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The ‘Lizzie McGuire’ Revival Only Succeeds If It’s a Mature, Authentic Reflection of Adult Life

Credit: TV Land/ Younger

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This is not what dreams are made of.

You’ve probably heard by now that the Lizzie McGuire revival has been postponed indefinitely as the series creator, Terri Minsky, stepped away from her role as showrunner.

Disney+, Disney’s new streaming network, where the show was slated to premiere sometime in 2020, didn’t disclose too much information about the production halt instead chalking it all up to a difference in “creative direction.”

A spokesperson for the company put their best “everything is fine” face forward and said that, “After filming two episodes, we concluded that we are ….  putting a new lens on the show.”

And that’s fine because like they said, fans have a “sentimental attachment” and “high expectations.”

 

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🤯 we are standing in what will soon be the McGuire living room. What’s up fam. We doin this #lizziemcguire #disneyplus

A post shared by Hilary Duff (@hilaryduff) on

But here’s the thing — one of those expectations is actually getting to see the revival happen.

Another is to see it happen in an authentic way that stays true to the character and her experiences as an adult.

While Disney puts a smile on (they hail from the happiest place on Earth, don’t you know?), Lizzie McGuire star Hilary Duff took to social media to explain to her confused fans what was really affecting the revival: Disney doesn’t want to sign-off on the mature content and insists on keeping things PG.

“Was incredibly excited to launch ‘Lizzie’ on D+ and my passion remains! However, I feel a huge responsibility to honor the fans’ relationship with LIZZIE who, like me, grew up seeing themselves in her,” Duff wrote in an Instagram post.

“I’d be doing a disservice to everyone by limiting the realities of a 30-year-old’s journey to live under the ceiling of a PG rating. It’s important to me that just as her experiences as a preteen / teenager navigating life were authentic, her next chapters are equally as real and relatable,” she added.

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Lizzie McGuire

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Then, she proposed a new idea that fans could all get behind: “It would be a dream if Disney would let us move the show to Hulu, if they were interested, and I could bring this beloved character to life again <3.”

Her suggestion was inspired by recent news that the Love, Simon TV show was moving from Disney+ to Hulu because of “adult themes.”

At the time, Duff commented, “sounds familiar.”

Here’s my question… on what planet did Disney and the people behind the revival think that 2020 Lizzie McGuire would share the same values as pre-teen Lizzie McGuire? Or that her then-to-now fans would want to see that?

While I understand that Disney is a family-friendly company, the series was going to be a mainstay on the streaming service not the kiddo-geared, Disney Channel. If it was going to be on Disney Channel, that might be a different story, but a streaming service is watched by people of all ages.

We also have to take into consideration the age of the Lizzie McGuire fandom. While there may be some younger-skewing fans and Gen-Xer’s who have grown to adore and love Lizzie, the majority of the fanbase vying for the revival is — and say it with me now — millennials.

We were watching 13-year-old Lizzie McGuire when we were 13-years-old. Now, Lizzie McGuire is a 30-something in New York, and we’re all 30-somethings living our best lives and struggling with crippling student debt, unstable job economies, learning how to become bosses, heartbreak, new relationships, dating apps, starting families, friendship drama, reconnecting with old friends, hangovers, brunches with friends… you get the picture.

It would be a shame if the Lizzie McGuire series didn’t reflect that because the show is geared towards an audience that is mature enough for the mature content.

The true fandom shouldn’t be alienated because Disney’s too scared to give us an authentic look at what it’s like to be an adult in this world.

Being an adult and having adult experience is hard, just like being a pre-teen and navigating those experiences was hard, but it was made manageable by our girl Lizzie. Fans are looking for that same level of connection and relatability now in their adult lives.

We never expected a Disney series to have sex scenes a la The Bold Type, but it also doesn’t have to in order to be successful.  One great example of allowing a show and its characters to mature while also keeping in-tune with the magic that made them so great in the first place and then adding some kiddo friendly content on top is Netflix’s Fuller House.

 

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🤯 we are standing in what will soon be the McGuire living room. What’s up fam. We doin this #lizziemcguire #disneyplus

A post shared by Hilary Duff (@hilaryduff) on

The series never watered-down DJ or Stephanie Tanner’s adult experiences, but because of the original vibe, we didn’t expect it to be super risque in the first place.

Lizzie McGuire took plenty of risks in its heyday (what kid had a whole romance in Italy during their 8th-grade trip? We all remember The Lizzie McGuire Movie, right?), and fans expect the adult version of the series to take those same risks and be authentic in its portrayal.

Trying to water-down Lizzie McGuire to make it more PG is not only a disservice to Lizzie but the fans who grew up with her.

If Disney+ can’t get down with that, then it seems only fair that they do the right thing and move it to Hulu or whatever other streaming services will sign off on an authentic revival that stays true to character.

You’d think that Disney would have learned by now that when fans want revivals of earlier shows, we don’t want the cookie-cutter versions of them anymore.

Remember Raven’s Home, the spinoff to That’s So Raven, or Girl Meets World, the Boy Meets World spinoff?

They never touched the level of success that the original shows did because they played it too safe and leaned too hard into being children’s shows and thus, alienating a huge chunk of the fanbase that simply wanted to “catch up with old friends.” The shows also didn’t keep up with our society, where there’s so much programming coming at us from all directions, we’re constantly seeking out relatable (and nostalgic) content, and we have become more mature in the kind of content we consume. Our expectations are higher and we want to be reflected in our characters now more than ever.

If Disney truly wants to give fans the best Lizzie McGuire series, they already know what to do — sign off on that mature content we need or give it to Hulu. If they want it to be a flop, by all means, push forward a less-than storyline that ruins a trailblazing character.

In the meantime, if you really want to see what Lizzie McGuire is up to now as a 30-something adult living in New York City, she goes by the name of Kelsey Peter’s, works in publishing, and is navigating a complex relationship with Zane Anders on Younger.

Hilary Duff on Younger

Hilary Duff on Younger


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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

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What to Watch December 2020: ‘Selena: The Series,’ ‘Blue Bloods,’ ‘Shameless, ‘Sabrina’ and More!

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What to watch in December 2020 including Shameless, Blue Bloods, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

The holidays are upon us and with that, some much-needed time to just sit back and relax with loved ones. 

And there’s no better way to bond with others than by watching TV!

Here are all the exciting additions coming to primetime, cable, and streaming in December?

What are you adding to your binge-watch list?

 

SEAL Team – CBS (December 2)

Season 4 returns with a 2-hour season premiere with the team’s potential shakeup. Per the synopsis: “Bravo Team enters enemy territory in the snowy Spin Ghar Mountain Range to capture Al-Hazred, the leader of a terrorist group and son of the terrorist leader that Jason took down early in his career and made him Bravo One.”

 

Selena: The Series – Netflix (December 4)

The spirit of Selena Quintanilla comes to life in Netflix’s biopic starring Christian Serratos. Re-live the story of the Tejano music and iconic Mexican-American pop star. We interview Madison Taylor-Baez, who plays young Selena in the series. Check it out now

 

The Hardy Boys – Hulu (December 4)

The Hardy Boys are back… and they’re on the case. To fill the Nancy-Drew sized void in your life, Hulu is rebooting the mystery series that will deliver action packed twists you didn’t see coming! 

 

The Great British Baking Show: Holidays – Netflix (December 4)

There’s nothing like getting into the holiday spirit with some tasty treats. The third season of the baking competition finds former bakers competing in holiday-themed challenges.

 

MacGyver, Magnum P.I., and Blue Bloods – CBS (December 4)

The trio of veteran CBS dramas returns on the first Friday of the month for season 5, season 3, and season 11, respectively. 

 

Shameless – Showtime (December 6)

The final season (season 11)  is upon us. It’s time to say goodbye to the Gallagher family after nearly 10 years together.   

 

Euphoria – HBO (December 6)

While this isn’t a second season announcement, HBO will air two special episodes bridging the gap between season 1 and 2, which has been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

Grinch the Musical – NBC (December 9)

Your heart might grow three sizes when you see Matthew Morrison take on the cynical creature in the theatrical event. 

 

High School Musical: The Musical: Holiday Special – Disney+ (December 11)

Celebrate the holiday with the cast of HSMTMTS as they sing their favorite joyful songs and recall some holiday memories. 

 

Bridgerton – Netflix (December 25)

Shondaland is here to give you your next obsession. Shonda Rhimes’ first Netflix show following her transition from ABC is based on the popular best-selling book. It follows eight children of the late Viscount Bridgerton in Regency in the early 1800s England.

 

Letterkenny – Hulu (December 26)

The comedy sitcom about the residents of Letterkenny, a small community in Canada, returns for its ninth season! 

 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Netflix (December 31)

It’s time to say goodbye to the Spellman clan, but not before one last hurrah. The fourth and final season of the Riverdale spinoff premieres on the final day of 2020. According to the synopsis,”The Eldritch Terrors descend upon Greendale [and] the coven must fight each terrifying threat one-by-one (The Weird, The Returned, The Darkness to name a few), all leading up to… The Void, which is the End of All Things.

 

Movies

Godmothered – Disney+ (December 4)

Based on the trailer and the fact that Isla Fisher stars in the film, it’s giving me Enchanted vibes, which is a great thing. Jillian Bell stars as Eleanor, an inexperienced fairy godmother-in-training hoping to help Mackenzie Walsh (Fisher). 

 

The Prom – Netflix (December 11)

Ryan Murphy return to the streaming giant with a musical, based on the critically acclaimed 2018 Broadway musical. It follows a star-studded cast (Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, James Corden and Andrew Rannells) of Broadway stars who visit a small-town in Indiana to help a high school girl named Emma attend to prom with her girlfriend. 

 

The Midnight Sky – Netflix (December 23)

Times are bleak, but this post-apocalyptic space thriller hopes that you’ll indulge anyway. It follows George Clooney’s Augustine, a lonely scientist in the Arctic, hoping to contact astronauts to warn them against returning home tp Earth, where a mysterious catastrophe has taken place. Meanwhile, the astronauts, led by Felicity Jones, wonder why contact with Mission Control has seized. 

 

Soul – Disney+ (December 25)

The highly-anticipated Pixar film arrives as a treat from Santa. After its theatrical release was delayed due to the COVID pandemic, the film will hit the streaming service with its star-studded cast of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Daveed Diggs, Phylicia Rashad, Angela Bassett, and Graham Norton.


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Yes, That Is Queen Amber from ‘A Christmas Prince’ in ‘The Princess Switch: Switched Again’

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Everyone loves a good Easter egg. 

It’s always a treat when a show that exists in the same “realm” includes a few nods to its sister show simply to appease audiences. In its last season, Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina had plenty of Riverdale references that delighted fans. 

And The Princess Switch: Switched Again was no exception. 

In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, Aldovia’s Queen Amber (Rose McIver), King Richard (Ben Lamb), and their royal baby from Netflix’s A Christmas Prince franchise all made a small cameo at Lady Margaret’s coronation in the Princess Switch sequel. 

Credit: Netflix

The brief appearance further entwines Netflix’s holiday movie universe in a way that has fans questioning if it could possibly be teasing a future crossover movie! 

Just imagine Princess of Belgravia, the Queen of Montenaro, and the Queen of Aldovia all working together to save Christmas!

If you think about it, it makes sense. Royal’s from other countries have long formed alliances and often interact for both business and pleasure, so thus, Queen Amber’s appearance during Montenaro’s was completely justified and necessary!

A crossover would be one epic Christmas offering; the only thing missing is Her Majesty Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi, Queen of Genovia! You know we had to. 

However, some fans were confused as to how all the films were connected since in the first Princess Switch, Margaret and Kevin actually watched A Christmas Prince in the film. 

As one CraveYouTV reader pointed out, maybe they were streaming a “documentary.”

Netflix did give some clarity explaining that The Knight Before Christmas (also starring Vanessa Hudgens), Holiday Calendar, The Christmas Inheritance, and Holiday in the Wild are also entangled in the Christmas Movie Universe. Here’s how: 

“It felt like a natural fit to show one of our other films available on Netflix,” Amanda Phillips Atkins, EVP of production company MPCA that produced the films, shared about the connections. “That one seed of an idea soon turned into fun opportunity to tie the various worlds together with small easter eggs from movie to movie.”

Regardless of whether a crossover is on the horizon, seeing Amber and Richard was a sweet treat for fans of Netflix’s robust Christmas collection during a time we need it the most! 

Read our review of The Princess Switch: Switched Again now. 


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‘The Princess Switch: Switched Again’ Dazzles with a Three-Way Switcheroo

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Netflix The Princess Switch Switched Again Review

*** Spoilers Ahead – Proceed with Caution **

Seeing triple? No, you haven’t had too much eggnog, you’re simply watching Vanessa Hudgens play all three characters on The Princess Switch sequel, The Princess Switch: Switched Again.

But you should probably keep drinking the eggnog (or mulled wine, if that’s what you prefer) to celebrate this impressively crafted, cheesy holiday masterpiece.

It’s rare that a sequel is better than the original, but that’s the case with Switched Again, which finds Stacy and Lady Margaret doing as the title says and once again switching places to pursue romantic endeavors. And it’s even better than the last time! 

It’s a proper modern fairytale that has it all: a kidnapping, a coronation, a triple switcheroo, and finally, a royal wedding. 

While the two-year wait for a follow-up may have been long, it was worth it. There’s nothing better than when a film takes its time to deliver a quality product rather than one made simply to appease fans. 

As with every holiday film, you have to be open to receive it. The sequel continues to thrive in its own absurdity, which is what made the first film such a success. Some holiday films take themselves too seriously, but The Princess Switch: Switched Again knows the premise is ridiculous and owns it, which makes for some fantastic viewing.

At the kickstart of the film, Stacy laments that happily ever after is never easy, especially for a princess. 

As Princess of Belgravia, she understands the struggles, which is why she goes above and beyond to help reconnect Margaret and Kevin, who parted ways roughly six months ago after the former became in line for the throne. 

Stacy and Olivia, Kevin’s daughter, aren’t afraid of meddling as they’re of the (correct) midset that sometimes, people just need a little nudge in the right direction.

The film takes audiences on a magical adventure that’s infused with the Christmas spirit and the belief that love can overcome anything, even a self-serving third doppelganger and potential new love interest. 

It’s an ambitious plot as it aims to pull off not one but two switches without losing the audience. 

Okay, I said it “aims” not to lose the audience because there are times where it’s truly hard to keep… especially if you’re indulging in that eggnog/mulled wine. 

Netflix The Princess Switch Switched Again Review

The Princess Switch: Switched Again. Vanessa Hudgens as Stacy / Margaret / Fiona in The Princess Switch: Switched Again. Cr. Mark Mainz/NETFLIX © 2020

At one point, Margaret is Stacy, Stacy is Margaret, but later Stacy as Margaret gets kidnapped, and Fiona pretends to be Stacy as Margaret. 

Lost yet? 

The addition of Fiona Pembroke, Margaret’s wild and free-spirited cousin, makes things unnecessarily complicated for the viewer and characters alike.

At one point, a priest points out the obvious – there’s three of them – as others cannot tell them apart while they’re pretending to be each other. 

Fiona seems to draw inspiration from Schitt’s Creek’s Moira Rose and Cruella de Ville equally, while her dense sidekicks are reminiscent of the hapless thieves from Home Alone. Their lack of common skills or logical thinking makes them the perfect holiday antagonists!

Margaret and Stacy decide to once again make the grand switcheroo to buy the future Queen some much-needed time to “hang out” with Kevin and resolve their feelings.

Fiona foils the plan by launching her own switcheroo in which she kidnaps Stacy, thinking it’s Margaret, in order to move up the coronation and steal royal funds. 

Fiona’s attempts are rather unsuccessful as her plan was flawed from the beginning. There’s the obvious kidnapping of the wrong royal.

She also didn’t think about the small details (like that pinky tattoo), and that attention to detail is what made Margaret and Stacy’s switch flawless both times.

Netflix The Princess Switch Switched Again Review

The Princess Switch: Switched Again. Vanessa Hudgens as Stacy / Margaret / Fiona, Nick Sagar as Kevin in The Princess Switch: Switched Again. Cr. NETFLIX © 2020

And she didn’t commit to the act, instead, acting impulsively and out of character. Despite being a “dead ringer” for Margaret, she didn’t have what it took to pull off the ultimate feat.

There was also the issue of not wanting to switch back when the night was over, which is so unlike Stacy, a woman who is selfless, loves Edward, and has her own country to govern. There’d be no reason for her to want to stay in Margaret’s shoes. 

While Margaret and the rest pieced it together eventually, Tony immediately caught on and attempted to use it to his advantage. 

Tony was never the better romantic option for Margaret for a few reasons. Obviously, our love for Kevin trumped any other “connections” she may have had with other suitors, but the Chief of Staff gave off bad vibes from the beginning as he was seemingly only interested in helping himself. 

We’ve seen ego-driven guys like him plenty of times before, and we know things never end well for them. 

After the little stunt Fiona and Tony tried to pull, they both got what they deserved, and it was truly satisfying to see Margaret believe in herself, own her power, and send him to the “dungeon.”

That’s the modern woman’s “off with his head.”

Netflix The Princess Switch Switched Again Review

The Princess Switch: Switched Again. Nick Sagar as Kevin, Vanessa Hudgens as Stacy / Margaret / Fiona in The Princess Switch: Switched Again. Cr. Mark Mainz/NETFLIX © 2020

And, of course, no holiday film is complete without an over-the-top romantic moment, especially a last-minute chase through the airport to stop the love of your life from jetting halfway across the country. 

The only one who didn’t seem to realize that Margaret wasn’t actually Marget was poor Kevin, who was convinced by Fiona’s break up speech.

After Margaret made it clear that it was an imposter who called things off, the duo, known for their spontaneity, decided to get hitched right there by the airport coffee cart.

And just like that, in between final boarding announcements, Kevin became the King to Queen Margaret, who was sworn in the very next day during a celebratory coronation. 

What I loved best of all is that Kevin was fully supportive of Margaret and championed her to fulfill her royal duty. He didn’t want her to give up the crown, which is refreshing to see considering most holiday films feature a woman that realizes she’s a workaholic and willingly gives it all up for love.

Switched Again proves that a woman can have both love and a career, and it’s not only okay, it’s encouraged. 

And yes, that was Queen Amber and King Richard from The Christmas Prince in attendance at the coronation. Leave it up to Netflix to give a little wink to another popular holiday franchise. 

The film focused less on Stacy and Edward’s relationship, but to be fair, they did get their happily ever after in the first film. 

While they dealt with some brief hiccups in the film, it was all put to bed rather quickly with talk of possible royal babies. Does this mean that a third film is in the works? Find out here

Check out the trailer for The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again below and watch it on Netflix starting on November 19, 2020! 


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