Disney started pumping out some quality shows in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. Even Stevens was one of their finest. The show helped launch a lot of young star’s careers like Shia LaBeouf’s for example. Let it be known that I use Shia as my example because he’s the only actor that went on to do bigger and better things. Well, bigger things. Not much can be compared to the wonderful show that is Even Stevens.
Even Stevens sounds like a Tyler Perry title, but I assure you it’s not. The show is about the lives of the two youngest children in the Stevens family, Ren (Christy Carlson Romano) and Louis (Shia LaBeouf). Ren was the older, smarter, mature sister while Louis was her annoying, messy, somewhat Down Syndrome-d brother. Funny enough, Shia played a boy with Down Syndrome in a Disney Channel Original Movie called Tru Confessions. So he’s basically type cast is what I’m trying to say.
Louis and Ren have an older brother Donnie who is a stupid jock that lives at home and does nothing with his life. He reminisces about his high school years a lot, and wears sweatsuits around the house every day. I don’t know who Ren is more embarrassed of. Her parents are sensible people–both have jobs. The dad in the show has played a teacher in a lot of TV shows but I can’t think of any off the top of my head. But I know I’ve seen him around. Poor guy.
Louis’ best friends are Twitty and Tawny. Twitty is a dumb skater type guy. He’s cuter than Louis and gets girls on occasion. He also plays guitar. He and Louis are thick as thieves most of the time except when they get in big fights and don’t talk to each other. One of my favorite episodes is when they start a band, “The Twitty Stevens Connection” and they get in a fight about something. Louis ends up making his own band with some chunky kid (the same chunky kid from Freeks and Geeks I believe, which Shia LaBeouf also appeared in…connections!) and Tawny.
Tawny is a girl which is surprising because she’s pretty fugly. Just kidding, she’s not fugly, she’s just weird looking. Louis and Tawny have a little romantic tension going on throughout the show which was always fun to watch. I don’t think the person who played Tawny did anything after Even Stevens or before the show either. I like when that happens because then I will always and forever think of that person as their character.
I remember Ren having one friend named Ruby who had a speech impediment and had a crush on Louis at one point. She had a loud mouth and was kind of gossipy, but always an enjoyable character.
Ren intrigued me to no end in the first season because she sported some hardcore braces which I think she needed in real life. Also, let me just note that Christy Carlson Romano was 20 when she was supposed to be playing 14. A bit of a stretch. She was tall and super skinny which fascinated me as well. But even Ren had competition–her rival Larry beat her in almost everything. Ren was smart, but Larry was smarter. He was athletic, charismatic, and he sucked up to teachers a lot. Their relationship was fun to watch. Especially in the Even Stevens Musical Movie: Influenza.
There are a handful of other reoccurring characters such as Coach Tugnut, the stereotypical gym teacher, and Principal Wexler whom Ren always tried to get on her side. But the best character would have to be Beans, the Stevens’ next door neighbor. Beans was this mongoloid looking child who lived next door and loved bacon. Louis would often use Beans to help him with pranks. I wish I could get the image of Beans out of my head, but sadly, I think he’s imprinted in my brain.