waynepygram.com: Why I'm not reviewing the KC Undercover finale (though I'm hoping maybe Mike will if he saw it)

waynepygram.com: Why I'm not reviewing the KC Undercover finale (though I'm hoping maybe Mike will if he saw it)

The answer is very simple: I'm not terribly interested in watching it.

That said it's not like I hate KC Undercover, or was always that uninterested in it: I watched the first two or so seasons, back when it premiered just a very small tad over exactly three years ago (or not quite 37 months ago - wow, time flies). Those first two seasons were...ok. I'd probably give it anywhere from an actually respectable C+ to a pretty respectable B- (that's probably as close to a series-wide grade as you're going to get from me, so if that's all you're interested in you can stop reading now). In other words, it was a pretty average Disney Channel series, about on the same level as Dog With a Blog and I Didn't Do It which would spend that entire year finishing out their final seasons (remember those shows?) 

One of my biggest complaints about KCU, though, was that it didn't seem to make use of its spy premise all that much - it was the KC is an average school student, let's watch all her school problems, and oh yeah she's a spy in there show. They definitely changed that up in about the middle of the second season and doubled down on it in the third - but along the way something fundamental changed. Yeah, the show started off about this girl with her school and friends problems who maybe was a spy on weekends, but at least it was pretty relatable. I didn't realize just how relatable and enjoyable until it went full-tilt into the spy business.

When it started going full in on The Other Side business, it was pretty decently done at first but then KC put the kibosh on The Other Side waaaay too soon (no later than the end of the second season) and...I think that's when the series jumped the shark. Yeah Zane, Craig Cooper's arch nemesis, came back here and there and took over the organization, but that was confined to a few special episodes (with China McClain!) and from that moment since the series felt like it was struggling to one-up itself and find random evil spy organizations invented on-the-spot that could out The Other Side The Other Side. 

For me, it felt like the show was collapsing under its own weight.

The real jump the shark moment was the two-parter In Too Deep, where KC had to infiltrate the Volunteens, lead by an evil 15 year old girl who wanted to use her greenie-minded teen minions to take over the world. If you're wondering why that was such a jump the shark moment, well, go back and re-read what I just wrote about the first The Other Side temp replacement scrubs sent up to bat, the Volunteens, lead by an evil 15 year old girl who wanted to use her greenie-minded minions to take over the world.

Yeah. That's fucking stupid.

The big gimmick about the two-parter (that's another thing, from that moment on they insisted on just about having a "gimmick" for every. Single. Fucking. Episode) was that KC was so drawn into the Volunteens there was a real chance she could defect to them - a suspenseful moment completely and totally ruined if you stuck past the very end of the episode where you were treated to a preview of the next episode featuring KC fighting this evil 15 year old vegan girl (yeah, great job Disney Channel). 

So yeah, I decided, there wasn't a point in watching that episode anymore.

And that trend kinda stuck. Despite doubling-down on its spy premise the episodes just got more repetitive and formulaic, and I didn't feel like there was much of a need to watch. So I didn't.

As time went on, the plotlines got more and more outlandish as the show went through evil bad guy organizations staffed near-exclusively by teens like tissue paper - the Alternate, these Bishop guys leading up to the series finale, etc. Yet at the same time, they stuck by that same formula - are these really good guys or bad guys? moments completely and entirely ruined by either previews or, more often, the show itself, a complete lack of suspense and just a bunch of tedium. I saw some of The Alternate episodes when they were randomly rerun through the weekend hours and...yeah, it was just a big giant pile of blah.

And another thing - the schedule getting out of whack to near-final season of iCarly-levels certainly didn't help things. The Alternate story arch was, what, like seven episodes? And yet it seems like they stretched that thing out from late May (just in time for pool season and the end of school - you know, that thing the core demo would really be caring about) all the way to damn near Thanksgiving. This also meant that the prime rerun slots reserved for KCU was the same damn couple of episodes over and over and over again) which is probably the biggest reason why I even bothered to see those few episodes.

But yeah, I recorded the last few episodes (not the entire week) and then I watched a few minutes and I was like, "yeah, I'm lost, but I know what's going to happen, this show is repetitive despite the fact that I haven't watched an episode in months if not longer." So I deleted the series finale off my DVR after watching literally seven seconds in.

I don't find it fair to evaluate an entire series or at least the finale season when I haven't even seen most of it but...I think whatever grade would be clear at this point anyway. I think it's also pretty clear that most people were tuning in just for Zendaya but...I think it's just as clear that she's way outgrown her Disney Channel roots, especially given all the movie roles she's gotten. So good luck Zendaya in your future career. Disney Channel was a good launch pad, but it's also served its purpose.

Extra Thoughts

 - just one, at least on KCU itself (well, not even that): Zendaya was the *very* first person I ever saw in concert. This was before KC Undercover or for that matter Zapped! premiered and almost just fresh off Shake it Up, back in Summer '14 (they even talked about KC Undercover's premiere and Zapped! which was less than a month away at the time when they introduced her). Yeah. I don't know what was more awkward, being a grown-ass guy without any kids there, or the fact that I wasn't even the *only* grown-ass guy without any kids there. FFS we like had our own special section.

 - on the new Spider-Man show that I never bothered to watch save for these few seconds recorded off the beginning of DuckTales: I don't know if she's Mary Jane or not (who is now Zendaya in live-action I guess?) but I really like this redhead superheroine they have occasionally helping Spidey I guess. I dunno. I'm making this evaluation based off of literally seven seconds of footage.

 - oh, and I'd wish they'd just quit reinventing the cartoon series as often as they've reinvented the live-action movie franchise and just give freakin' Miles Morales his own freakin' cartoon series by now.

 - Oh and here's a surprise Regal Academy review! Remember this show? Probably not. It premiered during the graveyard hours over on Nickelodeon from September 2016 (coinciding with Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir which was vastly superior, needless to say) to late last April, and for whatever reason I actually bothered to watch every single episode except the very last one which didn't record due to weather issues (DirecTV sucks kids, just like literally every other "cable" TV service out there). After that point I thought the show was permanently done for on Nick, but lo and behold out from nowhere it comes back - on Nick Jr. I watched a random episode while writing this KCU essay and let me say the show's gotten a major revamp visual-wise - from "even worse than The Adventures of Kid Danger" to "at least it looks better than Kid Danger now." It's pretty clear this show exists to be as cheap as possible (especially in the first season) and while the CGI...actually looks like CGI and not premade assets downloaded for free off Steam and rearranged into whatever TV show they can, well...it's still pretty cheap. The end credits now feature some 2D animation cut-out style thingies and...I wish the show was that instead. At least it'd look more visually interesting.
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