Take Two: Teen TV can’t match its past

Most high school students will remember the golden days of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, ruled by shows like “The Wizards of Waverly Place” and “Drake & Josh.” Nowadays, a quick look at the current lineups warrants the questioning of whether the shows will ever live up to their predecessors.

The shows that we grew up with, but have since been canceled, perfectly delivered a valuable message without obviously shouting the lesson to be learned. Watching Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) navigate her double life was a reminder that everything in life needs balance. Seeing Raven obsess over her visions of the future in “That’s So Raven” taught us that it is best to let things run their course, even if it doesn’t always turn out the way we want it to. As kids, seeing characters on screen facing problems that reflected our own, even if those characters had super powers or were secretly a celebrity, was comforting.

This type of content does not seem to be available anymore. One of Disney Channel’s latest shows, “Bizzardvark,” follows two tweens and their adventures running an online comedy channel. The show lacks any real substance, with predictable characters and plotlines, and the acting is just flat out bad.

Shows on Nickelodeon, such as “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide” and “iCarly” were genuinely funny, with wit and sarcasm that provided genuine laughs. If you tune in to the Nick now, you’ll find sad attempts at comedy. These cheesy shows, such as “The Thundermans,” which follows a family hiding their superpowers (a terribly overused idea in Hollywood), are the reason the industry is being forced to revive old classics such as “Fuller House” and “Girl Meets World.”

One of Nickelodeon’s last good shows, “Victorious,” was cancelled with no apparent reason and caused fan outrage. Instead of wrapping up the storyline, the show stopped abruptly and never developed the character’s futures. The end of “Victorious” felt like the death of an entire generation’s childhood, a generation that was raised on real comedic quality such as “Zoey 101” and “Kenan & Kel.”

Nickelodeon and Disney should strive to be like their competitor, Cartoon Network. Although nothing can beat Cartoon Network’s original shows, they have maintained their show quality, and continue to make shows that are truly entertaining. Cartoon Network also listens to their audience’s needs; when “Samurai Jack” was cancelled, fans demanded that the show be brought back, and after 13 years it was.

Making kids shows may seem like a piece of cake; however, these large networks seem to have lost their touch when it comes to appealing to their audience. Rather than creating shows solely for the economic benefit, entertainment networks need to return to their roots and care more about the quality of their shows.