Cute kids, and a talking dog. That’s about all one needs know about “Dog With a Blog,” a Disney Channel sitcom that suffers from no pretensions about its ambitions or intended audience. Quickly dispensing with “Seinfeld’s” admonition — the pilot features hugging and learning — the show, which will premiere after the channel’s latest original movie “Girl vs. Monster,” should go about as far as its title character’s four furry legs can carry it.
Built around another blended family, the show focuses on step-siblings Avery (G Hannelius), Tyler (Blake Michael) and Chloe (Francesca Capaldi), who are not really getting along. So their child-psychologist dad (Regan Burns), much to the chagrin of his persnickety wife (Beth Littleford), brings home Stan (voiced by “I’m in the Band’s” Stephen Full), a rescue mutt who will hopefully bring the brood together.
Except Stan can talk — “a freak thing,” he explains, after outing himself to the kids, which “always messes things up.” Hence the reason he’s at the shelter — and why he doesn’t fully trust the children to keep and accept him. On top of that, they have to guard his secret, which includes, yes, blogging thoughts while sitting at the computer. Perhaps best not to ask who’s reading it.
The parents, of course, are clueless about noticing the dog is unusual, but then again, the mom in “E.T.” kept missing him, too. As constructed by writer-producer Michael B. Kaplan, the show never seeks to rise above the “Sniffed his butt. Not impressed” level. And credit Disney with planning ahead by casting two dogs to share the role, which should provide leverage against a kibble holdout. (Sorry, the jokes are bad, but also sort of contagious.)
None of that really matters, of course, and young kids should enjoy hearing Stan express dog-like thoughts, while parents probably won’t feel compelled to shield their eyes or run screaming from the room.
Even so, “Dog With a Blog” is strictly low-hanging-biscuit fare, and enduring one episode sure felt like a long sit — whether in human or dog years.