The Suite Life On Deck: Anchor’s Away!

| September 1, 2009

Disney’s The Suite Life of Zack and Cody spinoff series, The Suite Life On Deck: Anchors Away!, features the rambunctious Zack and Cody (Cole and Dylan Sprouse) in another hijink adventure, this time on a semester-at-sea cruise ship, the SS Tipton. With priorities averse to studying or staying awake during class, the boys get into all kinds of trouble on the high seas all the while balancing an elusive love life with a part time job on the ship.
All the regular series supporting are back with the exception of Ashley Tisdale (presumably she has graduated on to bigger and better things within the Disney universe). Yet, even Ashley can’t help but get in on the action: she makes a guest appearance late in the series. The always wonderful Brenda Song returns as London, the rich, bratty, self centered, airhead that we have all come to love. As her father owns the vessel, she expects a luxurious suite of her own, only to discover that her cabin comes with a roommate: a young female Indian stereotype that makes a crack about the Ganges before being bribed off the ship for being too poor. Phill Lewis’ Mr. Moseby inexplicably, yet to our great relief, takes a job on the ship. Initially he relishes the break he is afforded from the ever antagonizing twins, only to lapse into one of his patented all out panic attacks when they show up. Replacing Tisdale as the boy’s bubbly wholesome female friend is Debby Ryan as Bailey. To be honest, this casting choice was extremely distracting. Watching Ryan trying to keep up with the inexhaustible Song was an exercise in futility. Ryan’s vacant expressions, paralyzed face and exaggerated rosy pink-cheeks certainly creates an energy vacuum in many of her scenes.
The fast paced, pun drenched antics of the series is back in full swing in Anchor’s Away. One-liners and slapstick fun aside, the situations are genuinely clever and are more than enough to keep the “Tween” audience laughing and engaged. There are also some jokes and references that will fly over the heads of the younger audience, only to be greatly appreciated by the begrudgingly parental viewership. As the twins are at quite an awkward age, romance once again fights its way to the forefront of their thoughts. Only this time, most of their female friends tower well above the still somewhat short prepubescent protagonists.
With 4 twenty minute episodes, plus two “bonus” episodes and an assortment of behind the scenes fun, this series launching DVD is a good value.

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