From Parker Louis Can’t Lose to Shake It Up: The Downfall of Children’s Live Action Programming

4 Jan


Coming off of the holidays and sitting with the kid and watching endless hours of children’s live action programming  I realized one thing, TV shows for kids absolutely suck.

Back in my days, we didn’t have too many live action shows for tweens. The 8-12 year olds were either lumped in with the adults with shows like Night Rider, Air Wolf and Full House or we got sucked into the ABC Afterschool Specials.  Sidebar:  In my opinion those ABC Specials ended up being the precursor to the Lifetime Movie Network with its drama filled, but easily deciphered morality tales. My Mom’s Having a Baby and Mom and Dad Can’t Hear Me and my all-time favorite, My Terrible Secret. I can bet you some of those titles were reused on LMN! But back to the story, the ABC afterschool specials were some of the classics that had me running home. The few live action shows that we eventually did have, well they were amazing. From Small Wonder, to Evie and her cute but dumb boyfriend in Out of This World to my all-time favorite, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose and let us not forget Saved By The Bell. This was good television.

Zack, Slater, Parker, heck TOOTIE! and Urkel, these guys had class, pizzazz  real life struggles, real story lines. Not this crazy mumbo jumbo that the kids are watching now.  These shows weren’t all formulaic and weren’t based on characters who wanted to be celebrities or fake celebrities, etc. They were based on oddity, superhero status and the fun part of being a dork. Imagination is now dead and celebrity killed the television show ideas. Now we have shows like Shake It Up where the kids are dancers, really bad dancers on TV shows. Not to mention Hannah Montana and what was that other show with the kid who is a pop star with the fat kid friend and oh don’t forget iCarly and Good Luck Charlie and all the other shows who have kids who sing and dance and do videos and the like, ahh ANT Farm! What the heck happened to it all?! Where is the fun?! Where is the imagination?! Where is the sci-fi?!


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