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A Disney Show That I Don't Hate!

*Over the summer, I was channel surfing and landed on the Disney Channel. The events that followed inspired this article.

Pair of Kings is your typical light hearted Disney show targeted toward the tweener demographic. It is about two inept brothers named Brady (Mitchel Musso) and Boomer (Larramie Doc Shaw) who are taken away from their miserable lives in Chicago to rule over a tropical island paradise as joint Kings. They are aided by a hulking bodyguard named Mason Makoola (Geno Segers) and his warrior daughter Mikayla Makoola (Kelsey Chow). The Kings have a cousin named Lanny (Ryan Ochoa) who is constantly after the throne for himself. After watching multiple episodes on youtube, I can say with all honesty that I started to like this show. There were some moments where it provided some real laughs and the energetic performances from the two leads saves the show from its poor budget and plot holes on numerous occasions.

But you aren’t a TV reviewer. Why are you talking about “Pair of Kings”? Is this about black people again?

Well….yeah it kind of is. But instead of criticizing, I wanted to congratulate the show’s creators for turning this show into something unique. If you haven’t googled them already, Musso is white and Shaw is black and they play brothers on the show. Not just brothers, twins. Not just “twins” but biological twins. Yes, the show immediately throws logic and science out the window but that is why it succeeds.

The fictional island of Kinkow not only has magic creatures, but also has a decent amount of brown skin people populating the island. Mason, Mikayla, and Lanny are all believable as island natives. Any scene in the castle or by the beach will have numerous Polynesian and African looking extras walking through the background. I don’t care if they are in the background; this show is at least willing to admit that brown people exist. (*Points at all white sitcoms and dramas set in urban areas and yet don’t show any minorities) Honestly, the person that looks the most out of place is the incredibly pale Mitchel Musso.

And while I too rolled my eyes at the concept of one twin being completely white and the other being completely black, I love how the show handles it. Both brothers get to be King and they each get moments where they are the hero and the idiot. While Musso’s character is given more of the spotlight and the romantic subplot with Mikayla, his character is not portrayed as superior to his brother. If you think I’m crazy for putting too much thought into this, you’re probably right, but let’s take a look at all the ways Disney could have screwed this up:

1)      Brady could have been declared King with Boomer as his trusty sidekick thus making the show about a white kid ruling over a tropical island full of brown people.

2)      They could have had an all white supporting cast making it seems like only white people are fit to hold power in Kinkow.

3)      They could have made Mikayla fall in love with Brady instead of the other way around. By making Brady the love struck one it sends the message that ethnic girls are just as beautiful as white girls.

4)      They could have made everyone else white except for Lanny making the show’s villain and only minority one in the same.

I’m not certain if this is a reaction to Barrack Obama’s presidency or not, but I like the direction Disney is going in. Are they still a money-hungry corporation bent on world domination? You bet they are. But now they are at least trying to branch out and show non-white children some television character that looks like them. (I’m still waiting for Pixar to make movie with a black main character. I was holding my breath, but then I passed out)

This reminds me of when I was a kid and I saw T.J. become the first black red ranger on Power Rangers Turbo. I didn’t know why it resonated with me at the time because I was so young, but I knew it was special. I knew it meant that anyone could be the leader if they had the right skills.

Aren’t they just pandering to minorities to get a wider audience?

That maybe so, but I would much rather have Pair of Kings than see brown girls in blonde Hannah Montana wigs for Halloween (that can’t be good for their self-esteem).

Pair of Kings is not revolutionary, but it is a step in the right direction. Long live the Kings!







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