The newest Disney+ Original series is “Shop Class”, which is a new competition series featuring teams of young builders, who are tasked with designing, building, and testing unique creations. In the first episode, the teams are challenged to build a “Little Free Library”, which is a little box that sits in the open and is filled with free books, so people can swap out free boxes. I’ll be totally honest, I had never heard of this until this past week, while I was on vacation, I spotted one near the swimming pool, but didn’t know what it was called until I saw this episode.
In each episode, a panel of experts evaluated and tested their work based on design creativity, and build functionality, with one of the experts being a Walt Disney Imagineer, which is something I think is a nice bit of cross promotion to show off this amazing team of creators.
This series is presented by Justin Long, who has previously appeared in a number of movies including Galaxy Quest, Dodgeball, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Live Free or Die Hard and many more, but I have never seen host anything before, but he seems perfectly fine as a presenter, it was good to seem him interacting with the contestants, such as trying to put them off and seemed pretty relaxed. It reminded me more of how the presenters of the “Great British Bake Off” do it, which is more natural that them just standing there saying their lines.
One of the highlights was watching them test their “libraries” against the elements, with a wind, rain and hail, which was fun to see. I also liked how big the sets were, with huge sets, giving them space to build their projects.
I enjoyed this first episode, but I’ll be honest, it didn’t fully hold my attention for the 44 minutes, as I soon started flipping through social media since it obviously doesn’t have commercials. This felt very much like a more traditional ABC family show, while it has teenage contestants, there are plenty of adults involved in the series, since the show has multiple judges plus an adult expert helping each team, so it didn’t feel like I was watching a kids show, something I would usually see available in the early evening on a Saturday night. The show gave me vibes of “LEGO Masters”, with a similar tone, so if you enjoy that show, this might be for you.
I’d recommend anyone with a Disney+ subscription to check this series out, its a solid family friendly show that anyone can enjoy, especially for those who enjoy watching things being made. I wasn’t that excited for this series when I first saw the trailer, but after watching this first episode, I’m happy to admit that I maybe was a little too harsh as it was better than I had been expecting it to be, but it was still pretty average.
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Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.