TV review: The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

The Suite Life of Zack and Cody is another of The Disney Channel's live-action 'tween' series. However, unlike Hannah Montana, this show is terrible. The main characters are Zack (played by Dylan Sprouse) and Cody (played by Cole Sprouse), twin brothers living at the Tipton Hotel with their single lounge-singer mother (played by Kim Rhodes). Rounding out the cast are Brenda Song as London Tipton, Ashley Tisdale as Maddie Fitzpatrick, Phill Lewis as Mr. Moseby and Adrian R'Mante as Esteban.

While I'd normally be cheering for a show with a strong single mother raising twin boys on her own, the mother is anything but strong. She is frequently shown as incompetent as the boys run rampant in the hotel. There are few times that the boys are punished for their behavior. As characters, the boys are annoying in themselves. Zack is the typical geeky yet somewhat effeminate one that always ends up cleaning up after Cody, the typical lazy yet somewhat macho one. In everything they do, Zack goes for the gold despite having to make up for Cody's lack of enthusiasm over anything that requires more energy than changing the channel on the TV.

The supporting characters aren't even interesting. London is the insipid daughter of the hotel. She throws money at whatever she wants but doesn't actually know anything. Literally. Somehow this stupidity is supposed to be funny. It's not. On the other side we have Maddie. She is the brilliant candy stand salesgirl. It almost seems like her entire reason for being on the show is to off-set London's stupidity because whenever London gets herself into a mess, there is Maddie to help her out of it. Meanwhile, Mr. Moseby is trying to keep the hotel running.

I think that The Suite Life may have had some potential at some point. However, they ruined themselves by making half of the characters so unintelligent that it is painful to watch them. Then they put Zack in a stereotypical homosexual role. (C'mon, how many straight men know the songs of Gilbert and Sullivan?) The one redeeming episode I have seen is "Lip Synchin' In The Rain" where the characters' high school is doing High School Musical for the school musical. All of the jokes about Maddie not looking like Sharpay, despite both roles being performed by Ashley Tisdale, are quite funny. However, once again, Maddie has to bail out London. In my opinion, you should just skip this show altogether. Maybe one day The Disney Channel will learn that this isn't a good show for kids to be watching.