Honestly, one of the reasons I’m writing about this show is that my son’s best frenemy named her dog after the main character, and her mom posts a lot of the kid and her dog’s goings-on on Facebook these days. My son and daughter like the show, too, but I’m not sure they like it enough to name a pet after it. Which is fine by me, because honestly, I am so not interested in this show. It’s better than some we see, goodness knows, but it still has a lot of what I see as recurring problems in children’s media these days.
Luna Petunia (Ciara Alexys, Alexa Benkert, and Ana Araujo) is given a box of toys for her birthday by her godmother (Lord, I don’t know). The toys also permit her to step into a giant flower on her wall and enter Amazia, your bog-standard magic world. Her friends there are Sammy Stretch (Cory Doran), a kind of accordion man; Bibi Bubbles (Katie Griffin), a flighty woman who creates bubbles; and Karoo (Jonah Wineberg), an animal of some indeterminate sort. They have whimsical adventures, which Luna documents in a journal at the end of every episode. Before deciding that Amazia’s so fun she’s just going to go back.
Oh, I’m not going to lie; there was, when I was a kid, a Girl Goes To Magic World show that I really loved. But what strikes me as different about it was that you could understand why the girl in that show ever returned to our world. She had a dad she loved. Dorothy Gale, likewise. The only person from our world we ever see for Luna is her godmother, who used to go to Amazia and have whimsical adventures herself. But she stopped at some point, we don’t know why, and it seems everything in Amazia kind of stopped then—because it literally doesn’t have anything going on unless the Magic Girl is there.
We know, from one episode, that Luna is learning the piano and has a recital at one point, but she doesn’t ever seem to talk to the people of Amazia about, say, loving her family. Why not stay in Amazia? I’m really unclear on what’s preventing it. And that’s part of the problem with this show; Luna manages to be both perfect and a cipher at the same time. She’s a collection of attributes and doesn’t really have a personality. She’s sweet and pure and friends with everyone, and she loves petunias and glitter, and . . . that’s it.
Of course, the closest most of the characters get to a personality is a handful of speech tics. Sammy routinely breaks into the native language of his people—I really neither know nor care what that language is. Bibi gets words wrong a lot. Karro sounds, I’m going to be perfectly honest, a lot like old-school representations of various “savages.” Only, you know, cute. It’s fairly unsettling, especially because of how sure I am that no one considered that.
So much of this show is so generic that I don’t even bother hating it unless I’m watching it. I really do, when I’m watching it, but mostly, I don’t think about it until the kids demand to watch it. And, I guess, when my friend posts about her kid’s dog.