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STUDIO: Disney
MSRP: $19.99
• 2121 Fall Cyber Catalogue
• Audio Commentary on “Team Diffy” with Ricky Ullman

The Pitch

“It’s Boy Meets World meets Galactica 1980!”

The Humans

Ricky Ullman (Growing Up Brady), Lise Simms (Dragonfly), Craig Anton (Run Ronnie Run), Amy Bruckner (Rebound), Alyson Michalka (Now You See It…)

The Nutshell

Phil Diffy (Ullman), his sister Pim (Bruckner) and their parents (Simms and Anton) were on a time-travelling vacation from the 22nd century when their RV broke down in 2005. Now Phil goes to school with 21st-century fox Keely (Michalka) while the family lives incognito in the suburbs, aided by their stash of episode-specific future technology. Why they can’t use any of those gadgets to fix their damn time machine I don’t know, but maybe it’s explained in the full series. What we get here are four selected episodes from the first season: #18, Double Trouble; #16, Age Before Beauty; #7, My Way; and #21, the previously-unaired Team Diffy.

Seconds later, the Ark burned Alyson’s face off.

The Package

Standard 1.33 interlaced video. Which is fine for a sitcom, though some of the visual effects would have benefited from better resolution. The 5.1 sound mix seems a little unnecessary, and incessant cartoon-style sound FX may not be your cup of tea, but at least there’s no laugh track. Forced trailers for Valiant, and various Disney Channel series.

Ullman’s commentary on the last episode is serviceable and self-aware, and points out some notable production details.

The 2121 Cyber Catalogue feature displays various gizmos from the show in a faux home-shopping format. If you try to return to the main menu it makes you come back and look at more stuff, which is kind of cute.

"I said, ‘Roll CAMERA!’"

The Lowdown

The word ‘formulaic’ is usually a negative term. I think that’s because there are so many bad formulas out there, but this one works just fine. The young leads all know their positions: Ullman plays a genuinely nice guy without irony, Bruckner plays an unscrupulous brat without shame, and Michalka displays a goofy energy that never veers too far into outright clowning—a common Disney curse. Simms and Anton, as the parents, appear to have been cast for their respective resemblances to Jane Kaczmarek and John Lithgow, which distracts from their work. Special mention should go out to J.P. Manoux, who is unrecognizable playing two recurring characters.

And they said a mixed marriage wouldn’t work out.

7 out of 10