Disney // 2007 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Gordon Sullivan // May 28th, 2008
Making This House His Home!
Cory in the House is a spinoff from Disney's hit That's So Raven, following the exploits of the titular Cory, whose father has been named executive chef to the President of the United States. Naturally, this leads to many shenanigans around our Capitol. Cory in the House: Newt & Improved Edition contains four episodes:
* "The Presidential Seal": Trying to impress a ladyfriend with a passion for history, Cory sneaks into the Oval Office and accidentally mucks up the famous Presidential Seal. With the help of Meena and Newt, he has to fix the seal before President Martinez notices and Cory gets into serious trouble.
* "Through the Roof": Alexander, the owner of the venue where Cory's band DC3 plays, tells the group they have until sundown to write a new song or he won't let them play anymore. Meena has a previous engagement with the president's daughter, leaving Cory and Newt to prepare a song. Writer's block sets in, and the two waste time until they become annoyed with each other. With time running out, they have to reconcile and finish the song.
* "Lip Service": Cory and Newt have asked out the two Ashleys, but when the big moment comes for kisses, Newt chokes and can't go through with it. Apparently, he made a promise when he was eight to kiss a particular girl first, and she's nowhere to be seen. But if Newt can't kiss his Ashley, then Cory won't get any smooches either.
* "Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding": Saruza, a new girl at Cory's school, happens to be from Dubinia. Before she and Cory can become great friends, Meena informs Cory that Dubinia and her native land of Bahavia are mortal enemies. Now Cory is stuck in the middle of an international incident when all he wants is to be friends with both girls.
Because I'm not part of the target demographic for these shows, I usually cut them a little slack (heck, after four episodes, I didn't mind Hannah Montana). However, it's really hard to do that with Cory in the House, mainly because it feels like there's nothing new here. The premise is straight out of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, none of the writing is particularly interesting, and, because of that, the actors have little to distinguish themselves with. Kyle Massey as Cory is especially obnoxious, giving line readings like the comedic Will Smith, but without his range (and maturity). But hey, apparently the kids love the show. So, a warning to parents: this is one to avoid watching with the kids if you can help it.
Another warning to parents: some of these episodes don't seem entirely age-appropriate to me, especially the episode "Lip Service." I know young kids make with the kissing sometimes, but this episode condones it in a way that I think might make some parents raise an eyebrow. Also, "Through the Roof" features a troop of "Sunshine Girls" obviously modeled on the Girl Scouts. One of them is vehemently anti-learning, and there's a general air of "learning is bad" from the episode, so be warned.
On the technical front, these four episodes are on par with other Disney sitcoms I've seen. The image has an overall softness like it was filtered poorly, and there's occasional noise and ghosting. The audio fares slightly better, with a balance between music and dialogue. The optional subtitles are a nice inclusion.
The only extra is a behind-the-scenes featurette that follows the making of the "Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding" episode from the initial idea all the way to filming and post-production. There are interviews with most of the cast, as well as the writers, director, and producers. There is also ample backstage footage, including the cast goofing off and showing the camera around. Considering the target age, this is a great documentary to get kids interested in the process of filmmaking while also learning about a show they like.
I found Cory in the House guilty of being unfunny. However, if you're inclined to forgive the show, then there's nothing in the technical presentation that should dissuade you.
Review content copyright © 2008 Gordon Sullivan; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* "Backstage Disney: Breakin' Down Cory in the House"