29 October 2015 | WakenPayne
A forgotten show that needs to be dug up again!
I joined the crowd of fans for this show older in chronological age, but too young to see it on television as a kid (no kidding, I was born halfway through this show's run) but the only DVD you can really get of it is the one for the first season because it has Jessica Alba in an early role, trust me though - whether you're a fan or not she is not the reason to revisit the show (I somehow managed to get a hold of all four seasons, in terms of buying DVD's that's actually an accomplishment, granted extremely minuscule accomplishment but an accomplishment nonetheless) I haven't watched the fourth season yet but the question would be if it holds up... Yes, actually.
The plot is that an average teenage girl wants to break out of being average at everything from grades, popularity and everything else in her life, feeling in the shadow from her high-achieving older sister Annie. The town they live in seems like the boring, yet colorful suburbia that every person living in the suburbs wants it to be but underneath it is corporate greed as a plant for... science-y things seems to run everything in the entire town (the theory that a hidden message is to not let corporations dominate our lives is something I totally buy!). One day the transportation of their latest chemical goes haywire and Alex is caught in the middle which gives her superpowers. The plot of the show from then is to have them try and live life with Alex trying out different things, using her powers to her advantage from time to time in secret and trying to stop the schemes of the plant to find "the kid" and other fiendish things.
This show has a fantastic sense of humour for it's time and genre. I was expecting either humour that would get dated to just have people like me go "What?" the entire time or really lame jokes that would be in a show like this (I mean, just look at what passes off as jokes on live action kid's shows today), but in all honesty - some jokes do get a legitimate laugh, stuff like how in kid's shows like this the parents being oblivious is something they do make fun of and that is refreshing in comparison to other shows like this.
I'll also say the show has a charm to it that kind of makes it worth coming back to after all these years. I mean while some episodes do steep into the kid's show crap such as a situation being "She's made friend's with a goth AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!" The show very rarely falls into that trap, with one episode each season with a crap premise or inconsistencies that I think would be called out on even by children watching it.
The last thing I'll comment on is something which like the humour I was not expecting - evolution. What do I mean by that? Well Alex does get more powerful as the show goes on. The crush Alex starts having in the pilot isn't the crush she's too nervous to approach for the entire run of the show. A development is that the mother quits her job around the middle or so of Season 2 to go back to college and get another job. There might be more considering I haven't seen all of it but the effects do get better (even if her turning into water no matter which season you're looking at looks like she's the T-1000) and the show is surprisingly more timeless then most. Okay, Alex wears a cap on backwards and there's an episode where she gets a job at a video rental but honestly, that's probably all the "This is the 90's" stuff that doesn't get away with it slipping through and becoming timeless.
This show is something to revisit for the 90's kids and if there are people looking for different kid's shows of that time then this would be a very good watch. Okay there are a few bad episodes but for every bad episode there are half a dozen good ones and half a dozen okay ones with maybe those one or two occasional episodes such as World Without Alex or The Other Side 2-Parter which actually exceed and turn from good to very good. I don't know if or how but the first season alone is not enough (and so far... honestly, it's the one season with no "very good" episodes), I mean while there are bad episodes and over-the-top performances, this honestly needs to be seen again as opposed to fading away.