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Aaron Stone, on Disney XD
Disney Wiki; IMDb; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
streaming sites: iTunes

Caution: spoilers.

The first original series on Disney XD, when the channel changed its name from Toon Disney. Um... so, it's live-action, but the channel still has plenty of cartoons. Anyway... the premise kind of reminds me of a cross between the movie The Last Starfighter and the TV series The Famous Jett Jackson. Okay, there's this video game called "Hero Rising," which is a really popular MMORPG, I guess. There's a high school kid named Charlie Landers, whose avatar in the game is called Aaron Stone, and he's apparently the best player of the game in the world. So he gets recruited by the game's creator, T. Abner Hall, to fight the Omega Defiance. I guess these are 7 people who had previously been brought together by Hall to improve the world, but they became bad guys instead. So he created the game (with the slogan "it's not just a game") with a true story that no one actually believes is true because, of course, it's kind of crazy.

But whatever. Charlie is reluctant, at first, to become Aaron Stone in real life, but there is a very real danger to the world and therefore to everyone he cares about; mostly this means his mother, Amanda, and his little brother, Jason (they're both in high school, so he's not that much younger). So ultimately he accepts his recruitment, since he's the only one who can stop the bad guys. He also gets a suit which incorporates technology that replicates weapons and such from the game. Also, Charlie/Aaron is helped by an android called STAN (Sentient Tactical Assisting Neohuman), who is played by the vice principal from Phil of the Future. (The thing I mainly like about him is that he is governed by Isaac Asimov's laws of robotics, which he mentions in several episodes. That's a touch that science fiction fans can't help but appreciate.) Meanwhile, Charlie has a couple of friends who also play Hero Rising: a pair of brothers in India, named Vas and Ram Mehta. Vas's avatar is Vas Suvious, and Ram's is Lethal Lotus. But then there's another gamer who just moved in right next door to Charlie, named Emma Lau (Tania Gunadi). Her avatar is Dark Tamara, and she soon becomes friends with Charlie. She seems pretty impressed when she learns that he is Aaron Stone (the famous avatar in the game, I mean). Oh, and Jason also plays the game (his avatar is Terminus Mag), though he kinda sucks at it.

Anyway, Stan rents a room in Charlie's house, and also becomes a teacher at Charlie's school. And before too long, it's revealed that Emma has been working for Mr. Hall all along, keeping an eye on Charlie. She also is a tech expert who provides a lot of the gadgets used by Aaron Stone, and sometimes comes along on his missions. Oh, and Jason has a crush on her. Of course, Jason and Mrs. Landers have no idea about Charlie and Emma's secret identities, let alone the fact that Stan is really an android. Vas and Ram eventually learn that Charlie is Aaron Stone in real life, now, and offer a bit of assistance, sometimes, as well.

By the start of season two, the Omega Defiance has apparently ceased its operations, because of Aaron Stone's interference in their plans. However, a new threat emerges in the form of a group of mutants who escaped from Omega's "Sector 21." Their leader is called Damaged, and he has telekinesis. They eliminate the Omega Defiance as revenge for having made them what they are, but also want to take over the world themselves, I guess. And Damaged wants to find the last vial of intelligence serum, which everyone in the Defiance had taken (which ended up increasing their aggression, at least as much as their intelligence). So now, Aaron and his allies will have to fight the mutants. (Hall enlists Vas and Ram to create an expansion pack for Hero Rising, to help Aaron train to fight them.)

Meanwhile, Aaron also learns something surprising about his father (who he hasn't seen for quite some time). And Emma creates a more advanced suit of gadgets for Aaron, as well as a motorcycle. Also, Charlie gets a job at a comic shop/video arcade called Neverending Comics. Not sure what else to say just yet, but it looks like season 2 could possibly be cooler than season 1. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see all of the second season, but I hope to catch up someday.

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