Reviews: Wizards Of Waverly Place
It's a DEVIL show now!
One of the most recognized and popular series on the Disney Channel today, Wizards Of Waverly Place was, quite frankly, a mediocre series to begin with. It was basically your average Disney teen sitcom with a Harry Potter gimmick. In the first season, the plots and characters were average at best but the wizard world they set up makes little to no sense, especially the rulings of the Wizard Council. The question of why only a single wizard in a family can keep their magic powers is barely adressed or analyzed, and when it was adressed in the third season....well, we'll get to that. Nevertheless, the first season did manage to be entertaining at times. The second season is where the show peaked; it was actually pretty damn good here. As the actors got better in their roles, the characters became more interesting and engaging, Alex and Justin in particular. Dropping the stereotypical Alpha Bitch character Gigi in favor of making Alex more "evil", and letting Harper in on the wizard secret were good moves in my opinion. The storylines were more enjoyable too, such as the "Saving Wiztech" two-parter, the "Wizards vs Vampires" episodes, and of course, The Movie that premired after the end of the season. Then the third season came and...the show just got awful. The writers began attempting serious story arcs that lasted a number of episodes, Mason Greyback was introduced and Juliet was Put On A Bus To Hell in those awful Vampires and Werewolves episodes, the characters all becamed Flanderized into Jerkasses who can't seem to function normally in life without being mean spirited idiots, the tone got needlessly Darker And Edgier, the humor became unfunny, and did I mention that THE STORIES ARE AWFUL? The Stevie story arc and the third season finale/fourth season premeire story were the worst of all. I'm glad the fourth season is going to be the last because at this point I don't give a damn who becomes the family wizard and would rather see a Kill Em All Ending. Overall, the first two seasons and the movie are reccomended. The third and fourth seasons can burn in TV Hell.
A genuinely decent Disney Sitcom?!
If you know me, you know I think the Disney Sitcoms are Guilty Pleasures, with some okay elements here and there. But Wizards of Waverly Place (and Good Luck Charlie, but most people know why that one is solid) is actually decent. I'm not saying it's amazing but but Disney standards, it is impressive. Mr Coat did a video on it that explains some of why It's good, so i won't go deep into the good acting and etc./ Watch oto here. Anyway, I like that the acting is less over the top and that it has less weak elements, but let's get into it for real. I like that it has an actual mythology with a story. The entire series is building up to the competition. Not just that, said contest effects the characters and leads to good stuff even before then. While plenty of aspects of the wizard world make no sense, I like most of it cuz it is cool and leads to good jokes and story parts.' The only case where it bugs me is, to an extent, the infamous Stevie saga (I won't go into here, as I did a post on my blog on dsney sitcoms, and I cover it there) and the season 4 opener. But the latter put the characters in a new situation that lead to go development. Speaking of, I love the development. Alex is not evil or whatever. She is simply a snarky, kind of bitchy person who is likable thanks to Selena Gomez's immense charm and how she actually grows and becomes easily willing to do good things in the end. She is a great, funny, character. I like everyone else too, as they tie into the story and truly grow and I did care for them. Man, the original end to the Justin/Juliet was pretty cool (even if it was just go Bridigt Mendler could go GLC). Each mini-sage of the story only got better and better, making for 2 great finale seasons and one amazing' finale. I agree with the positive review on here,as i like how dark it gets (with Steve's end being the only needless part). I won't go any further, as the video and review i mentioned explains it enough. This has it's flaws (like all of these shows) but it makes up for it with a good story, actual good humor, and heart. (Also, when a Disney sitcom detractor like MR Coat can see how this isn't a "devil show" and Alex is not evil, and others don't, is kind of sad when you think about it)
Not as kid friendly as you think it is
These series are surprisingly good, considering the fact that it's a Disney Channel production. Although it's a show about wizards, it is quite realistic in its characters' portrayals and their lines are intelligently plotted, filled with humor that varies. The characters are not the perfect role models (in fact, Alex Russo is inclined to portray some sort of antisocial, snarky anarchist), but apparently, not many people realize this - probably because not many really know what anarchism means. Not going further than that. Sometimes the violence is quite excessive and some episodes are really dark and edgy (e.g: Wizards Vs. Werewolves, Wizards Vs. Angels), but I think that's best thing about it. The main characters' relationship (if you didn't figure it out, I'm talking about the famous, or I should say, infamous siblings, Justin and Alex Russo) evolves from an innocent sibling rivalry to something much more serious (almost too serious sometimes for a kids show), reaching some sort of love-hate affair, but they mange to clean it up nicely in one way or another, because, well, siblings must get along in the end, right? It's unique, quite original in its own way, different and somewhat darker than the other fluffy, cheesy little shows Disney has to offer. That's why it is the only one I watch.
Still viable? Probably.
Even though the opener was a real stinker (as I mentioned in the DMOS page), i'd say the series isn't as bad as people are saying it is. Alex, while still a snarky little elf, does care about others, even despite her jerkiness. Her attitude hasn't bothered me too much, I do enjoy her attempts to amuse (though Harper is still my favorite), including some of the shenanigans she's ended up in. I did get some laughs out of the two recent episodes with Maxine. But Mason, on the other hand, I don't like as much (he ate Alex's ex-boyfriend for crying out loud, and sometimes I feel he and Alex tend to have issues). I wonder if Wizards vs. Angels will be any good? And for the record, the new opening theme OWNS. In conclusion, i'll take iCarly and Victorious over it, but imo Wizards still has some decency.