Archive for the ‘Drake and Josh’ Category

Channel Flippin’ – "Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh" Review

December 14, 2008

Drake and Josh return to Nickelodeon for some Christmas merriment that strays from the original style of their show, but still is a hoopla of Santa-fied fun.

By Blake

Originally posted December 14, 2008.

I was ecstatic when Nickelodeon announced that they would be making a Drake & Josh Christmas movie that would feature all of the original cast from the hit television series. The show wrapped up with a series finale in August 2007 and, while reruns air every day, a new episode hasn’t been created since that time. Although it does seem a bit odd that the show would return for a single film after only being off the air for 16 months, I understand why a full new season wasn’t very plausible – the cast has since moved on to other projects that they’re now involved in. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that I was disappointed that a movie would be made instead of a full series revival because, being my favorite sitcom, I’m openly excited when it comes to anything Drake & Josh. Being one of the only children’s programs these days that stays clean while still providing wholesome entertainment for both children and adults (several adults I know were more excited for the new movie than their kids were), Drake & Josh has been hilarious ever since it first debuted in January 2004. And having the very successful creator Dan Schneider (who has worked on All That, The Amanda Show, Kenan & Kel, iCarly, and others) behind the project only boosts up the show’s quality.

I was naturally eager for the new made-for-TV movie Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh to premiere and, while it was certainly entertaining and had the distinctive Drake & Josh flair to it, I couldn’t help but feeling that it was different. It didn’t seem like a true Drake & Josh adventure that I’ve been used to seeing. The entire original cast returns for the movie, but Drake and Josh themselves are the only characters from the TV show that really have prominent roles.

The movie had several goals to get accomplished from the beginning: it had to re-acquaint the audience with the characters by introducing each of them again, since we haven’t seen them for over a year. Next, it had to develop its own stand-alone story that will contain itself without spreading into further areas of the series, since supposedly right now there’s no plans to bring the show back permanently. Lastly, it not only had to wrap up its self-contained movie story, but also firmly wrap up the entire series, something that was already done by devoting an entire double episode in the show’s series finale. That’s a lot to get done in one movie and when you add in the whole Christmas element into the scheme of things, which the show had yet to experience until now, it could be a pretty mindboggling task to get this movie made.

Thankfully, Nickelodeon pulled it off rather nicely. There were definitely funny moments and the film met its goals satisfactorily.

In the movie, Drake and Josh make a promise to give the best Christmas ever to a little girl and her foster family. As a result of a series of circumstances that are far too zany and complicated to explain here, they MUST give this little girl the best Christmas she’s ever had or else Drake and Josh will get sent to jail.

Eight new characters almost match the returning eleven faces, and in my opinion if this is really the last time that Drake & Josh would be back for a new story, I’d rather be with the already-established characters than new ones. Much of the film’s attention goes to the six foster children, including Mary Alice, the girl Drake and Josh made their promise to, and Zigfy, who speaks an unidentifiable foreign language. Additionally, much of the meat of the movie is devoted to another new character, a police officer who takes it upon himself to make sure Drake and Josh don’t fulfill their Christmas promise.

Of course, nothing goes exactly as planned for Drake and Josh in trying to keep their Christmas promise, but along the way they involve themselves with a crazed construction machine gone wild, an insane party on the roof, and of course what’s a good movie without a monkey.

Like previously stated, many of the new characters are shown much more frequently than the old ones, but the entire original cast does return. Mindy makes two brief appearances, Drake and Josh’s parents book a “tropical paradise” vacation for Christmas, and Craig and Eric awkwardly stand off to the side in a few scenes occasionally chiming in with a line or two of dialogue. Megan was present often, but had a much smaller role than I had thought she would. I was just waiting for her to concoct an extravagant Christmas prank but nothing ever surfaced there. However, I must say there were a few characters who I thought were extremely funny. Helen announced that she was celebrating her divorce this Christmas (even though the series finale was spent preparing for her wedding), the Premiere Movie Theater employee Gavin had plenty of randomly hysterical tidbits of experiences he shares with Josh, and Mrs. Hayfer even makes a fitting cameo.

Lastly, Crazy Steve was hilarious. Definitely the highlight of the movie for me, he’s really the best part of the entire show in my opinion and certainly brought his share of hilarity to the film. He had a few one-liners that had me re-winding on more than once occasion.

Overall, I’d say that Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh was satisfactory for me. I was thrilled to spend more time with my favorite characters, but not so thrilled that their time had to be divided up with new faces. There are plenty of memorable moments and funny scenes, but there weren’t enough of them to keep it at the same level of entertainment as other Drake & Josh adventures. I’d say it’s a given to watch the film this Christmas season if you have kids in your house but if you’re not familiar with the show I wouldn’t go out of my way to view it. I just dare you to watch it without rolling on the floor laughing hysterically at Crazy Steve.

How do I rank Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh? (Bolded is my choice.)
  • Utterly repulsive
  • Blech
  • Not good
  • Good
  • Very good
  • Brilliant

Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh will most likely please: Kids (ages 5-7) – Older Kids (ages 8-10) – Tweens (ages 11-13)

By Blake; originally posted December 14, 2008. All images (C) Nickelodeon.


Channel Flippin’ – Drake & Josh Movie Reminder!

December 5, 2008

Remember, everyone – Drake and Josh return to Nickelodeon for an all-new adventure for the first time in over a year TONIGHT!!! It will feature all the original cast from the great TV series, including Drake Bell, Josh Peck, Miranda Cosgrove, and many more! The show’s creator Dan Schneider is also behind the project.

So remember to tune in tonight on Nickelodeon, because there’s sure to be some hilarious Christmas fun served up for the hysterical Drake and Josh when Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh airs tonight at 8:00pm Eastern Time on Nick.

Channel Flippin’ – The 82nd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 28, 2008

This year packed another impressive parade filled with corporate advertisements and family entertainment.

By Blake

Originally posted November 28, 2008.

Well, another Thanksgiving has come and gone and by today I’m sure you all feel stuffed, regretful (for your stomach’s sake), satisfied, and – I hope – thankful. With every Thanksgiving comes the celebrity-studded lineup of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year marked the parade’s 82nd run and the 150th anniversary of Macy’s itself. As usual, Today’s anchors hosted the parade, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vierra, and Al Roker.

Although there were plenty of bee-boppin’ teen groups present, today I’ll be highlighting what I thought were the parade’s best points, as well as the Disney factors presented during the show.

While last year’s Mary Poppins performance of “Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious” dazzled the parade’s Broadway hour, this year the cast of The Little Mermaid performed “Under the Sea” in the same grand style. Although Ariel doesn’t sing even a word in the entire song, Sierra Boggess was indeed present to perform the title character, as was Titus Burgess as Sebastian. It was quite a performance, and I must say that those performers must have been COLD, especially Ariel!

After the Broadway performances were over and shortly after the parade officially kicked off, Miley Cyrus performed the song “I Thought I Lost You” from the new Disney animated film Bolt. Although the song is performed as a duet between Cyrus and John Travolta in the film, Travolta was not present during the parade. Miley Cyrus performed the song on a new Bolt float, accompanied by built-in balloons of the characters Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino. While I initially thought that the actual walk-around versions of the characters (like the ones currently at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World) would be present, I suppose the balloons would attract more attention. Nevertheless, it was a nice performance.

The next memorable performance that I recall was the Sesame Street number. Currently in its 39th season (and having been in the Macy’s Parade for 12 years, including this year), the cast of the show (with special guest pianist Lang Lang) performed the song “Songs,” which I remembered from the 1999 TV special Elmopalooza. All of the lovable Sesame Street Muppets were present, including Big Bird, Elmo, Zoey, Ernie, Bert, Oscar, the fairly new Abby Cadabby, and many more.

A little while later came American Idol runner-up David Archuleta, performing his hit single “Crush,” which is featured on his new self-titled debut album. While I was a little puzzled as to why David Cook, the American Idol winner, did not also perform in the parade, I was satisfied to learn later on from a commercial for Christmas in Rockefeller Center that he would be singing on that this Wednesday.

Directly following Archuleta was the all-new Buzz Lightyear balloon!!! Toy Story being one of my favorite films of all time, I was very pleased when I found out that Buzz was getting balloon treatment. Buzz was featured in the parade to promote the October 2009 3-D re-release of Toy Story, the February 2010 3-D re-release of Toy Story 2, and the June 2010 debut of Toy Story 3. Buzz will most likely be featured in next year’s parade, as well, to continue that promotion. I had read on Mouse Planet’s WDW Park Update this week that Toy Story director John Lasseter was one of the many “handlers” carrying Buzz along the parade route, though the cameras didn’t show him.

A while later came Miranda Cosgrove, of Drake & Josh and iCarly fame, who performed her song “About You Now.”

Later on came the Kermit the Frog balloon, and even later came the real-life Kermit, performing “I Believe” with some kids from Camp Broadway. Pulling off a touching performance as always, Kermit was wonderful, and left a nice segue into the anticipated arrival of Santa Claus. Kermit was present to promote the all-new Muppets Christmas special A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa, which premieres Wednesday, December 17 at 8pm eastern time on NBC. A small trailer for the special was shown during the parade, and it looks like it’s really going to be a hilariously funny adventure for Kermit and the crew.

Capping off the parade as the second-to-last performance before Santa’s arrival was Kristen Chenoweth, Broadway and film celebrity who rode upon the Care Bears float. Although she sang a Christmas song in the parade, she has several connections to Disney. She was in The Wonderful World of Disney’s remake of The Music Man, she performed the Oscar-nominated song “That’s How You Know” from Enchanted this year at the Academy Awards, she currently voices Rosetta the Fairy in the Tinker Bell movies, and she’s reported to be the voice of the title character in the upcoming 2010 Disney animated movie Rapunzel.

The last performance of the parade was Andy Williams, singing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” It was quite a fitting way to cap off the parade, and, of course, next came the arrival of Santa Claus!!! Accompanied by Mrs. Claus, Santa seemed extra jolly and was waving to everyone as his sleigh passed by.

This year’s parade was a wonderful way to spend Thanksgiving morning. While I don’t think it’s fair to compare one year’s parade to another since they’re all relatively similar, I did enjoy it thoroughly and it had a little sampling of each of my favorite types of entertainment – Disney animation, American Idol, and the Muppets. If you missed it, then I think it’s your loss, as the parade will most likely not be re-broadcasted. But don’t get down on yourself if you happened to miss the parade – it was simply the beginning of a brilliant season of holiday entertainment to come. We’ve got plenty of Christmas fun to look forward to, including re-airing of classics like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas, new performances like Christmas in Rockefeller Center and Greatest Holiday Moments, and all-new Christmas specials like Merry Christmas Drake & Josh and A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa. I can’t wait!!! Merry Christmas, everyone!

By Blake; originally posted November 28, 2008. All images (C) Disney.

Channel Flippin’ – ‘Drake & Josh: Really Big Shrimp’ Review

August 5, 2007

The newest Drake and Josh TV “movie” delivers fans a delightful and fitting finish to the hit Nickelodeon program.

By Blake

Originally posted August 5, 2007.

Drake and Josh has created quite a fan base since its premiere in 2004, and the show has been the product of 56 episodes in 4 seasons, 1 made-for-TV movie, and a soundtrack. Last Friday (August 3, 2007), it was time for their second Nickelodeon TV movie to premiere, entitled Really Big Shrimp.

Not technically a “movie”, but better phrased as a double episode, Really Big Shrimp still contains the opening theme song and the incredibly easy-to-please “audience” providing its background laughter. So, its false advertising led some to believe it would be a full-fledged 70+ minute movie like its predecessor, 2006’s Drake and Josh Go Hollywood. But, it wasn’t. And personally, I’m glad. I much rather prefer the Drake and Josh setup that we’re used to seeing these characters in, rather than a Zoey 101-ish moviewe were delivered last year. Because Drake and Josh wasn’t meant for the big screen—it’s a television show, and as such should be treated like one. So, in Really Big Shrimp, I was pleased to find that I wouldn’t be delivered an awkward-feeling TV movie, but rather a mere double episode with the characters and plot at its best.

The plot of the “movie” is simple enough—Drake is offered for his new song, “Makes Me Happy” (an actual song on one of actor/singer Drake Bell’s albums) to appear on a commercial. However, when Josh is “mesmerized by giant shrimp”, he hastily signs a contract giving the record company the rights to edit and tweak Drake’s song. The company soon whips up a demoted, jazzed-up version of the song, much to Drake’s displeasure. Meanwhile, Josh’s boss, Helen, is getting married and orders that her grandmother stay at Drake and Josh’s house (providing hilarious scenes with this new character). Additionally, Josh’s ex-girlfriend, Mindy, has been hired assistant manager at The Premier movie theatre, the job that Josh has always dreamed of having. On top of all this, crowd favorite Crazy Steve, a coworker of Josh and Mindy at the theatre, is as crazy as ever, terrorizing theatre guests and getting extremely worked up at Josh for eating Steve’s enchilada.

Although there are two episodes still unaired of Drake and Josh left after Really Big Shrimp premiered, the double episode was originally intended to be the series finale, and is a fan-satisfying closure of the show, and leaves us with a pretty clear view as to what the characters will do as they get on with their lives.

So, as fans depart from the characters of this charming Nickelodeon series for the final time, the series conclusion is both appropriate for its characters, as well as on par plot-wise (and comedy-wise) with the rest of the series. And, although it isn’t a full-blown Hollywood production, the show’s ending could be a lot worse—the producers could have left us with a regular episode and said “Well, that’s it, there’s no more.” But they didn’t. And—unless that wild rumor is given truth that Drake and Josh might be hitting the big screens in 2008 to take a trip to New York*—this series finale gives its characters justice, but doesn’t overdo the occasion in the slightest bit.

*Although that exact rumor didn’t come to fruition, there WILL be a new Drake & Josh TV movie debuting in December 2008 (almost a year-and-a-half after its last episode) called Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh.

By Blake; originally posted August 5, 2007. All images (C) Nickelodeon.