tek's rating: ½

My Babysitter's a Vampire, on Teletoon (Canada) / Disney Channel (USA)
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streaming sites: iTunes (movie)

Caution: spoilers.

This is a Canadian series based on a TV movie of the same name. To explain the series, I'm going to have to spoil the movie somewhat, so... be warned. Anyway, there are these three sort of geeky friends, Ethan, Benny, and Rory, who have all just started high school. Rory's the geekiest one of them, and even his friends kind of want to avoid him, as they hope to redefine themselves now that they've left junior high. Of course, Rory seems to think of himself as pretty cool, and he's pretty much oblivious to anyone thinking otherwise. Meanwhile, Benny continues to revel in the geeky interests he and his friends have always shared, such as sci-fi and comic books; however, he also seems to think of himself as cool, or at least... he's optimistic about his chances of fitting in with the popular crowd. Ethan is... less optimistic.

Anyway, when Ethan proves himself too irresponsible to look after his eight-year-old sister, Jane, his parents decide to hire a babysitter, a junior at Ethan and his friends' new high school. At this point, I should mention that in the world of the movie and series, there's a fictitious series of movies about vampires, called "Dusk" (an obvious parody of "Twilight"), whose fans are called Duskers. Erica, the girl hired to babysit Jane, is a major Dusker, along with her best friend, Sarah. However, Sarah seems less interested lately in Dusk than she used to be, and doesn't share Erica's excitement over the upcoming movie "Dusk III: Unbitten." It turns out, this is because Sarah's ex-boyfriend, Jesse, is the leader of a pack of real vampires, and he had recently turned Sarah into one, too. Though actually she's still just a fledgling, with most (but not all) of the powers of a full vampire, until she drinks human blood, which she totally doesn't want to do. But she can't tell Erica about all this, so of course Erica doesn't understand her reluctance to do anything Dusk-related. Erica ends up going off with Jesse and his henchman, Gord, to a party, instead of going to her babysitting job. So Sarah ends up babysitting Jane, instead.

In the course of the movie, we learn that Ethan is a "seer," which means he sometimes gets psychic visions when he touches people or objects. We also learn that Benny has the potential to become a wizard, as his grandmother turns out to be an "earth priestess" (like a Wiccan or something), and she gives him a book of spells to learn. Meanwhile, Erica and Rory both end up being turned into full-fleged vampires at Jesse's party. Which, naturally, they both think is really cool. Erica especially changes, both her look and her attitude. She was always kind of mousy, and now she's happy to have become the object of her obsession, and to finally see herself as "hot" (which she totally is, though personally I preferred her look when she was human, and Benny and probably Ethan and Rory all thought she was hot before, too). Anyway, Ethan, Benny, and Sarah have to work together to figure out Jesse's evil plans (with some help from Rory), and put a stop to them.

I won't say anything specific about the nature of Jesse's plans, though of course he's defeated in the end. It really was a pretty cool movie, fairly cheesy but also amusing, and I like all the characters. The series itself is perhaps even cheesier, but just as fun and amusing, even if the plots of each episode are totally silly. I should mention the show is set in the town of Whitechapel. And lots of paranormal stuff goes on there. We'll sometime see more vampires, but there's all kinds of other weird stuff that Ethan, Benny, and Sarah have to work together to prevent from hurting anyone. They also still get help from Rory, who totally digs being a vampire, but still likes his friends (even if they don't treat him with any more respect than they did when he was human). Erica also enjoys being a vampire, and while she doesn't seem as evil as she became in the movie, she's still not as nice as she was when human. Anyway, aside from dealing with all the weird and dangerous stuff (some of which our heroes may cause themselves, particularly Benny), they also have to deal with school and family. And of course, all the guys want to get girls to go out with them. It kinda seems like any girl would suffice, in general, though Rory clearly is especially interested in Erica (who has no interest in him at all, aside from occasionally using him to do favors for her). I think Benny also likes Erica, though of the three boys, he especially wants to get any girl he can (and he'll try using magic to help his chances, which often leads to supernatural problems). Ethan, meanwhile, is interested in Sarah, though for now they're just friends. I should also mention, it doesn't seem like Erica or Rory try particularly hard to hide their vampirism from anyone (nor does daylight seem to pose much of a problem for them), though I don't think anyone knows what they are... Rory even mentions not letting his parents know, and presumably none of the characters' parents know about any of the weirdness going on in Whitechapel. And I guess that's all I can say. A ridiculous but fun show, with likable characters who are well-acted (in a sort of ironically campy style).

Unfortunately, I lost access to Disney Channel in summer of 2011, so I haven't been able to see the second season, yet.

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