TV Review: Raven’s Home

Over the past several decades, there have been thousands of Disney Channel original TV shows and movies. However, only a select few have really proven to be successful… such as That’s So Raven.

  • Airing from 2003 to 2007, it was the first show in Disney Channel history to make the 100-episode mark.
  • When the series premiered on January 17, 2003, its premiere episode was watched by nearly 3.5 million viewers, making it the first series for the network to garner more than 3 million viewers.
  • It was the “big break” for series star Raven-Symone, who went on to star in other Disney shows and movies before leaving the network in 2009.
  • It’s probably the only Disney Channel original series to have two spinoffs: 2007’s Cory In The House, and the new series Raven’s Home.

With statistics like this, it’s easy to see why That’s So Raven was such a huge success! As a kid, it was one of my favorites; I think I even had some of the episodes on VHS… and is it weird that I still occasionally watch reruns of it on ABC Spark? (LOL!) So you can probably imagine my excitement when I found out a spinoff was in the works!

A lot of Disney shows these days are lacking something, and finding a quality TV show (that appeals to kids and teens alike) seems to be a rare occurrence. But Raven’s Home, which premiered late last month to over 3.5 million viewers, is different from other shows, and it’s probably what this network has been missing for the past few years. This is probably due to the fact that Raven-Symone isn’t just a cast member: she also directs and executive produces the series! Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think any other actor/actress has done that on any Disney show.

Taking place quite some time after its predecessor, the series focuses on best friends Raven and Chelsea (portrayed by Anneliese van der Pol), who are now divorced mothers and raising their children in an apartment together in Chicago. Everything’s turned upside down when they realize Raven’s son, Booker (portrayed by Issac Ryan Brown), has inherited his mother’s psychic abilities. And– of course– Raven still catches glimpses of the future, using her powers to help her be a better mother, a successful fashion designer, and a good friend.

Does the plot seem formulaic? Kind of. In fact, it reminds me of the Netflix series Fuller House (which, itself, is a spinoff of Full House).

But despite its predictability (it is a show aimed towards kids, after all), I think this series has the same charm as the original, which may or may not make it a success in the public eye. But despite the public opinion, I like this show. It’s fun to see the chemistry between the cast– both on and off-screen. Also, it’s interesting to note the similarities between Raven’s Home and its predecessor. Not only are Symone and van der Pol reprising their roles, but Jonathan McDaniel also reprises his role as Raven’s high-school boyfriend/ex-husband Devon Carter (a fan favorite in the original series).

Unfortunately, spinoffs don’t seem to survive over at the Mouse House. For example, the Boy Meets World spinoff, Girl Meets World faced some controversy when it was unexpectedly cancelled after only 3 seasons (despite receiving positive reception). Although we’re only three episodes in so far (with the fourth episode airing tomorrow, August 11th), here’s hoping that Raven’s Home stays for many more seasons to come.

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Raven’s Home

Created By: Michael Poryes Susan Sherman
Premiere Date / Original Run: July 21st 2017 — present
Opening Theme: Raven's Home Theme by the cast of Raven's Home
Executive Producers : Jed Elinoff & Scott Thomas Raven-Symone
Running Time: 23-24 minutes
Original Channel: Disney Channel
Starring: Raven-Symone as Raven Baxter
Issac Ryan Brown as Booker Baxter-Carter
Navia Robinson as Nia Baxter-Carter
Jason Maybaum as Levi Grayson
Sky Katz as Tess
Anneliese van der Pol as Chelsea Daniels
Leslie David Baker  as Principal Wentworth
Jonathan McDaniel  as Devon Carter
Skyler Day  as Paisley
Bruno Amato as Mr. Jablonski
Peggy Miley as Ma Jablonski

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