Season 2, Episode 22
Date of airing: July 26, 2015 (Disney Channel)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.527 million viewers, 0.46 rating with Adults 18-49
It was an entertaining episode, though it had a conclusion I would hope is being retconned soon, because it was a weird twist at the end. Artie being the evil of butter might have made sense within the episode (and the kid should be the mastermind-ish villain more often), since none of the Rooneys could have been the perpetrator (it’s the Disney logic after all), but the episode would have gone deep into some family strength and patriotism and stuff, if the entire Rooney family, minus Parker, would have gotten rid of the butter mascot together, just to make a statement, as well as show that they can do stuff together as a family, when that stuff has certain meaning. The writers could have used the premise of the episode to have the Rooneys band together and be heroes of Ridgewood High, but I guess the idea of Artie being Diggie’s brother seemed more hilarious to the writers room, hence that eyesroll-worthy family twist at the end. Besides that, the show never had a story in which the entire family was actively involved in, which means the writers wasted yet another chance to make more than just a Disney Channel family sitcom and have at least one episode that is worth remembering for a few years.
The story itself was kind of dumb, but appropriate for the network this show aired on. The Superintendent is even more evil than I was expecting after the detention episode, and Joey was even more annoying as usual with his butter costume and constant hyper-reaction to everything that was happening during these 23 minutes. At first I was thinking that Joey was just playing along for whatever reason, mostly because maybe it was him who vandalized the butter mascot (maybe he got paid to be the flesh-and-blood mascot for alibi purposes), but then I had to realize he was totally into it, he hoped he would become a popular kid at school and he obviously had no intention of stopping to be the mascot, simply because he does not have the brain capacity to realize he is being bullied and booed at. Hell, even the movie BUTTER was a little too weird for me to be considered interesting, as it also had some annoying characters in it. Still, Joey was the most awful part of this episode, continuing the streak of him ruining episodes when they could have been fun.
It was to be expected that the thing between Maddie and Diggie is still an issue for the writers, as well as the characters. Sadly, the story has become less exciting – Diggie is just the character in the background, who had nothing to do but to be looked at with crazy eyes by a crazy teenage girl, who doesn’t know what she is doing (so, Maddie is the crazy ex-girlfriend, about to break out in song at any given moment?), and the writers treat this story like something important is still happening, like the two could get back together at a certain point, because this narrative is part of the DNA of the Disney Channel. It’s a bit of a shame that the writers weren’t courageous enough to get rid of Diggie as a character after the break-up, have him go to Australia, so that Maddie can move on and maybe get her next boyfriend. She is a teenager after all, she should be going through boys right now, as it’s custom for high school students to date their way through various classes.
Meanwhile, Parker’s singled-out story was boring. He barely had anything to do, and his new scientific achievement pushed LIV AND MADDIE out of the realm of normalcy yet again, as his cloud machine reminded me of Donnie Hall’s origin story in AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., and I was literally expecting for Parker and/or Reggie to be electrocuted, just so they can become supervillains in the next scene. But instead, they just got stuck on a sofa, serving some comedy moments for the single-digit-aged audience members watching the show, as I didn’t find it amusing at all.