You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Zeke and Luther

A G-rated, goofy, good-spirited affair -- a sort of cleaned-up, live-action "Beavis and Butt-head."

Zeke - Hutch Dano Luther - Adam Hicks Kojo - Daniel Curtis Lee Ginger - Ryan Newman

On a different channel, one suspects there would be more talk of girls and perhaps a few puffs of smoke on a show about two 15-year-old skateboard enthusiasts. On the Disney Channel’s boy-oriented spinoff Disney XD, “Zeke and Luther” emerges as a G-rated but still goofy, good-spirited affair — a sort of cleaned-up, live-action “Beavis and Butt-head.” Nostalgia for classic sitcoms is often misplaced, but this one does have a latter-day “Leave It to Beaver” quality, albeit without any meddlesome parents to muck up the fun.

Indeed, almost in the manner of a Charlie Brown cartoon, parents simply don’t exist in the three episodes previewed, though there are adults in the form of cranky neighbors or, in the premiere, a fast-talking mattress peddler. Mostly, there’s Zeke (Hutch Dano), whom Disney doubtless hopes will be its next (and initially much cheaper) Zac Efron; and Luther (Adam Hicks), his equally skateboard-obsessed pal, whose intelligence rates just above the level of low-grade moron.

In the first episode, the two are offered money to perform acts of skateboarding derring-do to drive traffic to the aforementioned mattress store, but unleashing their idiocy in a hotel room nearly costs them the gig. Without giving too much away, it’s been a long time (“The Seven Year Itch” comes to mind) since I’ve seen the toe-stuck-in-bathtub-faucet routine, and it’s still pretty funny.

Zeke and Luther’s narrow world is occupied by rival Kojo (Daniel Curtis Lee) and Zeke’s 12-year-old sister Ginger (Ryan Newman), who happens to be the brains in the outfit. As for the title duo, they do perfectly silly things like waste hours playing Rock Paper Scissors or visit Luther’s nana in the retirement home not so much out of goodwill but because wheelchair ramps are perfect for skateboarding.

The show was created by Tom Burkhard and Matt Dearborn (“Even Stevens”), and its genial stupidity isn’t particularly self-conscious, though at one point Zeke does note that in children’s TV, “Lying always comes back to bite you in the butt.”

Most refreshingly, and unlike much of what’s currently programmed for kids, the series doesn’t condescend to its youthful audience. And it manages to feel reasonably irreverent without resorting to any material that might make a real-world parent wince.

Truth be told, if not for those modern-day helmets that thwart Darwinian selection, Zeke and Luther are the kind of kids who probably wouldn’t survive long enough to dilute the gene pool. But for now, anyway, watching them skate through life makes for amiable company.

Zeke and Luther

Disney XD, Mon. June 15, 8:30 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Turtle Rock Prods. Executive producers, Tom Burkhard, Matt Dearborn; co-executive producer, Boyd Hale; producer, Daniel Weinstock; director, Joe Menendez; writer, Jason Jordan.

Crew: Camera, Bob Hayes; production designer, Donna J. Hattin; editor, Rick Weis; music, Christopher Brady; casting, Sally Stiner, Barbie Block. RUNNING TIME: 30 MIN.

Cast: Zeke - Hutch Dano Luther - Adam Hicks Kojo - Daniel Curtis Lee Ginger - Ryan Newman

More TV

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

  • Emmys: How a Social Media Campaign

    How a Social Media Campaign to Game the Emmys Led to This Week's 'Block Voting' Scandal

    The Television Academy’s “block voting” controversy has quickly become the talk of Emmy season — and that appears to have been the org’s point. According to multiple insiders, the number of people disqualified from voting in this year’s competition is believed to be small, only around three members (out of nearly 25,000 members overall). But [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Drops Trailer for 'Veronica Mars' Revival (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu dropped the official trailer for the “Veronica Mars” revival and HBO revealed more cast members for “Lovecraft Country.” FIRST LOOKS Hulu has dropped the official trailer for its revival of “Veronica Mars,” set to premiere on July 26. The series will bring back most of the original cast, including Kristen Bell, Jason [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Viacom CEO Bob Bakish

    Bob Bakish Talks Pluto TV, Netflix and CBS-Viacom Merger Rumors

    Viacom CEO Bob Bakish knows that a lot of his peers are in the original content space in streaming, but he believes the company’s ad-supported free service Pluto TV is better off relying on Viacom’s library of content. “We can debate a lot of things about the future, but in the near term, the opportunity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content