Disney Channel • Friday, Jan. 12 (8 p.m.)
Disney Channel is hoping its new original movie Jump In! will enthrall its core tween viewers the same way last year’s breakout hit High School Musical did. Musical star Corbin Bleu moves from the basketball court to the boxing ring as Izzy Daniels, a promising amateur fighter who aspires to follow in the footsteps of his father Kenneth (David Reivers) and box in the golden gloves. After defeating local bully Rodney (Patrick Johnson) in an elimination fight, Izzy is poised to realize his boxing dreams. But Izzy’s attentions soon swing from boxing to his pretty next door neighbor Mary (Keke Palmer) and her four-girl, double dutch jump-roping squad.
When a Joy Jumpers member quits, Izzy eventually joins the team — unbeknownst to his father and friends — and eventually is faced with the dilemma of returning to boxing or of pursuing his true passion of double-dutch competition.
The movie plays in classic Disney Channel style with a simple, feel-good storyline and lots of catchy tunes and slick dance steps that, like High School Musical, young viewers will be emulating long after the movie’s over. — R. Thomas Umstead
EGOTRIP’S THE (WHITE) RAPPER SHOW
VH1 • Monday, Jan. 8 (10:30 p.m.)
First, here’s my flow: When it comes to hip-hop, I generally say no. My taste hails back to Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message” and Run DMC’s “Rock Box.” So I’ll call it a rapper’s delight when the pilot not only provided a brief history lesson from Melle Mell, but mixed in enough quirks and rhymes that chimed.
The premise: 10 non-black rappers vying for cred and $100,000. Going back to hip-hop’s South Bronx roots, the group was assembled in “Tha White House,” accoutered with a graffitied gate, milk crate hoop and roaches.
Two teams — headed by Davis, Calif.’s John Brown and Far Rockaway’s no-nonsense Persia, who bandied the “N-word” while brandishing a dildo in her contretemps with the “King of the Burbs” — were then dispensed to meet the neighbors, bearing gifts, spit and raps. Unbeknownst to them, the mystery envelope they were asked to deliver was a critique sheet that pushed one team to the elimination stoop.
Alas, one member declined to write and perform, earning him an angry “time for you to step off” kick from host and white-rapping legend Michael “MC Serch” Berrin (3rd Bass). If for no other reason, you have to see the real search process.— Mike Reynolds
I LOVE NEW YORK
VH1 • Monday, Jan. 8 (9 p.m.)
I’m feeling you Tiffany Pollard — at least somewhat.
Better known as New York — the two-time runner up on VH1’s surprise dating series hit Flavor of Love — Tiffany now gets to find her own man. In the pilot, New York meets 20 suitors, helps nickname them and then gleans first impressions during her mansion mixer.
Considerable time was spent by the host, her suspicious mom, aka Sister Patterson, and the would-be beaus trying to distinguish which wanna-love-New Yorks were gay or merely reality-TV posers. Insults and imprecations fly between the whitebread Mr. Boston and New York’s early favorite, the thuggish Chance, who wouldn’t stand one if mom had the final vote.
Although lacking her foil Flavor Flav’s inimitable facial expressions and comedic timing, the outspoken New York exhibits enough sass and ass(ets) to keep things interesting for viewers and the 15 players who survived her first cut.— Mike Reynolds