I watched Even Stevens pretty avidly, probably long after I should've stopped. Then again, I still watch Disney Channel every now and then, but it feels kind of like going back to my high school and realizing I know none of the kids there anymore.
I thoroughly enjoyed that show. If it was on Netflix, I'd still be watching it. (NOTE TO SELF: Kickstarter to get Even Stevens on Netflix) I thought it was clever, funny, and Shia LaBeouf had good comedic instincts. I mean, come on. They once had a musical episode, and the Even Stevens movie premise was that they were on a reality show and didn't know it and TIM MEADOWS and DAVE COULIER were hosts of competing shows. So great.
When it ended, I thought, I really hope he gets to keep acting--he's got potential as a comedic actor. And, shockingly for a male Disney Channel star who didn't sing, he did get some legitimate work. I kept waiting for him to switch to comedy. Ok, he did Transformers, he'll probably try comedy. [Eagle Eye comes out] Okay NOW he'll try comedy. [Transformers 2 comes out] Ok for reals this time, he'll try comedy...
But he never did. And now, he's this:
This is not who I wanted Shia LaBeouf to be. I don't think this is who we wanted anyone to be. So here is a list of attributes and/or accomplishments I wanted Shia LaBouf to represent, instead of plagiarism and creepy art exhibits:
- Do a lighthearted indie movie to establish street cred
- Burst onto the comedy scene as the kind of goofy third-man to people like Jonah Hill and Jason Segel, or totally own a bit part as a movie rental clerk who reoccurs throughout a Will Ferrell movie. I don't know. Surprise me.
- Be totally charming on Jimmy Fallon and lose to Jimmy at some game where they play ring toss with hula hoops and the cast of Saved by the Bell are the targets.
- Co-star in a comedy with someone of mid-range fame like Jake Johnson. I'd peg Shia as the goofier one, Jake as more of the straight man saying things like "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" all the time.
- Try a romantic comedy with someone like Emma Stone to show his range and ability to do serious scenes.
- Reenact a "lost scene" from Even Stevens on SNL when hosting to promote "Love Is A Four Letter Word" or whatever the name of his romcom would be.
- Be the lead in a comedy, perhaps where he is a mild-mannered manager of a Fedex Office who gets mistaken for someone in an illegal situation, and he stumbles through drop-offs and stake-outs while someone like Terry Crews tries to coach him through it because he'll get in trouble with the pack leader if they realize he brought in the wrong guy.
- Eventually get a show on Fox or NBC as the lead of an ensemble cast (kind of like Andy Samberg and Brooklyn Nine-Nine). Maybe he's living in a boarding house with crazy people. Maybe he runs a dog kennel. I don't know, I'm not a showrunner. But it should've happened.
I'm so disappointed in the way this has turned out. I'm kind of hoping this is all a joke, even if it's a bad one, and he can just be like "JK YOU GUYS I'm going to be a comedic actor now and not a crazy-pants plagiarizer who made a movie based on toys and now wants to be like the insane version of Banksy or something."
We can only hope.
What do you wish Shia had done? Do you think he's crazy?