A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that it's important to take this series with a grain of salt: Real-life tweens are experiencing acne, hormones, and emotional breakdowns -- all issues that are rarely solved in 30 minutes. Tell your kids that there's nothing wrong with them just because their real problems are stubborn and long-lasting!
What's the story?
EVEN STEVENS follows the sibling rivalry between Ren and Louis Stevens. Ren (Christy Carlson Romano) works hard to be perfect, while Louis (Shia LaBeouf) is a class clown. Ren feels that her little brother undermines her shot at flawlessness, while Louis thinks that his older sister should lighten up. They're joined by their clueless jock older brother, Donnie (Nick Spano), who adds to the hi-jinks and occasionally provides the pearls of wisdom needed to defuse tangles between his sister and brother.
Is it any good?
All in all, Even Stevens is good, clean, family fun fit for late-afternoon viewing. Although formulaic, Even Stevens is a funny twist on the family comedy. Louis, as played by rising star LaBeouf (who also starred in Holes), is hilarious and natural in his role as a pesky younger brother. The interaction between Ren and Louis is realistic, and the two seem to have a genuine affection for each other despite their Odd Couple differences.
Like many sitcoms that examine the lives of kids, the parents in Even Stevens are more like set dressing than actual characters. Mom Eileen Stevens (Donna Pescow) is a California state senator (which is the only way to know that the show takes place in Sacramento). Her husband, Steve (Tom Virtue), is an important lawyer. Both of the parents are involved in their kids' lives, but this seems more like a requirement of the Disney family sitcom formula than a real interaction between parents and kids. Beyond the lack of character development, the scenes involving the parents are also the least funny and interesting part of the show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sibling relationships. Is the way Ren and Louis interact realistic? How is it the same as/different from the way kids interact with their own sibling(s)? Do the parents on the show seem like real parents? How could the show be changed so that it seemed more like real life?
Themes & Topics
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