The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Lip Synchin' In The Rain (October 19/09)
The Suite Life of Zack & Cody is an expectedly broad, thoroughly juvenile series designed to appeal solely to younger viewers; while several of the actors do possess some charisma (particularly Kim Rhodes and Ashley Tisdale), they're consistently placed into egregiously silly situations and forced to spout painfully lame bits of dialogue. Still, there is a certain charm to the show that's sure to hold the interest of tweens.
The series stars Cole and Dylan Sprouse as Cody and Zack Martin, a pair of identical twins who live in the fancy Tipton Hotel with their single mother (played by Rhodes). They're surrounded by quirky characters, including the stuffy hotel manager (Phill Lewis), a scrappy gift shop clerk named Maddie (Tisdale), and the hotel owner's spoiled daughter (Brenda Song's London).
Lip Synchin' In The Rain collects four episodes of the series, with the disc's eponymous first selection following the gang as they attempt to put on an amateur production of High School Musical. Problems ensue as London receives preferential treatment and winds up playing Sharpay, despite the fact that Maddie is clearly much more qualified to take the role.
The Arwin That Came To Dinner revolves around the twins' efforts at cheering up Arwin (Brian Stepanek) after his mother moves out, with wackiness ensuing as Arwin eagerly accepts Cody and Zack's invitation to move in with them. There's also a subplot revolving around Maddie's efforts at winning back her stray boyfriend, as she follows the advice of an almost offensively sassy black employee and attempts to woo her ex by dressing up as a mermaid.
The disc's third episode, Orchestra, follows the chaos that ensues after Zack join's the school orchestra and subsequently discovers that his girlfriend is smitten with a talented Russian exchange student. In an unrelated subplot, London is forced to try every single job at the Tipton - which causes no end of frustration for the hotel's long-suffering manager.
The last episode on the disc, A Tale of Two Houses, sees Zack and Cody's father (Robert Torti's Kurt) move into an apartment - where the boys inevitably bring their girlfriends once he leaves. Wackiness ensues.