It's the end of June, which means another school year wraps and the kids are all home. Some parents may be loving it, but as one who'll be looking for distractions to keep hers busy for two months, TV serves as a great option.
Yes, I know. My kid can also read a book and go to camp and ride her bike and play with her friends and she will do those things. But there are also times she'll just want to escape the humidity and sit at home in front of the TV and veg. And since I'm a total couch potato, I'm OK with that.
But there are only some shows we can watch together as a family ("Pretty Little Liars" freaks her out and she's not old enough to get most of the programming on ABC Spark). "So You Think You Can Dance" and "America's Got Talent" are obvious options, as are "MasterChef" and the upcoming second season of "Amazing Race Canada." And, shh, don't tell anyone but she loves "Ridiculousness" (though we forward past the inappropriate parts, of which there are many) and can't wait for its new season. Those are our shows, though, and she thinks it's only fair that we watch some of the stuff on Family, Disney XD, Teletoon and YTV too.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the shows. On the contrary, as soon as the TV is turned on, those are our default channels. So what better way to wind down the week before summer really kicks off (because you know it's not really summer until school is over) than with Disney's newest original movie? And a little "Girl Meets World" preview to boot? Wheeee!
"Zapped" stars Zendaya ("Shake It Up"; "Dancing With The Stars" runner-up -- though she totally should've won) as Zoey Stevens, a girl whose life is in transition. Her mom has just gotten remarried to a boisterous basketball coach with three rambunctious sons, she's new at her high school (never a fun thing) and her dream of being on the dance squad is shot down after evil captain Taylor Dean (Emilia McCarthy, "Hemlock Grove") catches Zoey talking to her ex, Jackson Kale (Spencer Boldman, "Lab Rats"). Zoey and Jackson hit it off on her first day, and she also meets Rachel (Chanelle Peloso, "Radio Rebel") who quickly becomes her BFF. (She's not exactly CeCe to her Rocky but it's close enough.)
Things get Disney-fied when Zoey's phone goes coo-coo-ca-choo and one of her apps becomes magical, and she is able to control all the boys around her. Sigh. I would have so much use for an app like that but I'll keep things PG here, folks. Needless to say, what starts out as an amazing perk quickly becomes total chaos. The tagline of the movie may be "Boy will be boys ... but better," but Zoey realizes that when you don't allow boys to be boys, you're asking for trouble.
So, "Zapped," which is directed by Peter DeLuise ("21 Jump Street," "16 Wishes"), is typical Disney fare -- girl has a rough start, meets a boy, gets into some wacky shenanigans, trouble ensues, girl learns lesson -- but with a twist. This may be a minor thing but I kind of loved that (spoiler alert!) the good girl never convinces the evil girl to shed her horns and gets her to realize the world is all about rainbows and unicorns. Because that's never realistic. Not that a magical app is, but come on. It's the little things I enjoy. I also enjoyed seeing Boldman being very un-Adam-like. His "Lab Rats" character is the dopiest of dopes so seeing him as a viable leading man-boy was a nice change of pace. And Zendaya, well, she's the pro of pros in this day and age of teenage stars so watching her do her thing is always fun.
It's only fitting that this movie about boys being boys is capped off with a bonus: a preview of the upcoming "Boy Meets World" spinoff, "Girl Meets World." Those of us who are pumped to see Cory and Topanga again get to catch a special preview episode right after "Zapped." From boys being controlled to a tween girl's perspective on life, this is a night that shouldn't be missed. TGIF indeed.
"Zapped" premieres Friday, June 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Family.