Welcome to Tuesday. By now, it’s Tuesday afternoon (Or even Wednesday for those viewing this from the other side of the planet. Hello Philippines, New Zealand, and Australia!!!), and you are grateful for having escaped Monday with your life. Or at least you have escaped going to prison for someone asking you if you had a case of the Mondays. You know that your office mate Janice means well; or, at least, you are hoping she means well. She just doesn’t understand that her question makes it so that the temperature difference between your head and a frying pan on a hot stove is negligible. For you stay at home moms and dads out there, you are giving yourself a pat on the back right now. Every day where the house does not catch on fire is considered a victory in your book. You just don’t want to keep score of that anywhere because you swear little Timmy is so competitive that he might take that as a challenge. You tell no one this; but, in your heart of hearts, you fear you have given birth to the next Barney Stinson.
While thinking about what you are doing tonight, you are taking stock of the things to watch on TV, and Netflix feels like it is beginning to fail you. For those parents out there who are looking for something to watch with your kids, whose 50th pass through the Lion King or Frozen is beginning to get on your last nerve, you are wondering what is out there for you. I’m here to tell you that there is something great out there for you to watch. You just need to think . . . weird, Weird Al in fact. What am I talking about? If I were to tell you that Weird Al Yankovic, Christian Slater and Sabrina Carpenter were teaming up to do a Disney show, you would look at me like I had lost my last marble. (It is still possible that I have. Don’t count that out.) If this were true, you think to yourself, the world is coming to an end. Don’t worry! It already has, you just don’t know it yet.
OK, maybe the world hasn’t quite come to the end yet. But after watching Milo Murphy’s Law, you aren’t quite sure. What is Milo Murphy’s Law? It is only the most fantastic new show on Disney . . . XD. I get it. Disney XD is often relegated to the hinter ranges of the Disney Universe. It’s almost like your channel changer skips a channel as it passes by. I know that you may have faced the night of the week where the Disney Channel does crossover episodes of their shows. But mostly you have pretended like that night didn’t exist. Instead, you took out Frozen for the 51st time and started screaming at Olaf that he needed to say “puddle” instead of “happy snow man.” Let us not make our kids look strangely at us any longer. (We may already be a lost cause but we can at least pretend that we are not.) Instead, press the channel changer lightly for a change and just skip one channel to Disney XD. Or if patience isn’t really your strong suit (don’t blame your kids), click the On Demand switch on your remote and head over to Disney XD there.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Who is Milo Murphy? What is his law? And why should you be watching a show like that on television? Milo Murphy’s Law is the brain child of the geniuses who put together Phineas and Ferb on the Disney Channel, Dan Povenmire and Jeff Marsh. If you are missing those 104 days of summer vacation when it went off the air, or you haven’t gotten enough of your Dr. Doofenshmirtz fix (I haven’t), then look no further than Milo Murphy’s Law. (You even get to remain in the same universe as Phineas and Ferb.) But if you aren’t missing those 104 days, or, despite your “Disney Creds” you were living under a rock when Phineas and Ferb came out, this is a show that you need to take a look at. It’s all the best of of the Phineas and Ferb show and so much more.
EVERYONE knows Murphy’s law. In fact, if you haven’t had one of those days in your life where everything can and will go wrong, then I am thinking that I need to find your switch and plug you in. Well Milo Murphy (Weird Al), and family, live this law every day. Milo has gotten so used to this fact, that he warns his friends and acquaintances that they had better stand apart from him. His best friend Melissa Chase (Sabrina Carpenter) makes sure that she keeps a good distance, even if she can’t imagine spending time with anyone else. Zack Underwood (Mekai Curtis) is the new friend who one moment think that Milo is the most amazing person on the planet, and the next minute questions whether or not he should run away screaming. One would think that this would get Milo down. But nothing can keep this optimistic fellow down as he faces all of the challenges in the world with his “fly” sweater vest, accordion, and hazmat boots.
But this isn’t just a strange variant of MacGyver with boots instead of duct tape. Milo has lived with everything going wrong in his life for so long that he is the ultimate boy scout. Since everything can and will go wrong, he needs to be prepared for anything . . . literally. Milo is fully equipped for whatever may come his way, including having 5 spare tires for a family vacation to nowhere. Dora may think she has a backpack, but nothing will beat the amount of things that Milo has stuffed down there at any given time. It’s like his backpack is a Tardis. (And for those of you who are Dr. Who lovers out there, they even have an episode totally dedicated to that.) If everything went wrong in your life, you would have to be ready, right? Every situation will leave you on the edge of your seat laughing.
But if all the was to the show was a bunch of pratfalls by Milo and friends as well as some well placed jokes, the TV show would get old quickly. Thankfully the creators of the series and Weird Al himself, do not allow the show to be bogged down with one joke after another. The key to this show, beyond the zaniness, is that it wears its heart on its sleeve. First, we learn what it means to be a family. Now a days it becomes so easy just to give up on anyone. This includes family. But this family has learned to stick together in the Milo and father wars. (Both of them have an unlucky streak that would make a Las Vegas Casino salivate like rabid dogs if they saw them enter their establishment.) But both Sara (Kate Micucci) Milo’s sister and Brigette (Pamela Adlon) Milo’s mother will not give up on their men. They love them to pieces, no matter what happens.
Second, Milo’s friends are always in a never ending test of their friendship. They know that sticking around Milo will have a cost. From being stuck up branches on the edge of a cliff with a woodpecker knocking on the branch to wolves wearing beehives chasing them down a dark alley, these friends know what they are in for. Milo’s friendship comes at a cost. Not only to their own safety, but to the friendships of the people that are around them. This may make Milo’s friends amazing, but it wouldn’t necessarily make him amazing. And the series is all about Milo. It is essential that he be much more on the inside than on the outside. What makes Milo amazing is his ever-present positive attitude about life. When talking to Zack he asks why would anyone want to be just like all the other kids. They had to get to school on a bus. How boring is that? Beyond even that, Milo takes each of his catastrophes and turns them adventures. Going to wreck the high school dance and cause the stage to collapse and the band to short circuit and vanish. No problem. Fix the circuit breakers, cause all of the school decorations to glow, and have your friends take the place of the band, all the while playing the accordion. (Because if you are Milo, you can’t play anything else.)
Most of Disney fare is fairly cookie cutter in nature with a guy or girl and friends as they deal with life. Most of them are teens. Most of them have lives that teens could only dream of living. Maybe Milo’s life is like a dream, but it’s more like the stuff of nightmares where you wake up naked in front of the classroom. But Milo is the guy we all want to be, who can then tell the funniest joke and leave us all laughing, despite his nudity. (No, Milo is never naked in the show.) Because we are all Milo at times, where everything can and will go wrong. But we all want to be able to turn our tragedies into triumphs just like Milo. While I do love Disney, their shows are fairly standard. But with this show, Disney has done something spectacularly right. If you haven’t seen it you should. They recently announced that they will be having a second season. The first season isn’t over yet, but I’m so excited that they will keep this show running. Because Weird is good!
(And for those of you who were wondering, Christian Slater is a voice in the show as Elliot Decker, the self described safety Czar and Milo Murphy’s arch nemesis.)
I would love to hear what you thought of the show when you get the chance to watch it. And for those of you with children, I would especially love to hear what your experience with this show is should you watch it. Or if you already are, what do you think? What do I think? When you have Weird Al and Disney you can’t go wrong.
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Until next time, this is me signing off.
David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life