The ranks of sisters doing it for themselves have a new member in the form of Kim Possible, and the result is... well, "Kim Possible," Disney's best TV cartoon since "Gargoyles," although the tone of this Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle creation is closer to "Darkwing Duck." Then again, that was also a cracker. But moving on to the large-headed, midriff-baring, wavy-haired, adolescent-targeted young lady who is NOT Christina Aguilera...
High school student and cheerleader Kimberly Ann Possible's website (maintained by genius Wade, who serves as her technical backup during jobs) is set up offering her services to people needing help, but said help generally entails her saving the world at a moment's notice - in a running gag, Kim and her sidekick Ron Stoppable are taken to the episode's hotspot by folks who La Possible helped in unseen escapades; like Mighty Max (and unlike most similar characters), Kim's siblings and parents are fully aware of her extracurricular activities - and, again unlike most similar characters, so is everyone else. One of the best touches of the show, in fact, is having Kim take part in one of the most stereotypically stupid pastimes (cheerleading), while her parents are in two of the most stereotypically brainy professions - as the girl says, "Mom's a brain surgeon, Dad's a rocket scientist..." (The next time some cleverdick chunters on about Americans having no sense of irony, try bringing this up.)
By itself, saving the world is "no big," but Kim obviously has to deal with all the difficulties of being a heroine and a regular teenage girl, on top of having as her best friend and partner the aforementioned Master Stoppable, who unfortunately lives up to his name a lot. Though this is in a sense admirable as part of the show's overall refusal to play gender stereotypes (Kim and Ron have one of the few truly platonic male/female relationships on television - even Xander, let us not forget, used to have a crush on Buffy), he also comes close to forcing the show to name itself after him, because his antics have more room for comedy than Kim's. Fortunately the show's writers hit a good balance more often than not and remember that it's supposed to be a mix of comedy AND action; but though Kim's not one to mess with when the chips are down, she never comes over as a heartless machine. Though some male viewers will probably refuse to watch it because it might make guys look bad, they'd be missing the fact that the male characters are mostly positive, with the nastiest character being Sheego (Kim's opposite number, and the assistant to Kim's arch-enemy Dr. Drakken - and a lot more dangerous and intelligent than he is; if this was "24," she would be Sherry Palmer). They'd also really need to grow up.
In any case, "Kim Possible" is so entertaining that dismissing it on the grounds of sexism would be silly; well-paced, funny without being overly stupid, easy on the morals, with genuinely exciting fight scenes, and a lead character worth at least 30 of Clover, Alex and Sam on the similar but wildly inferior "Totally Spies!" (with the added bonus of Kim leaving her closest live action counterpart - Sydney Bristow from fellow Disney/Touchstone show "Alias" - standing in both the hotness AND fighting stakes), this might not appeal to people still wishing they made cartoons as good as, say, "My Little Pony" or "Avenger Penguins," but it's their loss. And as for people demanding credibility, they can watch "King of the Hill." But if you don't want to go into a coma, remember the advice Christina Milian gives in Cory Lerios and George Gabriel's irresistibly catchy theme song - you know that you always can call Kim Possible.
"So what's the stitch?"