Two new series have debuted on the Disney Channel, not to be confused with Disney+ and these shows are not part of the Marvel (MCU) television shows, although, I think most people would realize that pretty quickly. These are programs geared more towards kids with an emphasis on comedy as opposed to quality storytelling. But, just like everything else, there are a time and a place for shows like these and maybe we need a bit more comedy in our lives.
The first of the shows, The Villains of Valley View, tell the story of a supervillain family that, after an altercation with the leader of the League of Villains, they must go on the run and try to leave their villain ways in the past and try to become basic members of society. But when you have been evil your entire life, that is harder said than done. The family consists of father Vic / Kraniac (James Patrick Stuart) a mad scientist who makes villainous gadgets. Mother, Eva / Surge (Lucy Davis), who can manipulate electricity. Oldest son, Jake / Chaos (Reed Horstmann), the lesser of the evils who has super strength, but is actively striving to become a better person. Youngest son, Colby / Flashform (Malachi Barton), who just got his shapeshifting powers in the pilot. And daughter, Amy / Havoc (Isabella Pappas), who has sonic powers and who blames herself for her families predicament.
The show is told in standard sitcom fashion, and includes a laugh track, which I feel actually detracts from the humor. The performances from the three children are actually pretty good, but the parents, I feel are a bit over the top and it feels like they are trying too hard to be funny, instead of letting the comedy come naturally from the script and the situations. Even with the forced comic delivery, I still laughed a couple times and chuckled throughout. The production value is ok, and is what I would expect from a generic Disney sitcom.
The second show, Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion, is done in a similar fashion. Centering on Violet (Scarlett Estevez), a 13 year old girl, who lives in the shadow of her brother who seemingly can do nothing wrong. One night, Violet receives a magical Luchador mask that transforms her into a super speedster. She convinces another superhero, Black Scorpion (J.R. Villarreal) to be her mentor. But, Violet is impatient and only wants social media “likes” and doesn’t understand the gravity of what being a hero means.
The shows main characters are all of Latino heritage and their connection to the Luchador culture. The series has its own kind of style with comic book art overlays emphasizing certain aspects of the show. The acting is decent, although I found Violet a little bit annoying, but that is because I am a 53 year old man, and find most 13 year old girls to be annoying. The show has its own charm and the supporting characters are standard, but it will be interesting to see how the family dynamic changes as Violet becomes more self-assured.
Both shows premiered on The Disney Channel on Friday, June 3rd 2022 and run weekly. Both shows deal with young female leads trying to figure out how to fit in, both in school and within their own family dynamics. Villains focus’ more on being a comedy sitcom, where Ultra Violet is more of a coming of age story. They have not established that these characters exist in the same universes, but it could be fun if they do a crossover where Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion need to fight the super villainous Maddens, having to team up at the end to battle an even bigger bad.
Over all, both shows had their own charm and style and both are fun to watch if you are in the mood for fluff with little substance.
The Villains of Valley View & Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion: Disney Channel Superhero Slapstick
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