Friday, October 8, 2010
i miss the '90s nickelodeon
i was reading an article in nylon that's a couple months old, anywho the article was mentioning that nickelodeon shows in the 90s helped create a love of indie music for the author of the article, and maybe even affected her generation and how music is now perceived. which i disagree with and agree with (i don't think you can simplify a whole genre of television and compare it to alternative music popularity in a one page article). however, it got my brain thinking (oh no, isn't that dangerous caroline? well yes sometimes) about what i enjoyed watching as a child contrasted to what some of the girls i used to babysit watch. which actually reminds me of this one time i was watching hannah montanna and this little girl broke into giggles when miley cryus, with all the subtly and nuance of a hyena, delivered a joke that had been set up for like 3 minutes. the little girl continues to laugh and i just think to myself my god, do you think she'll notice if i read a book? little girl turns to me and says why aren't you laughing? oh...did you not get the joke? i said...well no..it just wasnt funny. the words spilled out of my mouth before i could stop them, i feel like sarcasm and absolute bluntness can be lost on four year olds. her eyes widened and she quickly turned back to the tv. ten points, caroline, you've made little girl not only feel lame but now awkward about her hannah montanna love.
so i've seen it all. i-carly, hannah montanna, lizzie mcguire, wizards of waverly place, and only one (thank god) of the high school musicals. which a seven year old had to explain the story to me b/c i was like who are these people? i felt old and it was great.
but the point is, b/c i should get to the point, the point is is that i've seen these shows and i don't really care for them. all of the girls look really perfect, their acting is horrible but it's really the things that they talk about and fixate on on the show that are annoying. every girl is not popular but seems to have a complex about being weird, or about feeling awkward but they all have a really special talent that if they shared with the world, their whole school would love them and everything would be just gangbusters, oh wouldn't it?
clarissa or alex mack never would've cared. alex mack had to hide her secret powers but was still cool and awkward and very well adjusted and well balanced and articulate for someone that was covered in dangerous chemicals and had a power plant after them. also she dressed well. clarissa was all like whatevs i'm weird and i have the best room and i listen to good music and in fact i'm so different it bothers me when people dress like me (and we've all had those moments).
angela of my so called life probably had the most angst, but it felt real. it wasn't her falling down the stairs slapstick style. it was her trying to talk to a boy that was so unaware of her. it was her and her friends and they had r-e-a-l issues, like being gay, dealing with friendship breakups, drug issues, ect.
or best of all, daria. with her sardonic humor, media awareness but also the fact that even though her sister bothered her and was super vapid, daria was still a good person to her. in fact, daria wasn't a bitch but just herself. she didn't have a lot of friends but that didn't bother her.
all of these characters engaged in very typical adolescent behavior and it felt real-b/c it dealt with instances that we've all had with growing up but their acting conveyed it as real. it wasn't overtly funny but it was humorous. granted, i know i am looking at this through the lenses of nostalgia, but i think it was better. i was given great, funny and complex female characters on television and they really made me feel comfortable about being different and weird. they never focused on how they felt alienated but really sort of prided themselves on being their own people. hannah montana feels awkward and weird and every single line is a joke. there is a neat little thing we learn at the end of each episode and the big reveal is that she's hannah montana. it was a different time them, the actors weren't being groomed for an industry machine, to have a movie, song and fashion career. which is lucky for me, i got to watch really awesome tv.
give daria over hannah any day of the week. i'd rather watch tv that celebrated uniqueness than watch tv that would've given me a complex about being myself.