Christmas Challenge: Lizzie McGuire

LIZZIE MCGUIRE: 1.07 “Aaron Carter’s Coming to Town”

Oh dear. Is it possible that I watched this episode for the first time ten years ago? Even then, I was too old for this show. But I remembered it, so I thought I’d dig it up and revisit it. Oh, how times have changed.

It wasn’t the best episode to start with (though if my memory is right, it’s much better than the Steven Tyler Christmas episode in season two), but now it’s just silly and dated. I mean, does anyone know who Aaron Carter is anymore?

The premise is pretty straightforward: Aaron Carter is shooting a Christmas music video in town (the song is a cover of “Candy,” which is really only made Christmasy by the presence of snow and dancers in elf costumes). Lizzie, Miranda, and Gordo want to sneak in for a variety of reasons — Lizzie wants an interview, Miranda wants to sing for Aaron, and Gordo wants to shoot a documentary. Now, I had completely forgotten that Lizzie was on the newspaper and given Lizzie’s later fame singing in The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Miranda’s musical aspirations were long buried in my mind, so I just kind-of smiled and nodded as I watched that play out. Most of the escapade was slapstick, fast-forwarded action dodging a security guard, and the only person who successfully got in was Lizzie’s brother, who was an accidental stunt double.

Now, will some explain to me why a music video would need “stunt elves”? Eventually, the team lands themselves in the center of the action — after they get into his dressing room and Lizzie gets a kiss under the mistletoe — as roles of “stunt elves” themselves. But strangely enough, this consisted of Lizze and Miranda dancing on the sidelines of the video while Aaron sings, Matt nodding along behind the scenes, and Gordo taking his own video. What part of any of their roles were stunt elves? They’re not even in elf costumes. Later, even the security guard got to have a part in the video. This was just nonsensical, even if it was cute and spirited.

The saddest part of the episode was realizing that ten years after seeing this for the first time, I’m suddenly finding myself enjoying the story of the parents more than the main characters. Both land themselves in “jail” on the set for yelling at the security guard and eating a forbidden donut, respectively. I never used to find them funny.

But it’s cute enough, and it was somewhat fun to revisit, even if it didn’t stand the test of time. Of course, I still don’t like Lizzie’s inner monologue cartoon, but that never changes.

Recommendation: I’ll steal a line from Gordo on this one: “This would be a lot more exciting if I were a thirteen-year-old girl.” But even then, those girls probably wouldn’t know who Aaron Carter was.

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3 thoughts on “Christmas Challenge: Lizzie McGuire

  1. That’s a real crime for a Christmas ep. A Christmas ep should be fairly timeless, but putting a flash-in-the-pan celebrity completely ruins that.

  2. Ha. True. But then, I wonder if in 2001, they though Aaron Carter would be huge. I mean, he was pretty popular at that time. Even had a song on “Princess Diaries 2.” They might’ve thought he’d be more lasting.

    There was a note in the episode saying it was spring, and that they were filming the video early. I wish I remembered exactly when this was aired. I’m pretty sure it was Christmastime, but there’s a chance it might’ve been spring and that gave them some sort of excuse. Now, the Steven Tyler episode, I’m pretty sure was definitely placed at Christmas. (Either way, I still contend this was a “Christmas” episode.)

  3. Ok, full disclosure: Looks like this aired for the first time in March, but I fully remember the Disney Channel using this as one of their holiday episodes leading up to Christmas. I’m surprised it wasn’t just aired then!

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