Pros:interesting premise, strong with family values, lots of action, funny at times
Cons:that it got cancelled
The Bottom Line: The Famous Jett Jackson was a program suited for the whole family that was both entertaining and interesting to watch.
The Famous Jett Jackson was a short-lived Disney Channel show, which covered the life of a famous teenage television star and his two closest friends. The show is a really good one, based on showing the importance of being true to yourself, the importance of being near your family, and also the importance of friendship. Those three core values are what made the show good in its short run on television, and are what surely will allow it to become a Disney show released on DVD in the upcoming years. The premise of the show, was that Jett Jackson had become very successful with his hit television show called Silverstone. He played an action star named Silverstone (of course) who was on a weekly basis fighting against some very dangerous villains. The popularity of the show gave Jett a lot of power that he ended up using.
Using his new found fame as a major pull, he got the production company of his show to relocate from Los Angeles back to his hometown in North Carolina. No longer would he have to miss his family and friends, and the hope he had at the center of everything, was that he could live a normal life that most of us take for granted. It's not quite as easy as it sounds for a teenager of super-star status to go back to his regular life, and this is especially due to the fact that his show was still a smash hit. Of course he has fans (mostly girls) following him anywhere he goes, but at least now he can hang out with his friends when he can elude them. His friends consist of two other main characters (J.B. and Kayla), who like him for who he is, but could really care less about his status as a teen icon. In fact, Kayla actually detests that he is a star when they first meet.
Jett doesn't have the easiest time with the balancing act that is his life, and the constant juggling of his career and school often find themselves at odds. This forces him to make important decisions that decide what is most important in his life, and how it will affect those around him. A lot of the time, there are humorous undertones to the stories, and we get to see the funny side of some of the main characters. His home life consists of Jett, his grandmother, and his father who is a local sheriff. They of course have great advice for him, and when he decides to follow it, he is much better off as a growing teen. He would probably list his grandmother as his hero if asked on a questionnaire, and she is usually the wise-voice in his head when he is faced with tough decisions. The story really works not only because of the familial elements, but the relationship between the triangle of friends.
Playing the role of Jett Jackson was Lee Thompson Young, who more recently has been seen in the film-version of Friday Night Lights and in episodes of Smallville and South Beach. He is really good as the part of Jett, and is able to transition between action star and high school student very seamlessly. Ryan Sommers Baum played the role of JB Halliburton, but this was the extent of his acting career when the show came to an end. It could have been in part because the character he played often ended up being quite bumbling, or it could be that he didn't stretch the role drastically as an actor. Finally we have Kayla West played by Kerry Duff, who also hasn't seen very many jobs come her way since the show. She was in the show Ghostwriter prior to Jett Jackson though if you remember that far back. Though J.B. and Kayla weren't the best acted parts of the show, I thought they were good enough for a family oriented Disney show and I liked them both in the roles.
The Famous Jett Jackson lasted for 3 full seasons and 65 episodes before it was taken off the air, running from 1998 to 2001 on the Disney Channel. It did receive a lot of recognition for the show, most likely because it was geared to a young teen audience while sending strong messages about family values, and always ending the episodes with strong morals about what was really important in life. I liked the show, and would regularly watch it when I got a chance, really liking the intermixing of action sequences as we got to see part of the show as it was shown as Jett's show, and part of it as the life he lived outside of the television world. This is one of those shows that I would highly recommend to a younger audience, but which I think would interest the older television fans among us. I hope that the series can return in DVD format, or maybe as reruns on Disney late at night, but until then we only have memories of this interesting show.
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Type of Program: Other
Program Quality: Entertaining, but not intellectually or emotionally engaging
Best Suited For: Whole Family