Since "Zeke and Luther" proved that there's a fairly sizable
young-male audience out there which enjoys sitcoms that mix slapstick &
extreme sports, Disney XD is revisiting this theme tomorrow night with "Kickin'
It." Which is a brand-new half-hour-long comedy that debuts on this cable
channel tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. ET / PT following the Season 2 premiere of "Pair
"So how does 'Kickin' It' compare to "Zeke and Luther'?," you
ask. Well, given that "Zeke" is a single-camera comedy while "Kickin'" is a
more traditional multi-camera sitcom (which is shot in front of a live studio
audience), we're kind of in apples-and-oranges country here, folks. But based
on the pilot episode that I viewed over this past weekend, I'd have to say that
"Kickin' It" has a pretty good chance of connecting with Disney XD's target audience
to 6-to-14 year-old young males.
Leo Howard stars as Jack in Disney
XD's new series, "Kickin' It." Photo by Bob D'Amico. Copyright Disney
Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
Mind you, most of "Kickin' It" 's appeal can be traced back
to 13-year-old martial arts whiz Leo Howard. Whose comedy chops are almost as
impressive as his karate chops.
Leo plays Jack, a new student at Seaford High School who's
harboring kind of a huge secret. Though he may look like your average skateboarder
at the mall, Jack's grandfather taught martial arts legend Bobby Wasabi (who
starred in such chopsocky classics as "Kung Fu Cop" and "Nana was a Ninja") all
of his moves. And since his grandfather also served as Jack's sensei ... This
13-year-old has some pretty extreme martial arts moves of his own. Which we get
to see in "Kickin' It" 's opening moments, when Jack - right in the middle of lunch
period - manages to pound the pudding out of four members of the Black Dragon
(Jason Earles) looks
on in shock as Jack (Leo Howard) makes a dramatic entrance at the Bobby Wasabi
Martial Arts Academy by bursting right through the wall. Photo by Dean Hendler.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
Word of this cafeteria smackdown gets back to Sensei Rudy (played
by Jason Earles. Who's probably best known for playing Jackson Stewart on that
long-running Disney Channel hit, "Hannah Montana"). Given that his dojo (which
is actually a franchise of Bobby Wasabi's chain of martial arts academies) is
in danger of being closed down, Rudy takes advantage of a run-in that Jack has with
some mall cops and then basically tricks this 13-year-old into joining his
And since "Kickin' It" is a sitcom, Jack & Sensei Rudy
are surrounded by an amusing array of misfit martial arts students. Among them
is Milton David Krupnick (Played by Dylan Riley Snyder. Who actually appeared
on Broadway as young Tarzan in the Disney Theatrical Group's 2006 production
of "Tarzan"). Who is so lacking in physical ability that - when Milton is
challenged to karate-chop his way through a wooden board at a tournament - he whines
that " ... I can barely cut a well-cooked piece of fish."
(L to R) Milton (Dylan Riley
Snyder), Jerry (Mateo Arias) and Eddie (Alex Christian Jones) look to Sensei
Rudy (Jason Earles) for guidance. Photo by Dean Hendler. Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc. All rights reserved
And then there's the gross-but-good-hearted Jerry (played by
Mateo Arias). Who - after belching loudly after consuming way-too-much pizza -
remarks that " ... You should be happy that it came out the right end." Or - after
whacking himself in the crotch with a pair of nunchucks - looks around the dojo
and gasps "Everything is purple."
Okay. So obviously "Kickin' It" isn't some sort of
sophisticated drawing room comedy. But what this new Disney XD series is is a
well-produced family comedy which regularly features some pretty amazing martial
arts sequences. And given that the
production company behind "Kickin' It" is It's A Laugh Productions, Inc. (i.e.
the folks behind such long-running Disney Channel shows as "Hannah Montana," "The
Suite Life of Zack & Cody" and "Wizards of Waverly Place") ... Well, these
folks obviously have a handle on how to make a TV program appeal to tweens.
Leo Howard and Jason Earles
show off their martial arts moves back in May at the 2011 Disney / ABC
Television Group press junket. Photo by Richard Harbaugh. Copyright Disney
Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
More to the point, given that Jason Earles regularly shined
in his supporting role on "Hannah Montana," it's nice to finally see this
talented young performer with a TV showcase of his very own. And then when you marry
Leo Howard's amazing martial arts skills to the breezy way that he handles punchlines
(not to mention how Howards plays off of Olivia Holt. Who plays Kim, the only
female high school student in the Bobby Wasabi dojo. Who may or may not have a
crush on Jack) ... This sitcom is off to a very promising start.
So if you'd like to kick the tires on "Kickin' It"
... As I mentioned earlier, the series premiere - which is entitled "Wasabi
Warriors" - will air on Disney XD tomorrow night from 8:30 - 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Kim (Olivia Holt) faces down three
ninjas in an upcoming episode of Disney XD's "Kickin' It." Photo by Craig
Sjodin. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
And then - on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night in that
exact same time slot - this cable channel will be airing additional episodes of
this new series (to give as many viewers as possible the opportunity to sample
this new martial arts-themed comedy). After that, "Kickin' It" will settle back
into its usual Monday-nights-at-8:30-p.m. timeslot.
So why not check on this new sitcom when it debuts on Disney
XD tomorrow night after the Season 2 premiere of "Pair of Kings" and then come
back on over to JHM & let us know what you actually thought of this TV show?
Disney XD's "Kickin'
It" stars (L to R) Alex Christian Jones as Eddie, Olivia Holt as Kim, Leo
Howard as Jack, Jason Earles as Rudy, Dylan Riley Snyder as Milton and Mateo
Arias as Jerry. Photo by Bob D'Amico. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All
i think that you shouid make an episode where jack and kim kiss
Jim, why are the three actors playing ninjas not identified or lauded in your article? Just what the heck do you have against ninjas anyway? Show some ninja love, Jim! ;)
I thank kickin it is the best show ever. The part when jack took 4 black dragons out.
kickinit? i thank kickin it is the best show ever.
this show has the magnefacent karate in kickin it is prob. the only good show on dxd now da
there is some alright shows on but this is the best on dxd so far now get to watchin all the kickin show coming up on the now best show ever ondxd kickin it !
a great show to watch when ur depressed,NOT
i love kickin it so much it is my favorite show in the world i never watch anything else kickin it is the only show that i watch. I LOVE KICKIN IT SO MUCH.
i love kickin it so much jack and kim are the only reason i watch it.
I LOVE KICKIN IT SO MUCH.
kickin it is the only show i ever watch.
kickin it is so awsome it is the best show everin the world.
i love jack he is so cute he is the best person on kickin it and so is kim!
i love milton hes funny.
are they gonna be seen on disney channel original
duh milton soposed to be the comody person because(of his lines ya)DUH(shure thell kiss in an show