Review of the Disney+ series ‘Doogie Kanealoha’ season 2
In the second season, Lahela ‘Doogie’ Kamealoha is gradually shedding her cute image.
The remake of the nineties sitcom Dr. Doogie Howser it did not maintain any of the bold and topical themes of the original in its first season. Lahela Kamealoha, nicknamed Doogie, is an insecure, traditional teen with superficial problems against the backdrop of colorful Hawaii. A safe teen series for teens and tweens. With the second season, this will gradually change, although the set will still have the appearance of a cartoon.
The previous series has a modern take on it: the new Doogie is a girl and the setting has been changed to Hawaii. The makers make known to the viewer, without being too explanatory, various aspects of the culture of that area, such as the ‘shaka’ hand gesture and that the tastiest octopus is best prepared in the dryer. Good for hours of fun and Google cultural appropriation.
In addition to Lahela’s exciting but watered-down adventures as a doctor, the series is filled with typical teenage vicissitudes and their simple solutions, often ending in an innocent romance in sun-drenched Hawaii. Like a kissing scene on the beach with one leg up. Everything is as cute as a homemade phone case with sparkling stones.
In the second season, Lahela has a new look, which takes some getting used to. With heavy makeup and more often a plunging neckline, she no longer looks as innocent as she did in the first season. Her behavior also becomes a bit more pubescent, for example when she wants to jump off the roof into a pool at a party. That is quite at odds with the character of her, who is always busy with medical matters and will therefore immediately calculate all the medical consequences of such a leap.
In the tradition of classic teen fantasy, the dream boy on the surfboard gives way to the bad boy on the moped in the new season. And of course, that ties in with the new Lahela shoulder top red lipstick. This Nico comes with a great backstory, but this is dealt with extremely superficially in the series. Just like the so-called Lahela split over which guy to pick next.
The second season is significantly funnier than the first. In the first season, the lack of comedic talent was very noticeable, as was the lack of acting talent in general, unless it came from Doctor Lee, played by The Daily Show’s Ronny Chieng. Now that we know the characters better, we can often be confused about typical behavior. Wisely, the creators also stay true to the other characters.
The poor acting isn’t unsettling in the show’s shallow setting. As in the first season, there are good guest actors from time to time, like Alyson Hannigan, known for how I Met Your Mother. It’s no coincidence that the original Doogie, Neil Patrick Harris, starred in the same series, but a guest role for him has yet to materialize. Although he has referenced his role as Doogie in other works numerous times over the years.
The ending of the story takes a significant turn, making it clear that the filmmakers are counting on another season. What exactly that will look like remains in the middle. Lahela’s development suggests that more mature topics can be covered, but probably in a very safe way. It’s still a very good option for parents who prefer to put the kids on the couch without worry and don’t want to answer questions afterwards. For teenagers it is still a fun series to dream about.
dog friends can be seen in Disney+.