Liv and Maddie (“Detention-a-Rooney”)

Season 2, Episode 11
Date of airing: February 15, 2015 (Disney Channel)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.534 million viewers, 0.34 rating with Adults 18-49

This episode was just alright. Not laugh-out-loud funny, as always not that meaningful when it comes to the narrative, as always quite ridiculous most of the time. But what I was surprised about is that the twins were part of the C story of the episode, giving Dove Cameron as much time off as possible for a change, and I believe that happened for the first time in the show. Parker won the A story in this episode, with his plan to rule detention and take part in a pop culture reference of sort; Joey had the B story, by winning the minions and be so freaked out about the fact that the minions in this series universe were even worse than the yellow tic tac minions of animated movie fame. And I never would have guessed that Liv and Maddie would be far in the background and barely had anything to do, essentially just lying down or sitting in almost all of the scenes they were in. They also have been in three scenes each, which is kind of a surprise for the show, considering who the titular characters are.

Joey feels himself the coolest in school with his newly acquired minions.

Meanwhile, I liked seeing Parker breaking bad and be accepted in the circle of high school “criminals,” just to find a way to stay out of the Sweet Mommy’s Baby Pageant (who comes up with this horrible crap? Not even I would have ever watched something like this forcefully, let alone participated in it). First of all, the preamble to that story was hilarious. Parker playing a prank on the superintendent might not have been funny by itself, but the fact that she was completely prank-proof and had about half a dozen skirts on showed that the adults in the room were constantly being tortured and made fun of by the kids in the room. That thought alone was hilarious, even when it brings me to think about the possibility that she might get pranked like this far more often, which means she kind of has to be more of a recurring character from here on. Besides that, prank-related stories are always cool. There should be a reality competition show out there about who can pull of the greatest prank to unsuspecting humans.

In the meantime, Joey’s story was not that exciting. I didn’t care at all about his fight with Artie, and I believe there was better potential to the minion story than the writers eventually delivered. Joey could have done so much with the minions before getting annoyed by them, but the episode didn’t go into that at all. He could have done great things with them, showing them what doing good feels like, or the minions could have been the reason for Joey’s downfall into evildom, becoming like Artie in the process. The story also showed how much the writers don’t care about some form of rules they have established over the course of these 22 minutes. Artie said to Joey that the minions can’t just be transferred without a contest, but at the end the minions pretty much helped out Artie anyway, breaking minion rules. I know it’s just a way of showing that Artie and the minions are like Andy and April in PARKS AND RECREATION (as in: They belong together until eternity), but breaking rules like that does not give me an opportunity to at least take the show a little more seriously.

The criminals don’t just stop being bad with orange jumpsuits on.

Best part of the episode: It was only an unintended gag, but when Maddie threw around the tissues during her couch sickness scene, one of the tissues hung on the side of the couch, unable to fall to the floor. That was unintended hilarity at its best.
Worst part of the episode: There as an eyeroll moment in this episode when one of the minions decided to get the two sticks together for Artie. I know that rules are there to be broken, but I always thought of the minions being so provenly loyal to whomever they are following that it would be impossible for them to swim to the shoreline across.
Weirdest part of the episode: If the superintendent gets bullied and pranked by high school students like that, how far does she need to go until being sexually harassed?
Player of the episode: Dump Truck was funny. Here is to hoping he will return and not turn into one of the one-and-done characters the writers can’t do anything with any longer.

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