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TV Series Review

While the Jonas Brothers out-Biebered Justin in the musical world during the latter half of the 2000s—and even drew comparisons, not completely unwarranted, to the Beatlemania of the early 1960s—Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas' conquest of situation comedy has been less spectacular. At first, the brothers were going to star in a secret-agent-themed show on Disney titled J.O.N.A.S. (the acronym supposedly stood for "Junior Operatives Networking As Spies"). Then, when the Jonas Brothers became the subject of nearly universal tween adulation, the minds at the Mouse House decided to scrap the spy trope and instead make the show about a popular band named—wait for it— JONAS.

The series served as half-hour bites of adolescent wish-fulfillment catnip: The brothers lived in a tricked-out pad complete with fire station poles, holograms and always-stocked vending machines. They went to school just like average Joes and Kevins and Nicks. And they acted as normally as could be expected—considering the always-looming threat of rabid fans.

But while JONAS performed adequately, it didn't exactly cause Disney's corporate heart to flutter. Which may explain the (sort of) new! improved! California dreamin'! show JONAS L.A.

Gone are the poles and vending machines, replaced with a more easygoing coastal vibe. Mostly gone are the ridiculous reminders of the brothers' status as sex symbols, allowing them to more realistically foster an endearing sense of self-depreciation. Macy—a rabid superfan in JONAS—has drastically mellowed and become Nick's love interest. Stella, who designed tear-away outfits for the band on JONAS, still has a way with a sewing machine … but her relationship with Joe has taken on a new layer of depth and (dare I say it?) complexity. In short, the whole affair has shed some of its zany excess and become something better.

Yes, it's still silly—but it's a mellower sort of silly, and a far better environment for the Jonases to showcase their natural aw-shucks charm. Just like the music that comes from these guys, the show is all about lovey-dovey stuff, but not in the sexy-tawdry way so many other sitcoms deliver it. And JONAS L.A. is actually getting funnier and more entertaining—even for folks like me, who, when it comes to both age and sex, are far from the prime Jonas demographic.


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Episode Reviews

JONASLA: 8152010
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