I have a problem with The Wizards of Waverly Place.
For those of you who are unaware of what this show is, and I will not be surprised as I am sure that most of the people who read this blog do not casually watch Disney Channel shows like I do, it’s Disney’s rip off of Harry Potter and it’s about three wizard siblings who live with their parents in a very fake looking New York City. They go to regular school and they get tutored in their wizarding ways by their father. And of course there’s a catch, because it’s Disney and there’s always some sort of hook, there can only be one wizard per family so at some time or another the three siblings are going to have to do some sort of… I don’t know wizarding competition to decide who gets all the powers and who’s just a normal person for their rest of their lives. Another catch, wizards apparently can’t marry non-wizards or they forfeit their powers, as what happened with the parents.
Okay synopsis over, cause that’s not the important thing anyway. What’s bugs me about the show is this; the main character, Alex Russo (played by Selena Gomez), sucks completely. This girl has no patience for her friends or family. She hates school and is vocal about it, always talking about how lame it is. She makes fun of her brother for liking and being good at academics. She makes fun of reading. She is literally a walking talking advertisement for being a complete bimbo with a few episodes of her liking art thrown in. While I enjoy this show at times in a mindless, I-don’t-have-to-pay-any-sort-of-attention background sound sort of way I find that I really just can not enjoy Alex. Which is a bit of a problem given the fact that she’s the main character.
Another issue is a bit more episodically specific. In a recent episode Alex’s best friend Harper decided she wanted to run a marathon. So she started the logically thing and began training. Mind, Harper, even though she’s scatterbrained, paranoid, and makes clothing out of stuff that really should not be clothing, is by far the most endearing character. Well, apparently the sound of Harper on the treadmill is so annoying to Alex that she casts a spell so that Harper wins the marathon. I really am not sure I understand why this is necessary and/or helps at all, but whatever. The part I have issue with is this: the parents start becoming Harper’s biggest advocates, making tee shirts with her face on them and being generally spastic on the cheering front. And why is this? Because none of their other children have achieved any sort of prize. But of course that’s not true, as the elder son Justin reminds them he has a whole shelf full of trophies. But eh, those are just academic trophies, they want one that’s for sports.
Seriously??? I mean, I have been annoyed by Disney’s repeatedly making school seem stupid through Alex’s continual mocking, but is this really what we want to be teaching our children? That school is irrelevant and academic achievements aren’t worth nearly as much as physical ones? I am all for comedy and spasticism (I might’ve just made up that word but it’s sticking), but really??