Level Up

TV series
By Cartoon Network


Commonsensemedia.org rating: 8+

Level up is a comedy series based on the original movie of the same name. Dante, Lyle, Wyatt, and Angie are an online gamer team playing ‘Conqueror of All Worlds’ which is very loosely based on World of Warcraft. Somehow, the characters of the game enter the real world through a dimension portal. The powers that the 4 have earned online also transfer to the real world. It is their job to battle the villains and send them back to the game without being caught by their parents or the school. All this happens while battling the troubles of every day teenagers. The series premiered in January, 2012.

Level up and Mad TV are the only two kids’ series that I laugh out loud when watching. The villains are ridiculously over the top as characters. It’s comical to watch a video game entity operate exactly as he does in the game, but in real life. In last night’s episode, a Japanese warrior came from inside the game to help avenge Lyle when his teacher was being cruel to his students. The principal thought it must be a cultural awareness dress up day so he changed into a kimono. The reoccurring theme to the show is acceptance and kindness. For example, when the show first premiered, Lyle, the popular jock, was too cool to be seen with the geeky others. He saw how that hurt their feelings, and embraced the friendship. It is rated TVPG-V for violence. The only violence is of the video game sort. When a character is thwarted, he simply disappears. Level up is well written, well acted, and funny. Check it out.