Fandom news: I've managed to watch the first three currently aired episodes of Wizards of Waverly Place of its third season. I know right, a Disney Channel show, but seriously, it's my newest obsession in the midst of my top favorite shows right now. Anyway, since the movie I was anxious to see how they would bring the show back (and how exactly it would work in continuity, even though I don't think they are taking it that seriously like my other fandoms, because it's a Disney show for goodness sakes) and here are my opinions of the current episodes aired.
3.01 "Franken Girl"
As a whole, the premiere was a slight disappointment and left an underwhelming feeling. I just kept thinking throughout that something was off, an important element was lacking which flowed in previous episodes. There was also that bit of OOCness of Justin. I don't know if it was how the script was written or how it was filmed, but it was a bit off to be completely honest. For example, while Justin has used magic unsupervised before, he rarely does it for his own personal gain at least to the extent that he was doing. However, in getting even with his sister, I can definitely see that happening because after all the stunts she's pulled on him. It would seem fair. But the create a franken-girl monster as a security system? Isn't that kinda much just to get his sister from invading his room? I don't know, I think they were trying to create a scenario where Justin would build his own Frankenstein-like monster but somehow it didn't come off as good, at least to me.
But nevertheless, I kinda expected if Justin were to use magic they would have Alex use magic as well. But this was the first episode I think ever that Alex never used magic once. Which is...odd, and another OOC thing that I noticed right away. I wouldn't mind the magic-usage thing if only they had Alex retaliating against her brother, as she would do, but they didn't. And I don't know if it's just me, but sometimes when they have Justin getting back at Alex, he seems more like a jerk. I don't know why. :/
But in any case, mainly when looking at this episode for what is was, I still enjoyed parts of it. Mainly the blatant brother/sister interactions, meaning the Justin/Alex incestuous undertones which are totally there. I mean, come on. Justin wouldn't go nearly as much trouble as he did rigging such a complicated experiment if he hadn't had Alex on his mind the entire time, he was clearly enjoying tormenting her for his own amusement, and making her try out for cheerleading? Video-taping her in her cheerleader outfit? What is he going to do with that, I wonder...
So despite the whole characterization thing, I liked it. Also, Harper being a cheerleader? Whodathunk it, eh? At least she's doing something normal in her extracurricular activities, putting herself out there. And Selena looked amazing in that cheerleader outfit, not gonna lie.
And what is up with David Henrie's hair this season? I mean, if they're going for a new look that's great, because Selena is rocking the short-cut. But I prefer his hair flipped up instead of the downward emo-look.
This was also the kind of meh episode like the premiere, which is unfortunate because Halloween episodes should be at least entertaining, especially with WOWP where there can be so many different scenarios. They should have done something like with their "Wizards vs. Vampires vs. Zombies" episode they did, now that would have been sweet (I really enjoyed that multi-episode saga, they should have more of those). But nevertheless, it was okay. The haunted house theme at the substation was kinda interesting, and it would be Justin-like to make theirs more about moral lessons than about scary stuff. But somehow I don't think the family is that dense when it comes to Halloween and using magic, or at least pretending to do something scary. You'd think they would have more sense, being a wizard family and all that. But I digress.
I adored Alex's shirt that said "costume" on it. That being her contribution to the holiday, heh. Somehow I would have thought she would have dressed up to be something ghoulish for the haunted house, but Alex tends to not conform to the norms of society and such traditions so, yeah, totally in character right there. Also, LOL @ her wanting a ghost with saws for hands. I concur with her notion, now that is some scary awesome shit for a ghost.
I loved Mantooth, though. He was awesomesauce, and lol it would be so Justin to be scared of something like that.
The ending seemed kinda hokey just a little bit, but being a Disney show there's that lesson about being a family and working together even if they don't get it right in the end. But I feel that theme has been tired that I expected something a bit more. But oh well, I can take what I can get.
Should have been more Alex/Justin in this episode, though. I'm just saying.
3.03 "Monster Hunter"
Now this is getting back to the WOWP that I've known and loved. I think they had to find a place for a pick-me-up. Hey, even Disney shows suffer from the small downtime of blah episodes. Anyway, this seemed more of the flow and feel of how the episodes should be. I mean, I liked the previous two above but this was more Wizards from the first two seasons, like they've finally stepped up where the show had been before, you know?
I think the reason for that is because there's continuity of the overall arc of the series, being the wizard competition. Justin having completed his wizard training and going onto more advanced studies than his siblings (which from this season he's seventeen-going-to-be-turning-eighteen, so it makes sense in the timeline of the show that he would be more advanced, and not just because he's Justin Russo, the boy who studies hard and knows all his spells). It also gives the advantage of us, the audience, to see that they are really being serious with this competition. Another thing I loved about this episode is that Alex is also taking the competition seriously, and while it's not mentioned in the show, which I doubt it will be, but in WOWP: The Movie Alex and Justin had competed against each other and Alex certainly understands the importance of the competition and what it entails. Surely, in spite of her laidback nature she would definitely want to take on the challenge of actually being prepared for what is to come.
So seeing Alex studying, and really studying and memorizing and using Justin's learning methods as her own methods of learning tools, really gives her character more growth. Having Harper to help her with this was nice to see, because the old Alex would have found a way to cheat, or help Max sabotage Justin's advancement in the competition in some way. But she didn't. That is what I love seeing, and I love that in the end she's making it a challenge. She wants to fight for it, wants to earn it like her brother, wants to prove herself in this. If anything, that is something the show is doing right with progression their characters (and hey, anything to have more Justin/Alex time with their ultra chemistry, the happier I am okay?)
I find it strange, though, that Harper knows more about Justin's habits than Alex does. She's his sister, after all. Despite having those sibling moments of ignoring one another you'd think that Alex would know the patterns of Justin's behavior. Having Harper know more of Justin's study habits and even what he does in his own room is...rather creepy. Of course, Harper did watch him sleep for over an hour and has been obsessive over him for quite some time. So with the stalking comes knowing every detail of one's obsession so, heh.
Is it just me, or are they focusing on Justin's room a lot this season? I find it funny because we never got to see inside of Justin's room before now. Huh.
Justin's independent study is to become a monster hunter. Somewhere in my head, Sam and Dean are laughing their asses off because they hunt monsters all the time. I'm betting if there were to ever be a SPN/WOWP crossover (OHMYGOSH THAT WOULD BE THE MOST CRACKALICIOUS THING EVER!) the Winchesters would just be so perplexed at this. XD XD XD
LOL @ Harper's "I'll see you in PE!" line, again with continuity of her character. XD
MR STUFFLEBY! :D
It also seems that Teresa and Jerry aren't really in these beginning episodes all that much, either. And Max being, well, Max.
Overall, this episode was definitely much better than the other two, and if I'm reading the descriptions right for the next few episodes to come there will be more of this storyline of Justin training in the monster hunter field, adding more with the universe and the wizard competition than just having filler episodes like the first two were. Which even though this is more of a kids/tween show that doesn't necessarily have to have a plot in order to be entertaining, WOWP kind of really has that which separates it from other DC shows. Which is why I love it so much. Heh.
I'm going to pick up BSG: The Plan on Tuesday, hopefully it'll be available to purchase at BestBuy because that's where I got Caprica and Razor when they came out. I know it's already been leaked and people have reviewed it and all that, but I am resisting the urge to do that because the DVD is thisclose to being released. I WILL BE STRONG!