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Old 11-28-2012, 11:56 AM   #1
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Are kids/teen sitcoms today too cookie cutter? (Well, namely Disney and Nick)

I started to type this up in the "Boy Meets World Spinoff" thread but I figured it was something worthy of its own topic. Are modern teen sitcoms on these networks too sheltering? While there are much more realistic teen shows like Degrassi out there on other networks, I'd say most kids and teens watch their sitcoms on Nick and Disney since those are more accessible (I don't think the Network that Degrassi airs on is available on basic cable).

Boy Meets World was overall a light hearted show but it had its fair share of dark episodes that featured topics of death and sex and such. Modern Disney sitcoms wouldn't dare touch on any of that. No character is ever killed off on modern Disney shows, if they're dead then they've been dead since before the beginning of the series.

Remember the series finale of That's So Raven? The premise was that Raven finds a pack of cigarettes in Corey's room, and so she gathers the other characters to have an intervention for him (even though in reality they belonged to his girlfriend; he confiscated the pack from her out of concern after learning about this new habit of hers). Just because the subject matter was cigarettes, the episode was boycotted by parents (well, here in America). The episode didn't air in the states until way later, I think a year later.

Another episode that comes to mind is a Hannah Montana where they discover that Oliver has diabetes. Again, parents in the test audience disagreed with the episode just because the topic was diabetes and it didn't air for quite a while after it was originally scheduled to.

Another thing is that no character is ever killed off, the only dead characters are characters that have been deceased since before the beginning of the series like Miley's mom on Hannah.

And there are no gay people, or at least not explicitly stated to be so, it's usually just implied by their dress and mannerisms.

Now, I understand that the point of these shows is to portray a much more perfect world than ours, after all if we wanted realistic stories we'd watch the news and such.Disney isn't supposed to be gritty or realistic really. However, it's just that whenver they even attempt to touch upon more mature topics these days, like smoking and diabetes, overprotective moms everywhere veto the idea immediately. Even very family shows like Full House, Family Matters, and Boy Meets World would occasionally do a mature episode that at least touched upon these topics which I think is definately good for kids. However, teen sitcoms today just can't do that.

What say you on this?
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:19 PM   #2
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:22 PM   #3
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Well it seems to have gotten worse though, like with the Boy Meets World example that was basically a Disney com but they weren't afraid to touch on more mature topics sometimes. I mean it seems parents these days don't want their kids to know things such as sex and cigarettes exist because they boycott any episodes that even mentions them.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:44 PM   #4
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There will always be bad parents. Ever notice how the most sheltered kids are the once tat have no self control and go off the deep end later in life?

I have a very good friend named Bryan. I met him in high school. His father was a military man as well as a Missionary. His house was like boot camp, and if it weren't for the fact that I enjoyed spending time with Bryan I would never have gone there in a million years.

Bryan had to be up at like 6 doing workout stuff before school, not for his health, but for discipline. He could only play videogames like 3 hours a day and God forbid he should play a game like Need for Speed where you run from the law!

Now, as an adult, he knocked up a chick (he is now married to her), and ran from the police via automobile on multiple occasions, one of which he flipped his car. Sheltering your kids does the opposite of what you want it to.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:22 PM   #5
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Sheltering your kids does the opposite of what you want it to.
That's the point I'm trying to make, why are parents suddenly so afraid of some of their kids' shows touching on these matters so that they are at least informed of them?
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:26 PM   #6
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:18 PM   #7
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Why so negative guys? Sure, Nick and Disney have age-appropriate shows, but that's because they're Nick and Disney. They don't have a track record or chronology of their shows leading up to controversial episodes in their series. Sure, some hit sitcoms do touch on some iffy subjects, but that's as close as they'll get. It's not a rule, but the duty of touching those subjects on a harder scale has been the responsibility of other networks; NBC, Fox, ABC? Lifetime? Heck, even I would get concerned if children had easy access to shows that were loaded with drama like that....

I grew up with Cartoon Network, Disney, Nick, Boomerang and VH1 (just for the late night music videos, the rest was 'boring' at the time). Getting older, other shows called for my attention; all of the drama in Degrassi, the serious issues the characters face in F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (even though they're not taken as seriously when the issues go away an episode or two later, it's still something NBC should be proud of), and now the ones that have me hooked are Grey's Anatomy and Glee, two shows that hit a wide variety of topics, from LGBT issues to common home problems. So yes, I'm sure the new generation of shows are cookie cutter-y, but you mean to say that Johnny Bravo, Ed, Edd n' Eddy, & The Powerpuff Girls made you weep as a child because of the heartfelt messages you received? Clearly you haven't sat through a couple seasons of Grey's.

#RealTalk

EDIT--- Okay yeah some shows don't belong the same category as teen shows, but if you grew up next to a television like I did, shows all become one in the same thing. Not that it's a bad thing, it just opens your mind up to a greater variety of programs.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:29 PM   #8
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Well the topic is kids and teen sitcoms on Nick and Disney, not really cartoons. In my examples parents boycotted a That's So Raven that talked about smoking and a Hannah Montana that was about Oliver discovering he has diabetes. I'm not saying they have to do episodes like these but when the producers decide to, should parents boycott it just because it's on a show that usually doesn't talk about these issues?
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Why so negative guys? Sure, Nick and Disney have age-appropriate shows, but that's because they're Nick and Disney. They don't have a track record or chronology of their shows leading up to controversial episodes in their series. Sure, some hit sitcoms do touch on some iffy subjects, but that's as close as they'll get. It's not a rule, but the duty of touching those subjects on a harder scale has been the responsibility of other networks; NBC, Fox, ABC? Lifetime? Heck, even I would get concerned if children had easy access to shows that were loaded with drama like that....

I grew up with Cartoon Network, Disney, Nick, Boomerang and VH1 (just for the late night music videos, the rest was 'boring' at the time). Getting older, other shows called for my attention; all of the drama in Degrassi, the serious issues the characters face in F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (even though they're not taken as seriously when the issues go away an episode or two later, it's still something NBC should be proud of), and now the ones that have me hooked are Grey's Anatomy and Glee, two shows that hit a wide variety of topics, from LGBT issues to common home problems. So yes, I'm sure the new generation of shows are cookie cutter-y, but you mean to say that Johnny Bravo, Ed, Edd n' Eddy, & The Powerpuff Girls made you weep as a child because of the heartfelt messages you received? Clearly you haven't sat through a couple seasons of Grey's.

Woah, time out. Are you meaning to tell me you'd rather sit a child down and have them watch shows like Friends, Grey's Anatomy and Glee just to teach them life lessons that a family sitcom, like Full House and Boy Meets World can?

I don't think you understand the subject matter of some of those shows, some of which I would never dare let a child watch at a young age.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:49 PM   #10
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Well the topic is kids and teen sitcoms on Nick and Disney, not really cartoons. In my examples parents boycotted a That's So Raven that talked about smoking and a Hannah Montana that was about Oliver discovering he has diabetes. I'm not saying they have to do episodes like these but when the producers decide to, should parents boycott it just because it's on a show that usually doesn't talk about these issues?
Ohhkay I getcha. I go back to my statement though, those are children's shows for a reason. When parents want their children to be exposed to something like that, then they'll be more than happy to let them watch an episode like that. Most parents are overprotective of their young though... So responses like that are natural in the media I suppose.

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Woah, time out. Are you meaning to tell me you'd rather sit a child down and have them watch shows like Friends, Grey's Anatomy and Glee just to teach them life lessons that a family sitcom, like Full House and Boy Meets World can?

I don't think you understand the subject matter of some of those shows, some of which I would never dare let a child watch at a young age.

I'd never teach a child a lesson via television. I did mention though that I'd be concerned if children did watch shows like that, don't misinterpret what I mean. Alright, taking out all of the words I used, what I wanted to get across is that shows with those kinds of stories come as a generation's age increases.
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