Runaways)
Cody Linley (Sharknado 5)
Rita Rudner (The Wrong Guys)
Trevor Donovan (Savages)
Justin Hartley (Smallville)
Sterling Knight (17 Again)
Sadie Calvano (Mom)
Jada Facer (Henry Danger)
Brooke Burke (The Wraith)
Matthew Lawrence (Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad)
Kevin Fonteyne (Sun Records)
Hayley Erin (General Hospital)
Greer Grammer (The Middle)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves ryamond)
Ian Reed Kesler (Birds of Prey)
George Wyner (Spaceballs)
Beth Broderick (Sabrina: TTW)
Andrew Lawrence (Bean)]
Meaghan Martin (Mean Girls 2)
Vivia A. Fox (Independence Day)
Lesliee Grossman (The Neighbours)
John Ratzenberger (Cheers)
Debi Mazar (Batman Forever)
Jaime Pressly (Mom)
John Ross Bowie (The Big Bang Theory)
David Lascher (Sabrina: TTW)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)
John Ducey (Bones)
Alimi Ballard (Dark Angel)
Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie)
Marla Sokoloff (Fuller House)
Elizabeth Berkley (Saved By The Bell)
Yvette Nicole Brown (Community)
Mo Gaffney (That 70s Show)
Sean O’Bryan (London Has Fallen)
Krista Allen (The Final Destination)
Elisa Donovan (Sabrina: TTW)
David Starzuk (Veronica Mars)
Danny Woodburn (Bones)
Jessica Barth (Ted)
Nakia Burrise (Power Rangers Zeo)

Mel Burke is having trouble with her niece, Lennox. As she tries to juggle being a councillor and a guardian, she gets a little overwhelmed. Her assistant, Rhonda, suggests she get a nanny. Mel is hesitant to do so until she finds out Lennox wrote a poem about her principal, Miss Lunt (Vernee Watson), that wasn’t so nice. Mel relents and decides to hire a nanny. Before leaving for a meeting, Joseph “Joe” Longo knocks on her door. He apologizes for an outburst and asks if she can get him a job. Mel realizes he was the head of her brother-in-law’s company. (It is mentioned that her brother-in-law ran off leaving the company in disarray and it is implied that he ran off with the millions Joe made for him and left his wife to take the blame. The result is her being in federal prison and the reason for the children having to stay with Mel.) She explains that there is a hiring freeze downtown so she can’t get him a job. Joe then offers to be her new nanny. Joe takes Ryder to school so Mel won’t miss her meeting. Mel comes home later to take Lennox to school so she can apologize to Miss Lunt. If she doesn’t apologize, Lennox cannot go back to school. Mel finds that Ryder is still at home and Lennox is gone. After leaving, Joe sees an online posting from Lennox and realizes she is on the roof. He convinces her to go eat her “big bowl of stink” instead of letting Mel eat it for her. Mel comes back impressed until she finds out Joe paid Lennox fifty dollars to go to the school and apologize to the principal. They later decide to give him a try being the nanny.This show has a bit if everything. Witty humour. Not so witty humour. Moments of nostalgia for those of us who loved Melissa Joan hart in Sabrina and Clarissa explains it all. But this show also has moments of real emotion that stop you in your tracks for a second and keep you gripped to the underlying story lines. Each character has their own quirks and as you get to know them you really begin to appreciate the level of detail the writers have gone to in order to keep the characters alive and interesting.

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REVIEW: 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU: THE SERIES

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MAIN CAST

Lindsey Shaw (The Howling: Reborn)
Meaghan Martin (Mean Girls 2)
Larry Miller (8 Simple Rules)
Ethan Peck (That 70s Show)
Nicholas Braun (The Watch)
Dana Davis (Heroes)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kyle Kaplan (Drillbit Taylor)
Suzy Nakamura (Deep Impact)
Chris Zylka (The Secret Circle)
Ally Maki (2 Broke Girls)
Audrey Wasilewski (Pushing Daisies)
Leslie Grossman (What I Like About You)
Leslie-Anne Huff (The Vampire Diaries)
Jolene Purdy (Donnie Darko)
Barret Swatek (Power Rangers Turbo)
Ryan Pinkston (Bad Santa)
Tiffany Hines (Bones)
Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers)

I was positive that I would be in for bad acting and a horrible script (The Secret Life of the American Teenager, anyone?). However, upon watching the first few episodes I found that the only problem with this show is that is it way too short for me to get my fill. The show’s storyline is split between that of Bianca and Kat, two completely opposite people. Kat’s story consists of her efforts to make men value her more despite their sexist views, and of short, but charming, interactions between her and the school bad boy. Bianca’s consists of her quest for popularity and her obliviousness admirer, Cameron.  Both story lines can be amusing, but I doubt that anyone really watches for both. Either they’re a fan of Kat and Patrick, or they are rooting for Bianca to replace Chastity as a head cheerleader and steal her football-playing boyfriend . In the movie, the two story lines were linked together in some way, but in the show they only intertwine when Kat and Bianca argue at the dinner table, which is where the separation of fans comes from.Though Meaghan Martin plays a funny, bubbly teen very well, Dana Davis plays the bitchy popular girl so convincingly, and Nick Braun plays the awkward, dorky, and  secret admirer as if that is who he has been his entire life anyhow,  they really deserve accolades. Larry Miller plays the part of a psychotic father in such a charming and funny way that I can’t help but adore every scene he is in. There is definitely a reason he got the part of the father in both the movie and TV show. The strong acting is great since his character is responsible for what little tie the sisters have to one another in the show and creates good family humor.
Lindsey Shaw is so convincing in her character that I can’t imagine any other actress even attempting to play it. She has a natural energy that shines through in her character and she can deliver comical lines like no other. In fact, I probably laugh at her dialogue more than any other character’s simply because of the way it comes out of her mouth. Kat gradually goes through a personal growth throughout the show and the audience can watch as someone so sure of herself fights to stay on track and stick to what she has preached. It’s quite intriguing. Ethan Peck, though soft-spoken and not exactly convincing as the bad boy he is supposed to play, delivers a good, unique version of Patrick Verona. While in the movie the character really seemed as if he could have lived up to the rumors everyone had heard about him, I don’t get that from this version of Patrick. To me, he seems like the misunderstood kid that wants to appear scary only so that people will leave him alone and so that he can be sure anyone that does make an effort to get to know him is worthwhile.Overall, this show is just downright hilarious and the characters are endearing and addictive. The sarcasm alone is funny, but the characters themselves have such strong personalities, each one with their funny little quirks. The best thing is that the characters don’t seem one-dimensional like so many other TV characters are. Sadly it’s another show that lasted just one season but it is one heck of a good season.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: MEAN GIRLS 1 & 2

CAST

Lindsay Lohan (Freaky Friday)
Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes)
Tina Fey (Date Night)
Tim Meadows (Son of Zorn)
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
Ana Gasteyer (Suburgatory)
Lacey Chabert (Not Another Teen Movie)
Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield)
Neil Flynn (Scrubs)
Amanda Seyfried (Ted 2)

Sixteen-year-old homeschooled Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) and her zoologist parents (Ana Gasteyer and Neil Flynn) return to the United States after a 12-year research trip in Africa, settling in Evanston, Illinois. Cady attends a public school for the first time, meeting new classmates Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and Damien (Daniel Franzese). The two warn Cady to avoid the school’s most exclusive clique, the Plastics, who are led by queen bee Regina George (Rachel McAdams). The Plastics take an interest in Cady, however, and start to invite her to sit with them at lunch. Seeing that Cady is slowly becoming one of The Plastics, Janis hatches a plan of revenge against Regina, using Cady as the infiltrator.Cady soon learns about Regina’s “Burn Book”, a notebook filled with rumors, secrets, and gossip about the other girls and some teachers. Cady also falls in love with Regina’s ex-boyfriend, Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett), whom a jealous Regina steals back at a Halloween party. Cady continues with Janis’s plan to cut off Regina’s “resources”, which involve separating her from Aaron; tricking her into eating nutrition bars that make her gain weight; and turning Regina’s fellow Plastics – insecure rich girl Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert) and sweet but ditzy Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried) – against her. In the process, Cady unwittingly remakes herself in Regina’s image, becoming spiteful, superficial, and abandons Janis and Damian.

When Regina is finally made aware of Cady’s treachery, she responds by spreading around the contents of her Burn Book, quickly inciting a riot. To avoid suspicion, Regina inserts a fake libel of herself in the book in order to blame the only female students not mentioned in the book, The Plastics. Principal Ron Duvall (Tim Meadows) soon quells the riot, and ends up sending all the girls in the school to gather in the auditorium. Math teacher Ms. Sharon Norbury (Tina Fey), whom the Burn Book slandered as a drug dealer, makes the girls mentioned in the book fess up to the rumors and apologize to the other students and teachers. When Janis’s turn comes, she confesses her plan to destroy Regina with Cady’s help and openly mocks Regina with the support of the entire school. Pursued by an apologetic Cady, Regina storms out and gets hit by a school bus, breaking her spine.Without any friends, shunned by Aaron, and distrusted by everyone, Cady takes full blame for the Burn Book. Her guilt soon dissolves and she returns to her old personality. As part of her punishment for lying and failing Norbury’s class, she joins the Mathletes in their competition. There, while competing against an unattractive girl, Cady realizes that mocking the girl’s appearance would not stop the girl from beating her. She then realizes that the best thing to do is just solve the problem in front of you and ends up winning the competition after her opponent answers incorrectly. At the Spring Fling dance, Cady is elected Queen, but declares that all her classmates are wonderful in their own way, whereupon she breaks her plastic tiara and distributes the pieces. Cady makes amends with Janis and Damian, reconciles with Aaron, and reaches a truce with the Plastics, who then disband.
By the start of the new school year, the fate of the newly disbanded Plastics are shown. Regina joins the lacrosse team, Karen becomes the school weather reporter, while Gretchen joins and befriends the “Cool Asians.” Aaron graduates from high school and attends Northwestern University, Janis and Kevin Gnapoor begin dating, and Cady declares that she is now normal. Regina walks past Cady and smiles, showing that they are now kind to one another. As this happens, Damien points to Cady the new “Junior Plastics” walking by, and Cady imagines the Junior Plastics being hit by a bus.Mean Girls is often clever and hilarious, with several great one-liners and performances. The film seems tamed down a tad for the PG-13 rating, but it’s still sharp and effective more often than not.

CAST

Meaghan Martin (Awkward.)
Jennifer Stone (Deadtime Stories)
Claire Holt (The Originals)
Diego Boneta (Scream Queens)
Maiara Walsh (The Starving Games)
Nicole Gale Anderson (Beauty and The BEast)
Donn Lamkin (Just Cause)
Tim Meadows (Son of Zorn)
Linden Ashby (Mortal Kombat)
Colin Dennard (Lets Be Cops)
Bethany Anne Lind (Crackerjack)

Jo Mitchell is an 18-year-old high school senior. On her first day at North Shore High School, she encounters a clique called “The Plastics”, which is composed of the self-proclaimed leader, Mandi Weatherly; the ditzy girl with the raging libido, Chastity Meyer; and the hypochondriac Hope Plotkin. Jo also meets Abby Hanover, whom Mandi perceives to be a rival. Jo develops an attraction to Tyler Adams. Despite Jo’s attempts to avoid the Plastics, conflict develops between them and Abby.
Jo’s father is a mechanic who rebuilds engines for NASCAR. As a result, she becomes quite a good mechanic herself and ends up taking an advanced shop class at school, where she meets Tyler. Her principal means of transportation is a Vespa motor scooter. Jo’s dream is to attend Carnegie Mellon University, the alma mater of her late mother.When Jo meets Abby’s father, a successful infomercial entrepreneur, he offers to pay Jo’s college tuition in exchange for remaining good friends with Abby. Jo accepts, motivated by her desire to attend university. Jo, Tyler, and Abby become close friends. Jo also learns that Tyler is Mandi’s stepbrother. Mandi also escalates her war of pranks, including using artificial sweetener and coffee to ruin an engine Jo’s father is rebuilding.
Jo, Abby and another outcast girl, school newspaper reporter Quinn, start a new clique called the “Anti-Plastics”. They enact a series of pranks against Chastity and Hope. Jo runs against Mandi for Homecoming Court and their campaign threatens Tyler and Jo’s relationship. Jo tries to give back the money Sidney Hanover gave her for her friendship with Abby; Mandi overhears and uses this information against her. This leads to Tyler and Abby leaving her alone with the rest of her friends.

Mandi and her boyfriend Nick steal the homecoming court charity money. Mandi leaves an anonymous note saying the money is in Jo’s shed. The money is found in there. Thanks to an unwitting betrayal by Quinn, Jo is expelled but not before she finds Mandi and challenges her to a game of flag football. Mandi at first refuses until she realizes that she needs to win to remain popular so reluctantly agrees.

Tyler and the other Anti-Plastics try to help Jo and prove her innocence with the help of Elliott, a computer hacker. After beating the Plastics in a game of flag football, Mandi and Nick are arrested after images of them planting the money in Jo’s home are found by Elliott and texted to all of the cell phones in the audience. At the school’s Homecoming Dance, Abby and Elliott are elected as king and queen (thanks to Jo dropping out of the competition) and Jo and Tyler share a kiss.The film ends with Jo and Abby deciding to go to Carnegie Mellon University together, Tyler going to Penn State  and Quinn assuming the position she has long coveted, leader of the Plastics. Even though Mandi and Nick both got community service and were allowed to graduate (thanks in some part to their parents for donating a new library for the school), they lost their popularity for their actions. After seeking help for her raging libido problems, Chastity joins the Abstinence Club. Hope is working on overcoming her fear of germs.

This is clearly a very good attempt to make a sequel for Mean Girls. They had the right ingredients. Bunch of pretty girls, losers fighting back the status quo, a main character who starts from 0, goes to 10, loses everything to go way back to -10 and then goes back to… 9. Anyway, it’s not all that bad, but of course it fails to deliver compared to Tina Fey’s script for the original Mean Girls.