While Descendants has been getting all the attention over the past few months, Disney Channel also has premiered and new sitcom called BUNK’D, about three of the kids from Jessie at summer camp. Disney Channel spin-offs have a 50/50 chance of getting it right (Way to screw that up, Cory in the House), so it will be interesting to see how this show stacks up amongst the pantheon of Disney Channel sitcoms. Also a recent inductee in that pantheon is Best Friends Whenever, which follows two girls who suddenly get time traveling powers, which premiered last month. As your Disney Channel correspondent, I’m here to give you the pros and cons of each show, helping you navigate what to watch and what to skip.
Starring: Peyton List, Skai Jackson, Karan Bar, Miranda May, Kevin Quinn, Nina Lu, Nathan Arenas
Plot: Three siblings from Jessie head to Camp Kikiwaka in Maine to become counselors-in-training for the summer
- The three siblings (Skai, Peyton and Karan) are pros by now, having 4 seasons of Jessie under their belt. Their timing and facial expressions are great and they know what to do in every scene.
- The other counselors (Miranda and Kevin) are really fun. Miranda plays kind of a country-nerd type role, but her jokes are some of the best on the show, with her timing being great as well. Kevin didn’t have a lot to do, but it was good.
- Two people in the premiere were listed as guest stars, but they seem like they will be in highly recurring. Gladys, played by Mary Scheer, is the head of the camp and she KILLS. Her hatred of kids and love of money is hilarious. She also got the biggest laugh from me of the night as she realizes one child’s tuition check bounced. I was dying with laughter. Hazel, played by Tessa Netting, is the other shining star of the show. She plays the head counselor who is also obsessed with Kevin Quinn’s character. Her comedy stylings are the best of the bunch, and she really knows how to get every laugh. I cannot wait to see more of these two.
- I like the plot of this one. The camp setting can inspire some pretty fun plots and I’m really intrigued to see where this comedy goes.
- It’s no Girl Meets World, that’s for sure. I’m so used to seeing comedy and drama co-existing now, but BUNK’D is strictly comedy thus far. We’ll see if they can do both, because Disney Channel shows that do that are always better to me. (CC: That’s So Raven)
- I could do without the blatant stereotypes. Oh, look, the Asian girl has a tiger mom and has to study without having fun! Oh, look, the chubby kid has flatulence and poop as his main jokes! It’s phoned in and very annoying.
- I like Miranda’s country-nerd now, but I’m wondering if it will quickly become grating.
- The first episode didn’t have the title sequence. I hate that!
Best Friends Whenever
Starring: Landry Bender, Lauren Taylor, gus Kamp, Rickey Garcia, Benjamin and Matthew Royer
Plot: After a mishap in their friends lab, Shelby and Cyd have the power to time travel.
- The theme song is nice.
- That’s all I got.
- The acting isn’t the best, the concept is misused, the comedy is never present, and the characters are either incredibly unlikeable or incredibly unnecessary. I sense this will either become cancelled quickly, or just become like the crop of Canadian series the channel has aired, for people to easily forget down the line (Naturally Sadie, Life with Derek, etc.).
- Don’t watch it.
Moral of the story is to stick around for BUNK’D, but try and time travel to a place where Best Friends Whenever isn’t airing.