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DVD Review: Sonny with a Chance – Sonny’s Big Break: Volume 1

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Written by Pirata Hermosa

This latest release from the Disney Channel is from their Sunday night lineup that also features The Wizards of Waverly Place, Hannah Montana, and Jonas and is mainly geared for a teen audience.

The show’s main character is Sonny Munroe, played by Demi Lovato, who most people remember from the Disney movie, Camp Rock, which also featured the Jonas Brothers. Sonny is about to live every person’s dream, and is leaving her small hometown in Wisconsin for the bright lights of Hollywood. Her Internet broadcasts have caught the eye of television network executives looking to replace a cast member from their hit comedy sketch show, So Random!

The DVD contains four of the episodes from the first season.

“Sketchy Beginnings”: It’s Sonny’s first day on the show and it’s time for her to meet her fellow cast members. Nico (Brandon Smith) and Grady (Doug Brochu) are the typical guys. They like monster trucks, greasy food, and are best friends. Zora (Allisyn Arm) is the strange little girl with the nasally voice, who enjoys hanging out in the sarcophagus or in the air ducts. And finally the last member of the show is, Tawni Hart (Tiffany Thornton), who is the spoiled prom queen and says that she is both the “funny one and the pretty one.” While Sonny is welcomed by most of the cast, Tawni wants nothing to do with the new girl. But Sonny is the nice girl from Wisconsin who wants to get along with everyone, so she tries anything she can think of to win over the pampered princess. Unfortunately, everything she does has the opposite effect. She ends up ruining one of Tawni’s sketches, ripping her favorite cape, shredding her favorite stuffed animal, and knocking her out at the end of the first live TV show.

“West Coast Story”: In this episode Sonny runs into Chad Dylan Cooper (Sterling Knight). He’s the biggest teen heartthrob on the number-one TV show Mackenzie Falls that is filmed in the sound studio next door to So Random! At first this seems like a good thing, but as Sonny quickly learns the two casts hate one another. They’ve had a long standing rivalry for years. Sonny tries to get the two groups together to make peace once and for all, but ends up caught up in the feud. While Chad is the nicest guy on TV, in real life he is the biggest self-centered, egotistical jerk who will do or say anything to get what he wants. In order to teach him a lesson, Sonny challenges him to a contest of the one thing that the cast of So Random! is really good at, musical chairs.

“Cheater Girls”: After a lot of sucking up and ego stroking, Sonny and Tawni have become a little closer and with the new characters that they created called the Check-it-out Girls they have visions of action figures, lunch boxes and feature films dancing in their heads. With things going so well, what could go wrong? Sonny is failing her math classes and her mother (Nancy McKeon) is coming down hard on her. If she doesn’t ace her next math test then she’s no longer going to be on the show. That means the Check-it-out Girls are going to be played by Grady and Nico. Unable to concentrate on her studies, Sonny realizes that she’s not going to pass the test and lets Tawni talk her into cheating. Before the test begins Sonny begins to panic and confesses, resulting in her being taken off the show. As Tawni and Sonny sit around feeling sorry for themselves Sonny suddenly discovers that the answers she wrote on her arm have actually stuck in her brain and the two rush off to take the test before their sketch goes on the air.

“Sonny at the Falls”: Still trying to get revenge from being beaten at musical chairs and to make sure his show remains number one, Chad sees an opportunity to drive a wedge between the cast of So Random! after Sonny pitches an idea for a sketch that is rejected by everyone. Pretending to be on her side, Chad invites Sonny to participate in all the benefits that the Mackenzie Falls cast receives, steak and lobster dinners, pedicures, manicures, massages and they even have their own meditation room. Chad’s plan begins to work as they have a falling out, but shortly afterwards they learn how much they need each other.

The DVD contains three Special Features:

Mackenzie Falls Season Finale Cliffhanger Short” – Mackenzie Falls isn’t just a faux show on Sonny With A Chance; it has actually been made into webisodes that you can watch on your computer. They have actually turned the finale to a DVD exclusive. Like the webisodes, the acting is really bad and overdramatic. But that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Mackenzie Falls is supposed to be a spoof on other teen shows like Dawson’s Creek, Gossip Girl, and One Tree Hill.

“Sonny in the Middle” – This is a never-before-released episode. Nico and Grady are the best of friends, such good friends that they even share the same birthday. Knowing how solid their relationship is, and because Tawni won’t help kick in for the present, Sonny buys them the most hi-tech gaming chair on the market and expects them to share it. Of course, her plan completely backfires as the two squabble over the chair resulting in them breaking off their friendship. To make matters worse, the two end up turning to Sonny for companionship and start driving her crazy with their juvenile jokes and by constantly embarrassing her in public. Sonny is forced to come up with one of her crazy plans to bring the two back together and restore their broken friendship.

“Demi’s Big Break” – A brief audition clip for the role of Sonny Munroe interspersed with some scenes from the show. I watched it, and I still don’t understand how a casting director can make a decision based on audition clips. They always seem very odd, and this one is no exception.

Sonny With A Chance is a typical Disney show that is family friendly and contains some good messages. It’s also not just for kids; adults can enjoy it as well even though it has its silly moments. Some of the best aspects of the show are the comments made by Tawni who believes anything can be resolved by how pretty she is and the interaction between Sonny and Chad as they try to one-up the other while dancing around some underlying feelings they have for one another. Those three characters are what make the show interesting, but Sonny truly is the star. She’s a little over the top and a little geeky, but it makes her more relatable to the viewers.

I’ve also noticed that Disney likes to release its shows in volumes instead of seasons. It’s kind of annoying to get a DVD that only has four episodes and not an entire season. I’m not sure if they think it’s more affordable for it to be broken down, but if you end up having to buy five or six volumes I could see the overall price tag being dramatically higher than what you’d buy for one regular season set.

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