Disney seem to know what kids want in television, and they don’t expect to break the mold with their oddly named latest offering, Bizarrdvark. The show (which originally had the far more pronounceable title of Paige & Frankie and premiered on June 24th of this year) is aimed at the younger generation and centres of a pair of thirteen year old best friends who create songs and funny content for their Vuuugle channel, Bizaardvark. After they hit 10,000 subscribers, the girls are invited to the Vuuugle studios to make videos there, alongside other ‘Vuuuglers’. It’s inside the walls of the quirky studio that most of the show takes place.
The show stars Olivia Rodrigo (Grace Stirs Up Success) and Madison Hu (Best Friends Whenever) as the titular characters, with Jake Paul playing rival Vuuugler of show Dare Me Bro! Dirk Mann, DeVore Ledridge (Clique Wars) as friend Amelia Duckworth, and Ethan Wacker (Miles From Tomorrowland) as Bernie Schotz, a friend who becomes the girls’ agent. Each episode is half an hour long with adverts, and so far only 6 episodes of the 19 ordered have aired, with the finale – titled Eliminator – due on the 25th October. The show has been praised for continuing the network’s efforts to include diverse casting, with the lead actresses being Asian and Latina.
The show comes from Josh Lehrman and Kyle Stegina, who will act as co-executive producers alongside showrunner Eric Freidman (Austin & Ally, Crash & Bernstein). Lehrman and Stegina are part of the Disney Chennel’s Storytellers program, which was founded and setup to find a new generation of writers for family and children orientated programming. @Bizaardvark isn’t the first time that Disney have struck gold with a music-orientated show aimed at children, with superstar Miley Cyrus paving the way with Hannah Montana, and Shake it Up which pushed Bella Thorne and Zendaya into the public eye. Let us also not forget TV-Movie High School Musical, which gifted the world Zac Effron, who has gone on to star in a host of films.
So it seems on paper that Disney know exactly what they are doing with these types of shows. But sometimes its possible for even the experts to swing and miss. What we want to know is exactly how popular @Bizaardvark is and how likely we are to see the girls make a return to our screens next year for season 2. To get an idea, we need to look at the numbers. The show premiered to a very respectable audience of 2.41 million viewers, but found itself in a steep decline with over 50% tuning out and lowering the average numbers down to 1.19 million viewers by the sixth episode. Not too great considering the show isn’t even halfway through its first season run. In addition review feedback hasn’t been great, with the show only gaining a pretty poor score of 5.3 on IMDB from 198 votes. It has fared slightly better on content streaming service Amazon Instant Video, gaining a decent 4 stars out of 5. Still, unless the numbers can start to improve, things are looking quite bleak for the show in terms of the renewal department. It may well be that this time Disney have dropped the ball.
As the show is still currently airing, there are no Blu-Ray or DVD copies of #Bizaardvark available to buy. However, you can catch up with the girls on Amazon Instant Video for $2.99 per episode, or $28.99 for the entire season (with new episodes appearing to view once they become available). However, to watch you will need to have an Amazon account. If you want to just carry on with the latest episodes then tune into the Disney channel on Fridays afternoons. You can access the channel via DirecTV: 290, Dish Network: 172, C-Band: 107, Tome Warner Cable: 102, Verizon FiOS: 780, Google Fibre: 427 in the US, and Sky: 609, Virgin Media: 724, BT 480, and TalkTalk 480 in the UK.
Do you like the look of #Bizaardvark, or do you think it is just another unfunny iCarly rip-off? Are you a fan of music based comedy shows – do you think they inspire young kids to follow musical careers, or is it just a gimmick? What do you think the show does well, and what do you thin it could improve on?
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