Saturday, January 5, 2013

Old School Lane Presents: Patricia's Top 10 Underrated Nickelodeon Shows

Happy New Year, everyone! Time to start the new year off with a countdown. I know I promised to do a review of Christmas in Tattertown by Ralph Bakshi, but I've been so busy throughout the holidays and all the other projects I have to do that it slipped my mind. Sorry guys, maybe next Christmas. Anywho, as Kevin and I have been going through all these shows from Nickelodeon, there have been many we remember fondly and many that  we hate with a passion. But then there are the shows that not a lot of people recall upon on that should be brought out more often. They were just as solid as the classics, but they have either came out in which they were overshadowed by other shows or they were cancelled as quickly as they came and we don't know about them until years later. This list is to flesh out the Nickelodeon shows that Kevin and I have been seeing throughout the tribute that we feel is underrated. I'll start first. Here we go!

10. Brainsurge

Released in Nickelodeon on September 28, 2009, the first Nickelodeon game show in 6 years debuted with a fun host, crazy games, and tons of slime. However, it doesn't get the praise compared to other classic Nickelodeon game shows such as Double Dare, GUTS,or Legends of the Hidden Temple. This show is without a doubt the best Nickelodeon show that came out in the last decade in a time when they were doing reboots of Double Dare, Wild & Crazy Kids, and GUTS. Jeff Sutphen does an amazing job hosting it, the questions and games are original, and one of the executive producers is Scott A. Stone, one of the co-creators of Legends of the Hidden Temple. It's low on the list becauseBrainsurge is still on, but as of now it's completely overshadowed by Splatalot and the reboot of Figure it Out. More people should watch this game show.

9. The Angry Beavers

Before there were those pesky pig killing birds, these were the original angry duo. It was about the mayhems of two beaver brothers named Norbert and Daggett. While not fully forgotten, it seems to not get as much praise with their adult humor compared to The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life, or Invader Zim. While it is true that The Angry Beavers have a few flaws, the things they get right are really right. It's still funny and witty after over a decade later. Plus, it's available on DVD and Netflix. You should have no excuse to check it out. 

8. Chalkzone

For some reason or another, I have read a lot of reviews online that they hated this show. I must ask: why? Some people said that it's boring and uncreative. I'm not going to judge your opinion if you think of certain programs to be "boring". After all, one person's Doctor Who is another person's Downton Abbey/ But uncreative? Really? Chalkzone is filled to the brim with creativity and originality. It's about a young boy named Rudy Tabootie who finds a magic chalk and uses it to go into a world made out of chalk called Chalkzone. Everything that kids ever drew and erased ends up in Chalkzone. That's really creative. While it's not up there with all the other Nickelodeon programs in the 2000's, it doesn't deserve to be hated or forgotten. Sure it's very basic, but it's still solid. Not to mention all the songs that would appear in every episode. Most of them are very catchy and memorable. They were all written by Bill Burnett, the co-creator of Chalkzone. If someone can be able to write songs from all types of genres and sound completely different from one another, then that person deserves a gold medal. 

7. Catscratch

Here we have another Nicktoon that has a lot of hateful reviews. I can understand why, but I'll explain later. Nonetheless, it has been forgotten by a lot of people and it shouldn't. It's about three cats named Gordon, Waffle, and Mr. Blik who inherited a mansion, her fortune, and their butler from their deceased owner. What do they do with the money? They go through crazy, paranormal adventures or they just laze around, drink root beer all day, and drive their butler insane. It was very funny and extremely random. You never knew how each episode was going to progress. This show was created by Doug TenNapel, a graphic novel writer, artist, and the creator of the Earthworm Jim series. Most people thought that Catscratch was bad because it didn't have the same charm as the Earthworm Jim series. But then again, most people didn't know that Catscratch is based on one of his graphic novels named Gear.

For the few people who read Gear were hugely disappointed because they felt thatCatscratch was an watered down version of it. It was, but still that shouldn't excuse the hate of this show. It's still funny and random in its own right. It has TenNapel's style all over it and I think that people should give it a second chance. 

6. The Mysterious Cities of Gold

Around the 80's, all the animated shows that Nickelodeon aired were acquired from other countries or networks. When it comes to those shows, Danger Mouse, The World of David the Gnome, Maya the Bee, and Count Duckula were the most revered. The Mysterious Cities of Gold has been one of the forgotten shows and I don't know why. It was about a young orphan boy named Estaban living in Spain in 1532 who wants to travel into the New World to find his long lost father. Along the way, he meets with a navigator named Mendoza who needs Estaban to help him find El Dorado, the lost city made of gold, because his necklace holds the key to the city. They come across some other characters such as Zia, an Incan princess who also has the same necklace as Estaban, Tao, a young boy who is the last of the Hiva Clan, and two greedy, bumbling morons named Sancho and Pedro. They come across ancient civilations, sinister villains, and clues to finding El Dorado.

This show is great if you love adventure, history, and even a little science fiction. It has a great soundtrack done by Haim Saban and Shuki Levy, who did the soundtrack toInspector Gadget, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra and the Princess of Power, and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. But now more people are discovering it, so it's not as underrated as it once was. Plus there's going to be a new sequel of the show coming in a few months. I can't wait until it comes out!

5. Weinerville 

I know. Weinerville is not everyone's cup of tea. But still, I love this show and it's a real shame that almost no one remembers this show as one of the highlights of 90's Nickelodeon programs. It's a variety show about a man named Marc Weiner who performs his half-human half-puppets in a fictional world named Weinerville. It's original, funny, and quirky. There were no other shows like it and there hasn't been one like it since, which makes it an underrated gem. It was featured on my list of the top 10 Nickelodeon shows that I want to see being remade, Kevin and I interviewed Marc Weiner himself, and we're working on an episode of Casual Chats about Weinerville. It holds a special place in my heart as well as a few others. More people should really check it out, but only if you know what you're expecting.

4. Taina

I've talked about the unfortunate reason for its cancellation and I still stand that it was one of the best Nickelodeon shows that aired during the 2000's. This show was about a young teenage girl named Taina going to a theater school to learn how to be an actress and singer. She and her friends go through many crazy situations in order for them to accomplish their goals. It was ahead of its time by breaking the barriers of Hispanics that were portrayed on television from goofy minor characters to down-to-earth main characters. While The Brothers Garcia did it first, Taina was a lot more memorable and it still holds up to this day. Nowadays it has become one of the many forgotten programs on Nickelodeon. Now that Victorious has been cancelled, people can be able to rediscoverTaina. 

3. As Told by Ginger

I've talked time and time again how much I love this show. It was really ahead of its time with its character development, serious topics, and different outfits. Not to mention it's held up unbelievably well and it's still relatable compared to most of the teen sitcoms that airing on Nickelodeon nowadays. Yes I understand that not a lot of people didn't like this show, but still this show took a lot of risk. How many animated shows do you know that talks about growing up, death, suicidal, addiction, puberty, and relationships? Not a lot. 

2. Caitlin's Way

This is, in my opinion, the most underrated teen series that Nickelodeon has ever aired. It just astonishes me that not many people watched it when it aired and that most people have never seen or heard of it. It's about a teenage girl named Caitlin who moves with her mother's cousin and her family after she causes trouble in school. She's struggling with her new environment and her new family. It was a very serious teen program in a time in which they were slowly stepping away from the cheesy high school programs from the 90's. The show had realistic themes, memorable characters, and great character development. 

When it comes to underrated Nickelodeon teen series, most people bring up The Adventures of Pete & Pete. While it is true that the show had a very low rating of viewers and was eventually cancelled, I feel that The Adventures of Pete & Pete is not as underrated as it used to be. More and more people are discovering it and it has garnered even more fans with its strange, surreal perspectives of growing up. There have been 3 cast reunions and they sold their tickets really fast. One of them had their tickets sold out in less than 5 minutes. This month there's going to be a Pete & Pete tribute panel in honor of the show's 20th anniversary. If you're in the San Francisco area and you want to check it out, click here

Which is why Caitlin's Way is on the list!

1. Nick News with Linda Ellerbee

Even before Kevin and I started this tribute, we've never heard of anyone saying that Nick News was anyone's favorite show. In fact, out of all the shows we've covered, Nick Newshas had a ton of hateful comments and reviews. Pretty much everyone hates Nick Newsand would tune in to watch other programs as oppose to watching it. Be honest, you either knew someone who did this or you did it yourself. It's okay, I'm guilty of that as well. But there has been no other show that Nickelodeon has ever aired that talked to kids as adults and treated them with respect than Nick News. Every topic they discussed, it was relatable to kids and helped them during rough times. There were episodes about autism, the presidental elections, the AIDS discussions, 9/11 discussions, Iraq/Afghanistan War discussions, child slavery, and more. What did you expect to see when you see a news program for kids? For them to talk about the latest movies or celebrities with kid hosts? Last time I checked, the Disney Channel did that already at one point. Be honest, does anyone remember it? Did anyone treat it seriously? No. 

Nick News is still on TV after being on the air for 20 years and treated kids with respect and doesn't sugarcoat it. It is what it is and it does its best to tell kids the news in a way that they can understand. Please people, Nick News with Linda Ellerbee doesn't deserve to be forgotten or hated. I would love to see James do a STOP THE HATE on Nick News with Linda Ellerbee. Especially when you have a hilarious hateful review of Nick News like this.

Sure it'll probably not make a lot of top 10 favorite Nickelodeon shows, but it doesn't deserve to be forgotten.

Those are my top 10 underrated Nickelodeon shows. What shows from Nickelodeon do you feel is underrated? Post it in the comments below. 

That's all for now. I hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Take care.


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