I finally managed to watch the sitcom episode that the very funny and super-cute Karen DiConcetto (of “Daphne & Celeste” fame) co-wrote, and I’m happy to report that I thoroughly enjoyed it. For those who don’t know, Ruby & The Rockits was an ABC Family sitcom, which debuted in July 2009, and was created by Shaun Cassidy (who also gave us the awesome American Gothic). Since the only episode I’ve seen so far is the tenth (and final) one, I’ll have to crib from Wikipedia to explain the basic premise: “Ruby & The Rockits follows Patrick Gallagher, a former teen icon, who has chosen to lead a quiet life with his wife Audie and two sons. But when his former Rockits band-mate and brother, David, shows up unexpectedly with his new-found teenage daughter in town, the Gallagher family’s life becomes anything but normal.”
The brothers are played by Patrick and David Cassidy, respectively… while the daughter, Ruby, is played by Alexa Vega. I only really know Vega from the Spy Kids movies (worth checking out for R-Rod’s commentaries and “ten minute film school”, if nothing else), but apparently she’s been in the biz since 1993, and worked pretty consistently ever since! The A-plot of Ep 1.10 sees Ruby getting mad at her cousin Jordan when he starts dating her new best friend Kristen (played by Lucy Hale, of being-totally-adorable-in Privileged fame), while the B-plot sees David and Patrick teaching younger cousin Ben to defend himself against a bully at school. Of course, from the moment he refers to the bully by a gender-neutral name, it’s pretty obvious where that storyline’s going… but I still laughed when the inevitable reveal came, because of the timing and the delivery. That basically sums up my response to the whole episode, in fact… a lot of the plots points and jokes were predictable, but that didn’t stop them being funny when they landed… and there were plenty of other, more off-the-wall jokes mixed in there, to keep the viewer guessing. I mean, it’s pretty obvious that the show was aimed at a fairly mainstream teen/family audience, but I still found myself laughing out loud plenty of times. I doubt I would have taken much interest if it weren’t for the DiConcetto connection, but I still feel a little sad that the show was cancelled so soon after she got her big break, because it seemed a pretty solid piece to me.
Oh, I should also probably mention Haley Hudson, who appeared here as a strange, sullen classmate, who Ruby drafts in as a replacement friend after losing Kristen to her cousin. It’s just a one-scene-wonder, but Hudson previously played Lindsay Lohan’s black-clad band-mate ‘Peg’ in Freaky Friday (2003), and the girl clearly gives good Goth, so bless her for that!