waynepygram.com: Freaky Friday DCOM Reviewed

waynepygram.com: Freaky Friday DCOM Reviewed

Don't call her a tool! Nobody's calling anybody any names here! Alternatively, an entire song about trying to pass Biology with maybe some subtext about love or something that doesn't really work, yay!

What is it? A Disney Channel Original Movie, yo! Although we had Z-O-M-B-I-E-S (yes I'm going to insist on that because that's how Disney should've marketed it) back in February, it certainly feels even longer since we've had one of these (which probably speaks more about Z-O-M-B-I-E-S more than anything but...that's another review).
Where did it air? Oh, I'm sure you can watch Disney Channel Original Movies on Nickelodeon or even HBO....
Who stars in it? Cozi Zuehlsdorff who, yeah, you had to Google that to spell it right too, anyway this is her first starring DCOM role, some older actress person who I'm too lazy to look up, a bunch of other people yeah yeah, Dana Reneehere
Why are we reviewing this? Well, it's a DCOM but...actually more on that but yeah, we review DCOMs here so there.

So, umm, there's a lot to unpack here.

Much of which I already did in the article I, uh, linked up there. But now's the time to talk 2018 Freaky Friday strictly from an entertainment/literary/wider television landscape analysis.

Annnnnnnnd...even completely tabling my questioning-trans status completely and pretending it doesn't exist at all and not something I've thought a lot about since literally I've been capable of thought so no this isn't just some suddenly new thing for me but...there's a lot of, um, questioning about this one.

For starters I thought it was actually...ok? Yeah let's talk about that first.

By far the best thing about the movie, if I'm not going to just go on and on about how pretty Marlowe is in a wig and fake boobs to the point where he probably would want to empty a Rotofury's entire dart load straight into my face, is the opening sequence. It's very beautifully, whimsically and creatively done but...all the same, when I'm praising the opening credits as the most creative and best part of the movie, that's sad, yo

The decision to make it a musical...ok it's bizarre. I've never seen any of the previous versions of Freaky Friday so I don't know if they're even musicals or not. But the musical numbers in this one felt very much like an after-thought. They don't serve to carry or convey or add to the plot in a proper musical, like in any of the given HSM movies (yes even the second one) or Teen Beach Movie (or even...the second one...) or Lemonade Mouth, they instead serve as a very hard stop and pause to that same action. That's...pretty much the exact opposite of what musical numbers are supposed to do. Or the exact opposite of what any narrative device is supposed to do. It doesn't feel like I'm suddenly watching two separate movies, but rather, that they decided to film two separate scripts written for the same movie and somehow try to edit them seamlessly into one.

Spoiler alert: they failed at it.

What certainly doesn't help is that the musical numbers...also just sucked. Hard. About as hard as I want Marlowe...ok, even to me this is just coming off as an open, very public display of sexual harassment so I'll stop gushing over how pretty I think he was in this right now. 

I mean I only think Marlowe's pretty in the context presented in this movie anyway, #SorryNotSorry. And ok I promise I'll stop now. Again on the off-chance you're reading this I really don't blame you if you want to fire off a Rotofury directly into my face. Hell even a Mastadon.

But anyway, the musical numbers were hot flaming piles of Bunk'd-level dumpster garbage. There was a musical number of how horrible your parents are. There was a musical number about fucking catering. There was a musical number about fucking Biology class, and yeah I know it was allegorical for love, except I think that's what was intended but they failed hard at it so yeah it's a musical number about trying to fucking pass high school Biology.

I understand this is supposed to be faithful to the musical but...this makes me want to stay away from the musical hardcore. If there's anything everything from Spider-Man to Spongebob has taught us, it's that Broadway should stop trying to turn every fucking thing into a fucking musical.

Oh and let's talk specifically about Go!, or I should say GoooooOOooooOOOooooOOOOOooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!fuckmealready. Yeah, the "soundtrack" of Disney Channel's entire fucking summer. They just started running ads for the official Freaky Friday soundtrack and you know that's just going to fly off the shelves.

The rest of the movie was...ok. It was a yeoman DCOM effort minus the musical bits. Not as great as even lowkey DCOMs I really, really like, like say Geek Charming, How to Build a Better Boy or Bad Hair Day or, yes, I'm being completely serious here - Hatching Pete. Not even like Frenemies which is what I would consider a really great example of what I think is truly So Bad It's Good. It's better than Invisible Sister or the hugely overrated boring snorefest that people think was "great" from Disney Channel's eariest eras for some reason (I'm not kidding I literally used to use The Thirteenth Year off Watch Disney Channel as a sleep aid, yes I'm being extremely literal about this) but that's it.

Which in the grand scheme of things puts it right down the middle of the road. 

As for acting- Cozi did a good job. I really like Cozi. I really liked her in Dophin's Tale, I really liked her in Mighty Med, I really liked her in KC Undercover. Given how she has big screen experience in multiple starring roles, there's no doubt or compulsion to needlessly insult her acting ability. Her singing...she was lip-synced, everybody saw that a billion miles away. Everybody was lip-synced. Cozi was lip-synced in all her songs, What's Her Face Adult was lip-synced in all her songs (and she's reprising her role from the musical!), Dana was lip-synced in all her songs, Marlowe was lip-synced for all speaking roles period. 

That's all I have to talk about quality-wise aside from assigning grades and MVP awards but...yeah let's really dish and talk about how much of a hot mess this movie was.

I disagree with the assertion that this movie wasn't promoted a lot. It was promoted since last year during...Descendants 2 even, I think. I could be wrong but I feel as certain about it as I am not only in my desire for a really hot redhead girlfriend (again) but in my desire to be a really hot redhead myself. Yeah I know just because I came out as questioning...I should quit that too. But it got about as much promotion as say Geek Charming or How to Build a Better Boy or Bad Hair Day or, hell even Cloud 9. So yeah, no, no excuse for that here.

As much as I thought the movie was ok people hated it. It's one of the lowest-rated DCOMs on IMDB right now. The most popular #FreakyFriday hashtags were about how people thought this movie was hot flaming Bunk'd-level dumpster garbage or...porn tags. Yup, as in we're talking actual uncensored dick pics over Twitter through the #FreakyFriday hashtag. Great Job Disney! It's also the lowest rated DCOM since they started Nielsen-rating DCOMs - yes it beat out the infamous Johnny Tsunami: Back on Board. Your average episode of Andi Mack and Bunk'd got about the same ratings.

Literally every single episode premiere of A.N.T. Farm got higher ratings.

Literally every single episode premiere of I Didn't Do It got higher ratings.


In terms of the raw business of television, this is one of the greatest hot messes Disney Channel has ever had on its hands. And to the movie's credit, not all of it is its fault as DCOM ratings have been on a steady downward slope since before I even started indulging in my feminine manchildish-ness in watching the network. Except it's certainly a much more dramatic slope in the past year or two. It arguably started all the way back with Lemonade Mouth when ratings were only great, not block-buster HSM-numbers, and arguably Disney just had too high expectations. But fast forward that same year through Geek Charming and except for the surge of Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas! immediately after the DCOM numbers weren't clearly as high as they were back during the height of DCOM-mania (not just when HSM ruled the channel, but when the series-based DCOM was commonplace). GLC ended up being the very last (aside from BS pilots-in-disguise, yeah I'm looking at you Tangled) and I think it was very clear when Shake it Up: Made in Japan ended up being a multi-cam three-parter.

Fast forward to today and...Teen Beach 2 was one of the biggest bombs for the network at that time. Adventures in Babysitting eclipsed that status. It's been just going steadily downhill every since, and now it's a Sisyphean-boulder crashing down the mountainside. 

One of the things that really compelled me to watch Freaky Friday, for old time's sake, is that aside from Descendants 3 this could very well be the last DCOM. Ever.

This is no exaggeration. The business case just isn't there anymore, especially if you need something like Descendants, a mega-event carefully crafted and tailored to meet all the key demo's fetishes (yes really) just to rise above the level of a perfectly normal episode.

So, yeah. What a way to go out.

And at the end of the day, with all the combined considerations of ratings, audience reaction, and even the quality of the work itself, it's really worth asking, after all the work she's put into the network in supporting roles here and there, they decided that, finally, Cozi's very own starring DCOM vehicle...should be this?

They decided it was worth going so far as to make a guy wear a wig and boobs for this?

Episode Grade: A flat-C. It's...a perfectly normal serviceable DCOM dragged down by some extremely questionable musical numbers.
Episode MVP: Marlowe in a wig and boobs because sexy-sexy He's just gonna track me down all the way to the next local Nerf War and just make a point to totally own my ass isn't he? Cozi all the way. I really like her as an actress and this DCOM doesn't change anything about that.

Extra Thoughts:

 - fun fact: I actually got to interact with Cozi during a Periscope! She even answered my question! (it was about Debby of course and what it was like to work with her on Mighty Med).

 - If Marlowe (or anybody) wants to really bring on literal hurt onto me at the next Nerf War I'm at, I suggest a Caliburn.

 - This is a bit after the fact I know and...I'm kind of drunk, but...it just occurred to me that one of the reasons why I liked Cozi especially when she was on Disney Channel with the long hair is...she kind of reminds me of my ex-fiancee, even more than Debby (a lot more actually).

Yeah that's creepy I know I'll stop.
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