Even Stevens

 
(i)

 

Funny-but-formulaic family comedy.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The cast is primarily white and middle class, but each episode ends with a moral. The kids on the show act in age-appropriate ways. Funny, but socially appropriate. Humor is occasionally at the expense of another character, but the characters tend to apologize in those cases.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

None, although the Stevens siblings deal with their own romantic entanglements.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Cast:Nick Spano, Shia LaBeouf
Network:Disney Channel
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Book characters
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:Streaming

This review of Even Stevens was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byPanya April 9, 2008
 

I like this

Because of the sibling rivalry and occasional put-downs, I'd only recommend this to tween-aged kids (who know better than to act that way). It's over-the-top in it's comedy, but still enjoyable.
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
 

It is ok

It depends on what type of TV shows you like. It can be kind of stupid
Teen, 16 years old Written bymikee990 April 9, 2008
 

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