Saturday, November 8, 2014
Top 5 Nick Shows
Like a lot of people, I grew up watching Nickelodeon. I still watch a few shows today, though it's not as good as it used to be. They go a little too far with gross out gags with shows like Sanjay and Craig, and some are just annoying like Breadwinners. I'm not biased between old and new. I judge based on content, and I'm not fond of some of the content. But we're not here to talk about the worst of Nick. We're here to talk about the best of Nick. I've decided to talk about my 5 favorite Nick shows, not including Nick Jr. Get them below.
Catscratch aired for one season from 2005-2007. It was about three feline brothers named Mr. Blik, Waffle, and Gordon, who inherit a vast fortune, including a mansion, an oversized monster truck named Gear, and a butler named Hovis, from their wealthy owner after she passes away. This is a show that really deserves more attention. It was a great show, and it was a shame that it only lasted one season. I haven't seen it since 2008, so my memory of it isn't too great, but I remember loving it, and I'd watch it again if I got the chance.
4. The Ren & Stimpy Show
The Ren & Stimpy Show, commonly referred to as Ren & Stimpy, aired from 1991-1996. It focused on Ren Höek, an emotionally unstable chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a good natured, dim-witted cat. They played various roles from outer space explorers to old west thieves to nature show hosts, and they were constantly at odds with each other. There were also side characters, most who were only in one episode. This show quickly gained controversy because of it's toilet humor and harsh language. Nick eventually removed series creator John Kricfalusi from his showrunner position because of the controversy and the fact that there were constant production delays, although the latter was partly because of Nick's prolonged approval process. They initially offered him the position of consultant, but he refused to sell out, so he was off the show altogether. He was replaced by Bob West. It had a short lived adults only spin-off with Kricfalusi on Spike in 2003 called Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon." It's hard not to love Ren & Stimpy. It's odd, violent, and makes no sense, and I have a blast watching it. It would influence shows like Beavis and Butt-head (which I never watched) and two clones: Hanna-Barbera's 2 Stupid Dogs, and Disney's The Schnookums and Meat Funny CCartoon. Even after Kricfalusi was fired, I still liked it, though it wasn't as good. I haven't seen the Adult Party Cartoon, but I haven't exactly heard good things about it, so I'm in no hurry.
3. Kenan & Kel
Kenan & Kel aired from 1996-2000. It was about two best friends Kenan Rockmore and Kel Mitchell. Kenan has a job at a grocery store while Kel is a clumsy, orange soda lover. Each episode opens and closes with the two breaking fourth wall by interacting with the studio audience, standing in front of a red curtain, while still in character. During the show, they would always get into some sort of troublesome situation. At the end of the show, Kenan, with an idea for a new scheme, would ask Kel to get three items and meet him somewhere. Kel would protest vigorously, then say "Aww, here it goes!" then run off. After production ended, the two went their separate ways. Kel's first job after Kenan & Kel was the voice of T-Bone on Clifford the Big Red Dog. In one episode, Kenan guest starred as T-Bone's friend Hamburger. I have a feeling the producers planned this. Since 2003, Kenan has been part of the cast of Saturday Night Live, beating out Kel for the spot. Kel hasn't done anything since then except for a few guest spots, most notably in an episode of Sam & Cat as Peezy B, a jerky rapper. There is an online rumor that says they had a falling out and are no longer speaking to each other, but in reality, this is false. They just chose different paths (source). This is one awesome show. It's always hilarious seeing these two get into trouble and I can never get enough of it. It's definitely one of Nick's best.
2. SpongeBob SquarePants
This just missed being number 1. This show is so famous that I don't think I even need to tell you what it's about. I'll just do a quick rundown of it's history and tell you what I think. Spongebob has been on the air since 1999. The first season was only a modest success. Ratings weren't bad. If they didn't go up the way they did, I think Spongebob would've been in production for a good few years and last for many more in reruns. Then, in 2000, ratings went so high, that Spongebob started beating Rugrats, the highest rated Nicktoon at the time. Spongebob quickly became a pop culture phenomenon, and was so popular, that Nick released a feature film called The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie in 2004. After that, series creator Stephen Hillenburg stepped down as show runner and was replaced by Paul Tibbitt. This is when many fans believe the show went into decline. Hillenburg still reads all the scripts and makes suggestions but that's all he does now. The older episodes of Spongebob are awesome. They're comedy gold and I still have a blast watching them. Even after the movie, I don't think the show went into decline right away. I think that actually started in 2006. It slowly got worse over the next few years but they were sill among the best post movie episodes. Then in 2009, the quality took a big drop in my opinion. That year had many of my least favorite episodes, like Stuck in the Ringer and Toy Store of Doom. There were still episodes I liked that year, like Gullible Pants and To SquarePants or Not to SquarePants, but there were more episodes that year I hated. Since then I still try to watch all the episodes at least once. There are some that I like and some that I don't like, and even the ones I do like aren't at all as good as the older ones, with the exception of one. In 2012, Nick released a stop motion Spongebob Christmas special titled It's a SpongeBob Christmas, and I thought it was great. I'm happy to make it part of my holiday viewing tradition every year. There's a new feature film coming out this coming February titled The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Hillenburg co-wrote the movie with Tibbitt, and was in the studio every day, and I thought both trailers looked good, so I'm hoping we're in for something with a pre-movie feel.
This was a hard list to make because there are so many good Nick shows. In the end, there were a lot of honorable mentions. I'm not going to talk about them in the post, but if you have any questions, leave them in the comments, and I'll try to answer them at some point. And before anyone asks about All That, I actually haven't seen it yet, so I don't have an opinion on it. I don't judge shows and movies I haven't seen. Well, here they are:
You Can't Do That on Television
I do want to say something about this one. You Can't Do That on Television was a variety show that was on before I was born, so I never saw it except for a few clips on YouTube, but it's place in Nickelodeon history made me feel obligated to include it. When someone said "I don't know," they would get poured with a gooey green substance known as slime. Nick quickly started using slime as a fixture for them, and still use it today. That's right! That's where slime came from. And it was started by accident. The first sliming was originally going to be a bucket of leftovers from the cafeteria, but production was delayed a week, and by then, the food was all moldy and time restraints forbid them from getting new leftovers so they went with the moldy food. Initially, producer Roger Price was furious, but the slime was received by the audience so well, that he decided to to dedicate a whole episode on the green stuff. Ironically, it aired on St. Patrick's Day. This episode introduced a different formula for slime than moldy leftovers and the trigger phrase "I don't know." Years later, the Fanboy and Chum Chum episode Slime Day paid tribute to You Can't Do That on Television's use of slime. Fanboy and Chum Chum was a show I never liked except for that episode.
Rocco's Modern Life
Oh Yeah! Cartoons
The Amanda Show
The Fairly OddParents
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius
My Life as a Teenage Robot
All Grown Up
Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide
Avatar: The Last Airbender
The Naked Brothers Band
Back at the Barnyard
The Mighty B!
True Jackson, VP
The Penguins of Madagascar
Big Time Rush
Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness
The Legend of Korra
Sam & Cat
1. Drake & Josh
Drake & Josh aired from 2004-2007 and had a reunion movie in 2008. It was about two stepbrothers with opposite personalities. Drake Parker is an immature musician who is popular with his peers and can pick up girls with ease while Josh Nichols has no luck with girls or popularity (or anything for that matter). He is responsible and always does his homework. It's hard not to love Drake & Josh. It's hilarious no matter what these boys are doing, and I have a blast watching it. And if that's not enough, my parents and grandparents like it too. They don't like most shows on kids' networks. I loved it when I was a kid and I still love it today.