What am I going to watch?
The television in my hotel in the Kansas City area doesn’t have Disney Channel.
Yes, I’m 44 years old and been hooked on Disney Channel for the past couple of months.
Actually, the addiction goes back three years, when I purchased all four seasons of Jessie through Apple.
Jessie starred Debby Ryan as the titular character, a native of Fort Hood who goes to New York City to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress. She somehow becomes the nanny to four children of a famous model turned media tycoon and her movie producer husband.
Ryan recently starred in the Netflix series Insatiable, where she portrays a teenager hell-bent on becoming a beauty pageant queen. I watched the first season, but not the second and last.
Since July 2019, you can’t help but be sad watching Jessie.
Cameron Boyce, who played mischievous Luke Ross, passed away suddenly, only 39 days after his 20th birthday. Boyce also starred in two Descendants movies produced by Disney Channel, and likely had a long and successful career ahead of him.
Skai Jackson, who played youngest child Zuri, recently appeared on Dancing With The Stars. Peyton List (Emma) had several roles before Jessie, including a television movie, A Daughter’s Deception, with Kelly Rutherford and Natasha Henstridge.
Jackson, List and Karan Barar (Ravi), along with Mrs. Kipling, Ravi’s pet lizard on Jessie, moved on to Bunk’d, a spinoff where the Ross children go to a summer camp in eastern Maine. The backstory is Christina (Christina Moore) and Morgan (Chuck Esten) met at the camp in the 1990s.
Bunk’d is still on the air, with its fifth season opening next Friday. Jackson, List and Barar left after the third season, leaving Miranda May, who portrays sweet farm girl Louella Hockhauser, as the lead.
I didn’t have to buy Bunk’d. The entire series is on Netflix, as is Liv and Maddie, where Dove Cameron portrays twins Olivia (Liv) and Madeline (Maddie) Rooney. Liv is an actress and Maddie a basketball player.
I must admit I own three other series from start to finish:
Stuck in the Middle–Jenna Ortega stars as Harley Diaz, the fourth of seven children. Harley is always getting her family out of sticky situations with inventions and intelligence. Harley has three sisters (Rachel and Georgie, the two oldest Diaz kids; and Daphne, the youngest) and three brothers (Ethan and twins Louie and Beast). Tom and Suzy Diaz own a slushy store on the Massachusetts shore.
Bizaardvark--The title of the show comes from a portmanteau of “bizarre” and “aardvark”. Olivia Rodrigo and Madison Hu star as Paige Olvera and Frankie Wong, who make silly videos at Vuugle, a studio which is a cross between Dave & Buster’s and Chuck E. Cheese. In the third and final season, Vuugle moves to a Malibu beach house. Also starring are DeVore Ledridge as Amelia Duckworth, who gives fashion tips on her channel; and Bernie Schotz, who is the straight man for the three females and
Raven’s Home–Raven-Symone and Anneliese van der Pol reprise their roles from That’s So Raven. Raven and Chelsea are both divorced with children living together in a cramped Chicago apartment. Raven has twins: Booker (Isaac Ryan Brown), who shares his mother’s psychic ability; and Nia (Navia Robinson), whose smarts often gets her brother out of jams. Chelsea is the mother to Levi (Jason Maybaum), the smartest 11-year old on television. Joining Nia, Booker and Levi in their adventures is neighbor Tess O’Malley (Sky Katz), who captains her middle school’s basketball team as the only girl playing with boys.
I’m also hooked on two newer Disney shows, Coop and Cami Ask The World and Sydney To The Max. The former stars Ruby Rose Turner and Dakota Lotus as siblings who use Internet polls to determine their next video; the latter stars Ruth Righi as Sydney, a teenager living with her widower father, Max (Ian Reed Kessler) and paternal grandmother Judy (Caroline Rhea). Jackson Dollinger portrays 12-year old Max in flashbacks (Rhea wears a gray wig for current scenes), and Ava Koler portrays Sydney’s best friend Olive Rowzalski.
I have become so hooked I fall asleep with Disney Channel on the TV. Disney Junior runs from 05:00 to 10:00 each morning. If I had a kid, I would hope he or she would watch Bluey, the adorable Australian cartoon about a family and community of dogs. That airs for an hour starting at 06:00.
This is the first hotel in Kansas City I’ve stayed without Disney Channel. I’m staying somewhere I’ve never stayed before. Why? I’ll explain later.