Season 1, Episode 6
Date of airing: November 10, 2007 (Disney Channel)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.306 million viewers with Kids 2-11, 1.884 million viewers with Kids 6-11, 1.879 million viewers with Tweens 9-14, 1.110 million viewers with Teens 12-17
You do not always see behind-the-scenes footage during the end credits scene of a sitcom, but apparently the Disney Channel was telling the producers to do so, because the executives might have been scared that some nine-year-olds watching WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE would try to fly a carpet and fall out of a window to die instead. Okay, it is a lesson that needs to be taught in a country in which the intellect does not seem to rise with age (hence today’s Trumpism), but I was a bit amused about the message between the lines when the greenscreen scene was shown during the credits, telling the audience that the carpet-flying scenes were all fake and if you really want to fly a flying carpet, you need a greenscreen and some machine that makes the carpet move. Still, behind-the-scenes footage during end credits scenes could actually be a nice gimmick for whichever sitcom brings it first, or second, since LIZZIE MCGUIRE brought something similar first, even if it was not really behind-the-scenes stuff and instead just one or two bloopers. Granted, you most likely kill another minute of storytelling and viewers might change the channel already, but I always wanted to see more of how shows are produced, whether it is just a simple CG scene, or maybe even a fight sequence, or just the good old blooper reel.
The episode was okay. I did not care a lot about what was actually going on in this episode, although I have to say that the father/daughter relationship between Jerry and Alex was interesting to look at. Her puppy face was pretty cute and the fact that he fell for it was amusing, but the writers could have done a little ore with the premise of a father being scared that his daughter is growing up to be an adult, soon moving out of the nest and leaving the parents home alone. That part of the premise was not even in the episode (because it really was just about Jerry being scared to teach Alex a grown-up thing, realizing that his little girl won’t be so little forever), but it would have made this half hour much better and more emotional. But hey, WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE just had its first real parent/child moment after six episodes (granted, this episode was produced as the pilot), and I was impressed, albeit only slightly. I am getting the feeling the show is getting a tiny bit better with each episode, but only during one scene, and only when some of the premise is being utilized.
Meanwhile, the writers also realized that they could play on the siblings relationship a little bit. Seeing Alex ask for Justin’s help was new to me, even for a show that’s only six episodes old, but it was an equally nice moment of seriousness and realness in the episode, and those are moments I want to see more of. It is also nice to see that WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE is another sitcom, in which the siblings actually love and appreciate each other, even if they pulling pranks. By the way, why was the premise of Alex and Max pranking their older brother not the main comedy pull of the episode? Come on, prank storylines are always funny as hell, no matter how idiotic the pranks are. There better be an entire episode about this in the near future, especially after the writers have established now that they do in fact pull pranks on each other.
The funniest moment of the episode was the punch Justin received in his balls. Sometimes, white men just need to be punched for no good reason, to be reminded that they cannot just walk around life expecting to get anything they want. In this case: waking up Alex in the middle of the night without getting crap for it. Please, more of that. And I mean ball-punching in general. When I read one more time that men dip their balls in hot sauce to find out if they can taste it, all while the same men also write laws that governs women’s bodies, I will riot.