Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute: 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd
As we conclude the Nickelodeon programs of the 90's, let's talk about the last teen series that came out during that era. A very strange concept to a teen series came out on October 16, 1999. That show was 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd.
The show starts off with Eddie McDowd, a mean high school bully who constantly teases people younger and smaller than him. He's a selfish, mean, narcissistic, and tough person who isn't afraid of anything. When a new kid named Justin Taylor (played by Gilberstadt) accidentally spills paint on Eddie, he tortures and beats him up. After school, Eddie walks home to find a homeless man needing help. Eddie refuses to help him and walks away. But then the homeless man turns out to be a man with supernatural powers simply known as The Drifter (played by Richard Moll). For his selfish acts, he turns Eddie into a dog (voiced by Seth Green).
To be a kid again, Eddie has to perform 100 good deeds otherwise, he'll be a dog forever. All of a sudden, a dog catcher puts Eddie into the dog pound. While staying at the dog pound, he sees Justin, the last kid that he picked on. When Eddie sees him, he talks and Justin understood him. With that said, Eddie begs Justin to set him free and help him perform the good deeds that way he can be a kid again. Justin says no at first because he feels that Eddie is getting what he deserves, but then Eddie promises him that if he turns back into a human, he will not tease anyone ever again. Justin agrees and adopts Eddie into their family. The family consists of the mom (played by Katherine MacNeal), the dad (played by William Francis McGuire), and the older, sassier, meaner sister Gwen (played by Morgan Kibby). The only person who knows about Eddie's secret is Justin's best friend Sariffa Chung (played by Brenda Song). She and Justin help Eddie with finding people who need help so that Eddie can perform his good deeds.
In each episode, Justin and Sariffa help Eddie out to get a person who needs help. But somehow Eddie screws it up either making the problem worse or wanting to just be lazy or just being a plain bad dog due to his past life of being a bad kid. But Eddie knows that he doesn't want to be a dog anymore so he gets himself determined and helps the person out with their problem. At the end of every episode, The Drifter would let Eddie know that he has completed the deed and that he has a certain number of them to do. It gives Eddie the strife to not give up and continue on with his good deeds.
However, things also get tough for Justin. There are two new bullies who step in and take Eddie's place as the meanest kids in school: Flaco (played by Josh Hammond) and Spike Ciprano (played by Danny Tamberelli). Oh Danny, you just have to be guest star in practically every single 90's Nick show, don't you? Also, The Drifter starts telling Eddie not to get too close to Justin because after he performs his 100th deed, Justin and his family's memory will get wiped clean and will not remember Eddie at all. For Eddie and Justin, they start getting a good friendship going that they don't want to lose, but they know that they have to sacrifice that friendship in order for Eddie to turn into a human again.
Around the 2nd season, there were some changes that occured on the show. Gwen left to do some foreign exchange program in England. In her place, a British girl named Tori (played by Melanee Murray) came to live in the Taylor household and became a main character throughout the rest of the series. Also, the main theme was change to Baha Men's "Who Left the Dogs Out?", there was a counter in the beginning of each episode to indicate how many deeds were left for Eddie to do, and Eddie's voice was done by Jason Hervey instead of Seth Green. I guess Seth left to do better projects that being the voice of Eddie.
I don't blame him.
The show lasted for 3 seasons until it was cancelled on April 21, 2002 due to lack of interest and low ratings. In the last episode, Eddie is still a dog who had just completed 40 deeds. I guess he'll remain a dog forever. Oh well.
Some of the actors went on to do different projects after 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd while most of them faded into obscurity.
Morgan Kibby has been in other TV shows such as Judging Amy, Boston Public, and State of Grace. She's currently a indie singer/songwriter appearing in bands such as The Romanovs and M83.
Richard Moll has been in other TV shows and movies such as Smallville, Dumb Luck, Angels with Angels, Cold Case, Assassin's Code, Lake Effects, and DisOrientation.
Josh Hammond has appeared in other TV shows and movies such as Boston Public, Yes, Dear, Undressed, Scorcher, Dawson's Creek, Black Cadillac, Ring of Darkness, CSI: NY, Las Vegas, Living with Fran, Scrubs, and The Tripper.
Brenda Song was in smaller roles in TV shows such as 7th Heaven, Judging Amy, ER, Once and Again, and Bette. Then became a more profitable and prominent actress in the Disney Channel being in TV shows and movies such as The Ultimate Christmas Present, Phil of the Future, Get a Clue, That's So Raven, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior, Stuck in the Suburbs, College Road Trip, and The Suite Life on Deck. She then left Disney and has been in other movies such as The Social Network and Little Sister.
Seth Green has been in other movies and TV shows such as the Austin Powers trilogy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Greg the Bunny, Party Monster, The Italian Job, Be Cool, The Best Man, Sex Drive, and Old Dogs. He's currently the voice of Chris Griffin in Family Guy and the co-creator of Adult Swim's Robot Chicken. He's married to actress Claire Grant.
Jason Hervey is a producer of many reality TV shows such as I Want to be a Hilton, Scott Baio is 45...and Single, Hogan Knows Best, and co-hosts Confessions of a Teen Idol alongside with Scott Baio. He's currently married to his wife Shannon Hervey.
Overall, the show was both boring and strange. I mean, who thought that a kid turning into a dog would make for a good kid's show. I mean, seriously? What kind of appeal would kids find in a show this odd and stupid? If it would have gone in a serious route, maybe it would've worked. Maybe Eddie would started off taking his dog form to his advantage biting, barking, scratching, and chasing people. Then when he learns that what he was doing was wrong, then he can make up for it with his good deeds around the middle or end of Season 1. But nope, Eddie's personality went 180 when he turned into a dog. In the first episode, we see a glimpse of Eddie as a tough, mean kid who cares about no one but himself. But when he turned into a dog, he's laidback, cool, and somewhat nice. I mean, what? You don't change your personality that quickly! I mean, it's like a completely different person was changed into a dog. Just like Cousin Skeeter, all the main characters are bland and forgettable. The only one who's memorable is Eddie. But even Eddie isn't funny or charming enough to save this show.
Also just like Cousin Skeeter, it's another odd Nickelodeon show that has been hugely forgotten. The only thing that people remember about it was is that it's about a kid who turns into a dog and he does these good deeds in order for him to turn back into human. That's it. If you took Eddie away from this show, you would have a bland, forgettable teen series filled with boring and cliche characters. I don't recommend checking it out.
That's all for now. Tune in next time as we review the final show that debuted in the 90's: The Amanda Show.
Also, expect two more articles to conclude the 90's right before I make a big announcement about our next projects.
That's all for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.