waynepygram.com: Season 2 of Raven's Home is about as bad as Season 2 of Bunk'd now

waynepygram.com: Season 2 of Raven's Home is about as bad as Season 2 of Bunk'd now

Season 2 of Bunk'd was bad by basically doubling-down on how bad Season 1 was. Jorge became even more of an offensive stereotype to the point where one has to wonder just how in the world can the writing staff get away with this while employed by a company officially endorsing "The Force is Female" shirts and I really have to wonder how Mateo Arias was even able to live with himself like this; and the same with Nina Lui's character, just, not quite as bad; and just...more garbage plots.

But Season 2 of Raven's Home is bad, equally bad, but in a different way. It's just simply as if the writing staff of that show just...doesn't know how to actually write a show. The Bunk'd crew clearly know how to write a comedy, they just seemingly almost deliberately did it bad, awful and at worst (and way too often) downright offensively. As for the S2 Raven's Home crew, it's as if they've been thrown into a situation they have no idea how to get themselves out of. It's like they took, I dunno, the studio custodial team or the caterers and told them, ok guys now you're writing a tween sitcom.

Before I go on I just want to point out who that writing staff is. I have no idea - well, I mean, they literally tell you in the credits, that's the sole reason why credits exist, but unlike with what I'm going to call Disney Channel Classic (Lizzie McGuire all the way to as recent as last year with Bizaardvark and Andi Mack) I don't feel particularly compelled to pay attention anymore - up to a point. I do know that the S1 crew was Entertainment Force - the same crew that put together Best Friends Whenever? Man I miss Best Friends Whenever I loved that show. And now it's November 13 with the frying pan for some reason, and the pug dog...whatever. Obviously they pulled a I Didn't Do It and switched out the production crew between seasons, and just like with I Didn't Do It it was for the worst.

And an additional note regarding just what the hell do I mean when I talk about Entertainment Force, and November 13, and pug dogs, and Bon Mot (Pamela Eells O'Connell's team, of Suite Life and Jessie fame) and all this other random nonsense - so there's a difference between network, studio and production company. The network - in this case Disney Channel - is quite simply the network or channel that occupies a spot on your TV range that airs these programs. The studio - in this case It's a Laugh Productions - is the actual entity that makes the TV show, i.e. films it - it's exactly as you classically imagine a studio lot as being like the classic Columbia and Paramount lots of yore with the giant airplane hangar-like soundstages and tour groups. Except in this specific case It's A Laugh Productions is a wholly-owned sub-entity of ABC Television Productions that's the actual studio where these shows are produced (likewise with Horizon, which is literally the same thing except shows that are single-cam format are labeled as Horizon productions instead for some reason) but that difference is quite frankly immaterial. Huge chunks of the crew, including important personnel like directors such as Micheal Dean Seaton and Rick I Forgot His Name are more than free to wander about the studio lot onto other ABC productions, or even other lots entirely like CBS Television and FOX Television (although I guess FOX and ABC are the same thing now...). And then you have the actual production crew - which includes a core group of writers and producers (or more specifically, showrunners) that basically have formed a posse and hang out together making TV shows. They can be fairly decently-sized groups or as little as two people or even a single individual. They're completely and totally mercenary (at least in theory) going around freelance-style to whatever studios happen to pick up their shows for production, and whatever networks happen to pick up those shows for actual airing.

This is what those different groups like Bon Mot, Entertainment Force, November 13 whatever are. They're effectively just freelance creative brain trusts made up of a few selective individuals.

Perhaps the best-known and best-illustrative example is Bad Robot - what it boils down to is that that just means it's a J.J. Abrams production. But J.J. Abrams isn't the actual production studio or network/film distributor - he lacks that infrastructure and is still dependent on pitching his ideas to those entities and hope they will pick them up (or hope that they'll commission him for projects as is the case with Star Trek and Star Wars). Or with Jerry Bruckheimer productions which - well I hope it's kinda self-explanatory who's the big guy behind that one is. Or Shore Z, which is the posse David Shore (House and now The Good Doctor) has formed around himself. Although in practice most if not all of these production crews are practically in-house for Disney Channel anyway since they meet and work together under the circumstances of being employed by Disney. Oops Donuts is actually one of the few notable exceptions since they do a show for Nickelodeon for now but it's still obviously solidly in the realm of primarily tween entertainment. And (at least traditionally) most Disney Channel productions don't have a separate production entity at all, effectively making by default It's A Laugh Productions both the actual studio and production posse crew. It's people who command a lot of clout, talent or both - like Ron Hart and John Beck of Oops Donuts and Pamela Eells O'Connell of Bon Mot - who get to "declare" their own production company as far as Disney's concerned (or are brought in from the outside with that kind of resources already in place - again just like with the examples I just named).

But that's not really the main point of this post, the main point is to talk about how...these guys don't know what they're doing with Raven's Home. It feels like I'm watching a sitcom put together by exactly the demographic this show's aimed at, but very clearly being in the demo is distinct from understanding the demo, or at least having the talent to pull it off. The plots and the writing of the characters just feel...extremely detached from reality in a very particular way. I don't want to go so far as what AV Club once said of the infamous Secret Life of the American Teenager and claim it's actually produced by aliens who understand Earth only from intercepted television signals. It still feels like it's made by actual human people with regular, normal contact with society-at-large and/or who regularly watch television.

But it also feels like it's made by people who are just in over their heads and while they understand the most basic physical fundamentals - they know how to form proper sentences and which end of the camera they need to point at things - the actual concept of writing a script for television and directing actors is a concept far, far beyond their current level of expertise and training.

Season 2 Grade: It's an F. In all intellectual honesty I don't know what other kind of grade to give it. I don't remember what grade I gave Bunk'd Season 2 but...it's an F. Just watching Raven's Home is such an awkward experience I can't really get through an episode which...really should mean an automatic F.

...well, I take that back. The show was pretty OK up until after the Siezemore Returns arc. That was actually pretty good up until after that point and I really enjoyed that arc. But then right after that...it felt like a different show entirely, let alone suddenly a drastically different Season 3. There's this Scut thing, and then there's this little kid who's the kid of the landlord, and...just stuff. Like I said, just too awkward to really watch through.

Season 2 MVP: Eeehhhh...I mean the kid actors try to carry it through their best as if nothing'sh happened and I'd give them credit for that. Raven...eh I guess. But really, I'm not sure how to reward this.


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