Tuesday, January 12, 2016

News U Can Use: "What Tween TV Teaches Kids?"

"...The current crop of shiny, metallic tween sitcoms—the tweencoms. Your Henry Dangers, your K.C. Undercovers. College rock bands no longer flop and whirl on the front lawn. Mom no longer has a plate in her head that can pick up radio stations. That blurry hipness, that dream logic, has been suppressed, erased, vacuumed out by the corporate nozzle. Across the two biggest children’s networks, Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, the gags and obsessions are all the same, the characters and their glossy environments more or less interchangeable. Mechanized laughter reigns.

What happened? Whence this uniformity? Weren’t the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon once opposing brands—the former a squeaky-clean twinkle factory, the latter more splattery and indie-spirited—battling for the eyeballs of America’s children? Yes, they were. And Disney won, at least according to the veterans interviewed in Slimed!, Mathew Klickstein’s recent oral history of Nickelodeon. Having ruled the ’90s with programming rooted in what a former network vice president, Mike Klinghoffer, calls the “Us vs. Them” theory (“The kids against the grown-ups. It’s like the Revolutionary War.”), the Nickelodeonites lost their way or their nerve or both. “They got seduced by the success of Disney’s shows with older tweens and teens living fantasy lives,” laments Alan Goodman, who helped author Nickelodeon’s great 1980s relaunch. “Wizards, a rock star in disguise, twins who live in a palace. But you can’t beat Disney doing ‘dreams come true...." 


READ MORE AT THE ATLANTIC

No comments:

Post a Comment