The 10 Times ‘Braceface’ Was Too Real for a Kids Show

bracefacesource: Teletoon

You might wanna buckle up for this one, because I’m about to dive into a show that got too real at numerous times. Think of an early 2000s teenage cartoon with ten times the drama, and you’ll get Braceface. Much like other tween series like As Told by Ginger, Braceface centers a awkward yet smart teenage girl who longs for popularity, with two best friends by her side. Oh and I definitely don’t want to forget crushes and mean girls. Sadly, this show came and went with only three seasons to religiously watch, but there are some major aspects of Braceface that set it aside from any other kids show.

It still surprises me that this show ever aired on Disney Channel, but it did. Sharon Spitz and her life with braces seemed quite miserable for a teenager, but despite the show being centered around her metal mouth, there are numerous topics touched in this series that was way too real. For that reason, I consider Braceface to be the realest teen series to ever air. Sure, there are shows out there covered most of the topics that would’ve never been spoken of in a kids show like 40 years ago. But they often sugar-coated it. Braceface straight up set these topics on the table and didn’t bother to tone it down much. I give the series all of the credit in the world for that, because it takes guts to feature some of these issues on kids networks like Disney Channel. Let’s dive into these said issues.

1) When the subject of divorce came up.

dbe37hd

The topic of divorce comes up in many shows aimed at kids and teens. It’s sometimes censored by networks in order to maintain a kid show’s innocent image, but that definitely wasn’t the case in this show. In Braceface, Sharon’s mother and father are divorced. Sharon and her brothers seem to live a nice life with their mother and you get the impression that they understand the divorce but are not too upset about it. In episode 9, titled “The Divorce Thing”, this subject is brought to the table when Sharon’s mom is dating again and her father comes to visit. She attempts bring her parents back together, but has to face the harsh reality that somethings people who once loved each other grow apart, even your parents.

2) When Sharon got her first period. DURING HER FIRST DATE.

braceface-the-worst-first-date-ever-period

Menstruation in a kids show? You would have never thought you’d see that topic, but in episode 8, titled “The Worst First Date Ever. Period.”, Sharon meets her monthly friend sent by mother nature for the very first time. While on her first date with her crush Alden, Sharon starts to experience painful cramps to the point where she thought she was experiencing appendicitis. Alden calls the ambulance and Sharon is sent to the hospital, where she finds out that she has actually started her menstrual cycle. I’m a little skeptical about how the episode played out. All I can assume is that Sharon’s mother obviously never had that little talk with her before, because from what I’ve learned in my 21 years of being a female, is that I’m pretty sure menstrual cramps hurts way less than something as serious and life threatening as appendicitis.

3) Underage drinking.

braceface-sharon-drinking

If this series hasn’t gotten real for you yet, then how about we discuss the time Sharon got drunk from rum and cokes when visiting her dad in Miami. In episode 14, titled “Miami Vices”, Sharon gets sick of her mom’s strict rules and wants to let loose by going on vacation to Miami to visit her rock star dad and indulge in his “cooler” life. Sharon learns that her dad can be just as strict as her mom despite his career choice, when he finds Sharon drunk and partying with his friends. Once again, still shocked that Disney Channel allowed this to air, but bravo for the writers and directors for creating this episode, because it shows that these things tend to happen for teenagers. On vacation in Miami, strict mom with rules isn’t around, out partying with rock star dad’s cool friends, and there’s alcohol? Like I said, it happens.

4) Sexuality and the unfortunate adversity that comes with it.

braceface-dion

Yes, there was an openly gay character on Braceface, and yes, he faces awful mistreatment from other students because of it. This has to be the absolute realest topic ever displayed on Braceface, due to the fact that Dion being openly gay was one of the reasons that the third season did not air in the U.S. But before he was openly gay on the show, his sexuality was wrongly called into question by other students in episode 27, titled “The Social Fabric”. Sharon was paired up with Dion as a part of the senior mentor program at their school, and she found herself in a dilemma of choosing whether to drop him as a friend to avoid harassment as well or stick by him. Homophobia and bigotry is alive and well, especially towards young people in schools that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. I applaud Braceface for touching on this important subject for its viewers.


Braceface, Vol. 1: Brace Yourself

5) Love and relationships.

braceface sharon alden

Having a crush can be a very stressful and confusing time as a teenager. You think that the person you’re “in love” is the only person you’ll ever be smitten over. Braceface proved this to be the case when displaying the affection Sharon had toward Alden. We soon see the two dating in season 2 but Alden doesn’t find it easy being Sharon’s boyfriend. The two break up in episode 30 titled “Dear Alden” when Sharon wrote a letter of frustration about him and it accidentally ends up on the school website. Alden later starts dating a girl named Marlo, but we discover that he still has feelings for Sharon on the last episode. It was just a crazy rollercoaster with these two. Maria also began dating Alden’s best friend Brock towards the end of junior high and onward.

6) The dangers of extreme diets.

braceface-skin-deep-dieting

This is one of Braceface’s more infamous episodes that was often aired on Disney Channel, and I’m glad it was. In episode 34, titled “Skin Deep”, Nina’s makes disparaging comments about Sharon’s body, which causes Sharon to go on a crash diet before participating in a fashion show. Maria and Connor take notice in the effects of Sharon’s dangerous diet and they began to worry about her. While Sharon walks the runway, she collapses from starvation. Another great episode to school the kids on how harmful body shaming can be. It’s straight up bullying and I hope other girls who experience what Sharon experienced talk to someone instead of resorting to crash diets. Speaking of bullying…

7) Bullying.

Nina_Harper_VerA_JX02

Introducing Nina. She’s a mean girl, but not a typical one. I like to think of her as slightly less wicked than Miranda Killgallen, but still wicked nonetheless. Nina and her bullying antics have gone too far at times. She’s basically the reason that Sharon starved herself and fainted on the fashion runway. Dealing with blatant bullying and mean girls is a common theme in shows with teen characters, and it’s another topic that Braceface did well on. Something that is painfully obvious about bully characters like Nina is the insecurity that they have for themselves. Being in their own skin hurts them so bad that they unleash all of their fury on the protagonist character.


Braceface, Vol. 2: Getting Real

8) Blatant Racism.

braceface-grey-matters

If there’s any subject that I’m glad Braceface touched on it’s the subject of racism and pushing offensive stereotypes. In episode 35, titled “Grey Matters”, Maria began dating an Arab boy named Cloud. Sharon can’t help but think that Cloud might be abusing Maria. On top of it all Sharon’s grandfather began making racist comments towards Cloud such as asking Maria if she’s “a part of his harem” and asking him when he’s going to “get his own camel”. To ignite an even bigger fire in his bigoted furnace, he states that he shouldn’t lend it to Maria because “Chinese are such bad drivers”. Words cannot simply describe how furious I was after watching that scene. Oh wait, they can. I wanted Cloud to bounce that basketball off of Sharon’s grandpa’s head twenty times in a row. Cloud was the coolest when handling those offensive comments by throwing jokes right back at him. But Sharon… OH SHARON. You naive little… you know what. At least she learns at the end, especially when she gets a dose of her grandfather telling her how he let her mother marry a “rockstar… and a jew no less”. Kudos to Braceface for teaching viewers the sad reality of bigots.

9) Underage smoking.

braceface-sharon-smoking

The peer pressure that many teens are faces with is unfortunate. In episode 52, titled “Up in Smoke”, Sharon moves in with her father and his girlfriend. She meets her potential step brother named Griffin, who’s a juvenile delinquent. He persuades Sharon into smoking a cigarette with him, until she finally takes a puff and finds it disgusting. The second time a use of addictive or mind-altering substance has been featured on this series.

10) Body image issues.

braceface-sharon-breasts

Just so you know, this episode was banned in the U.S. and several other countries. In episode 58, titled “Busted”, Sharon is tired of being seen as a little girl and decides to enhance the look of her breasts with a pump bra. She soon runs into trouble when she starts attracting unwanted attention from the wrong kind of guys and when her bra ends up malfunctioning at a party. It’s understandable that this episode was banned, because there are certain lines, and I guess Disney Channel decided not to cross this one. What I don’t understand is how so many episodes got away with being aired on Disney, not that I’m complaining. This show was a fantastic addition to the lineup of my childhood, but I’ve always imagined it airing on The-N (what TeenNick used to be called). It definitely catered more to the teenage audience rather than kids, and this list proves it.


Braceface, Vol. 3: Twist of Fate

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Too Dark For Disney? Behind The Deleted and Edited Scenes of Lilo & Stitch

What exactly is “too much” for a young audience? How do we possibly figure out what could be too sensitive to viewers of a movie or television show? I guess there isn’t any particular test to measure just how many people would find a certain piece of media offensive or triggering. As a company, business or even an individual, it is essential to keep in mind whether your content could have aspects that may be too sensitive for some of your viewers. With a conglomerate like Disney, it’s understandable that they have made the decisions to delete certain scenes in their movies. Disney releases movies and television series that everyone of all backgrounds can enjoy. At the end of the day, it’s appropriate to make changes to certain scenes that are not family friendly.

While scrolling endlessly on Twitter, I got to discover a side of Lilo & Stitch that I have never seen before. We all know the 2002 film for being the heartwarming story of a little girl named Lilo finding companionship in an extraterrestrial fugitive, who was originally supposed to cause chaos and destruction. Something that sounds so menacing is actually a classic that was and is still loved by many. The film was so successful that it led to three spin-off films, three television series, video games, merchandise and more. Surprisingly, but at the same time unsurprisingly, Lilo & Stitch has received some negative reviews from unhappy parents who think the movie is too violent for their kids. It really makes you wonder what level of outrage that would’ve ensued if Disney would’ve kept the deleted and edited scenes as is.

Luckily I discovered Twitter user @TristanACooper‘s thread on the scenes that never made it to the movie and the ones edited to appear less violent.

He includes other scenes that had to be edited such as the 747 plane hijacking scene, where the plane ended up crashing into buildings. I was appalled because I had never heard of such scene, and there’s a huge reason why. I decided to dive more into it and came across this haunting video by Vox media. This very moment was cut completely due to the obvious reason that the movie was released months after 9/11 and would appear triggering to anyone affected by the tragedy. The 747 airliner was changed to an alien craft and the city buildings were switched into Hawaiian mountains. The original ending was including on the special edition DVD.

Other than avoiding the outrage behind scenes following tragic events, it seems that Disney also dodged a topic that was probably too real for them. Here’s a deleted scene of Lilo experiencing racism from obnoxious tourists then playing a prank on them.

This scene shows Lilo & Stitch walking as tourists drive by them and ask for directions to the beach in the most obnoxious way possible. “Ay, you speak English? Which way to the beach?” Yes, go ahead and assume that she doesn’t speak English and proceed to ask for directions in the most bigoted way possible. This is a scene that I just do not understand the reason behind it being deleted. If anything it would have educated the viewers and gave them a sense of reality of how racist and obnoxious tourists can be towards natives in their own land.

As I stated above, there have been some angry parents that are leaving negative reviews of how violent Lilo & Stitch was for their kids. If they think the final released product was “violent”, then they would have really raged seeing this next deleted clip. Stitch, otherwise known as experiment 626, main purpose for being created was to turn the world upside down in mass destruction, but at the most part he was the sweet creature who loved and stood by Lilo. That’s what we all love about Stitch right?

Well take a look at this horrifying moment that shows a more evil and sadistic side of the lovable extraterrestrial character. I am just really shocked and lost for words that this was even thought of being included in the film.

Lilo’s introduces Stitch to her other best friend Pudge the fish, but things get dark real fast. Stitch smacks Pudge out of Lilo’s hands and a flock of birds come and attack Lilo and Pudge. Instead of listening to his friends cries of help, Stitch just stands there smiling and watching Pudge die. To show Stitch being this heartless is truly disturbing and I am more than glad that this scene was cut.

If this wasn’t an eye-opening experience then I don’t know what is. Though learning the dark side of one of Disney’s most successful movies is hardly anything new, it’s still so mind blowing. While this hasn’t changed my positive perception of Lilo and Stitch, seeing what didn’t make it into the movie and the reasons behind it is just so fascinating. I find that all the deleted and edited scenes besides the racism one, have a sort of common theme of violence. What can you possibly expect from a movie about an extraterrestrial creature created for the purpose of evil? I am still glad that Disney toned it down a bit. To reprise the question asked before: What exactly is “too much” for a young audience? I guess we have a better understanding now.


Lilo & Stitch (Two-Disc Big Wave Edition)

The Best of MTV’s Daria: Sarcasm and All

Since her debut in the 90s, Daria grew to be the monotone misanthropist that a majority of us can relate to.

daria-best-ofsource: MTV

MTV has had a few animated series with memorable characters, but there was none like Daria Morgendorffer. She was first introduced as a recurring character on Beavis and Butt-Head, but she wasn’t always as monotone or sardonic as her final form. Her character grew overtime and led to her getting her own spinoff, when she transferred schools. Daria is best known for being highly intelligent and extremely sarcastic. She has a strong personality and is able to stand her ground and distance herself from conformist values, despite her stand-offish nature. Daria definitely has a mind of her own and is not easily influenced, which is 100% the main reason she deserves all the praise.

daria-jane-pizza

Someone who can definitely relate to Daria’s cynical ways is the one and only, Jane Lane. Being the best friend of Daria is not an easy task for the average being. Although they both share an edgy fashion sense and a despise for society’s ridiculous expectations and social climbing, Daria and Jane could not be more different. Jane is slightly more outgoing and better adjusted than Daria, and she seems to know what direction she’s heading in life. Differences of not, Jane is the number one person who loves and accepts Daria for who she is. Too bad we can’t quite say the same thing about her own parents, Helen and Jake, and especially her younger sister Quinn, who has even been ashamed to call Daria her sister.

“But the greatest burden on the home front is Daria’s terminally cute, popular little sister, Quinn. Quinn and her pals constitute Lawndale High’s Fashion Club (”Friends don’t let shortwaisted friends wear hip-huggers” is one of their mottos). Quinn tells people that Daria is her cousin or just an unrelated girl who lives with her.” – Anita Gates, TELEVISION / RADIO; In Praise of the Most Unpopular Girl at Lawndale, The New York Times, 1999.

Daria is a series that I highly recommend to the newer generation. With all of the pressure to wear specific clothes, have a specific body shape, and listen to a specific type of music to be considered “cool”, I truly think Daria will show them that it’s better to not follow a trend or social status. Daria didn’t give a damn about being popular, and in the 2010s that’s hard to accomplish with the obsession to be famous and have a high follower account. I feel besides the constant pessimism and lack of hope for the future, Daria’s lessons in life can be lessons in your own. Of course, Daria’s advice always comes with a heaping load of sarcasm, but that’s what we love about her.

daria-sarcasmsource: larvitarr.tumblr.com

When it comes to speaking the truth, Daria lays it on you straight forward and without hesitation. In fact, The name “Daria” is Greek and means “upholder of truth’. A very interesting coincidence and no surprise at all.

Being a teenager can come with a lot of fun and crazy memories, but it can also make you think of how those are your last years to really be responsibility-free and depend on your parents to solve all of your problems. The pressure of choosing a career path that teachers and counselors puts on students as soon as they start high school is not only unfair but can be damaging to someone’s future. Of course, I feel that Daria was totally knowledged on that spectrum. One memorable scene from the show centers around a speaker at Lawndale High School asking Daria about her career goals. Daria explains how her goal is to not have the realization and regret that she settled for a job that she hates because she was forced to decide in her teens. It’s one of those scenes that makes you go “BRAVO!” or “Finally someone said it.”

Out of all the things Daria wants you to know, the thing that definitely deserves 1000+ awards was her memorable ‘Misery Chick’ speech to Jane:

“Okay… but you know what I’ve been hearing? “You know how I feel Daria, you’re gloomy.” “I knew I could talk to you Daria, you’re always miserable.” Tragedy hits the school and everyone thinks of me. The popular guy died and now I’m popular, because I’m the misery chick. But I’m not miserable, I’m just not like them.”

Daria basically told everyone to don’t get it twisted. Her monotoned, sarcastic, cynical expressions should not be taken as a cry of misery. It all comes back to the lesson of individuality. Everyone is different and not every person you come across is going to be a jolly or optimistic, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re crying out for help. I say, if you’re lucky enough to meet someone like Daria, cherish their unique and intellectual way of thinking.

The Evergrowing Franchise of SpongeBob Squarepants

spongebob-squarepantssource: Nickelodeon

SpongeBob Squarepants turned 18 years old this year and there has been a lot of discussion and controversy around its longevity status. It’s one of the longest running cartoons on all of television and THE longest running series on Nickelodeon. SpongeBob premiered on May 1, 1999, and from then on was the start of a new empire. At the time shows like Rugrats and Hey Arnold ruled the network, but SpongeBob’s popularity surpassed them in what seemed like a millisecond. Since then the series grew to be a billion-dollar franchise and a household name. If you were to ask your parents or grandparents if they know who or what SpongeBob Squarepants is, 99% of the time they do. This show is huge and has been for 18 years. Despite reports of cancellation and some individuals who are dying for this show to end, Nickelodeon is making it clear that SpongeBob Squarepants isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

As the show’s popularity grew over the years, so did the empire. SpongeBob Squarepants has one of the wealthiest cartoon franchises that has generated around $12 billion, but what can possibly be the source for this evergrowing franchise?

spongebob-squarepants-franchise-billion-dollars-wealthysource: Nickelodeon

For starters, behind every successful show is its merchandise & products, and SpongeBob’s variety may be a little insane. Clothing, shoes, furniture, hair gel, body wash, alarm clocks, walkie-talkies, toys, cameras, mugs, beds, school supplies, body spray, electronics, and the list just never stops from there. Basically, if you think of any item or product that exists, there’s probably a SpongeBob version of it out there.

spongebob-toys-r-us                                              source: Toys R Us

SpongeBob has not only dominated its merchandise but they’re killing it in the food industry as well. Various food products in Fruit Snacks, Popsicles, Mac and Cheese, Taco Kits, Candy, Cheese Nips, and Cereal have been branded with the yellow sponge. Fast Food chains such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Sonic have also marketed the show to the young ones with their kid’s meals toys in the past and present.

The franchise has made a killing with their big screen movies. The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie made over $140 million and Sponge Out of Water made even more of a splash with $325.1 million. There have been a number of video games released based off of the show, including The Legend of the Lost Spatula (2001), Battle for Bikini Bottom (2003), and SpongeBob Moves In (2013).

spongebob out of water

Music from the series resulted in several soundtrack albums that have been sold and streamed by millions. SpongeBob’s Greatest Hits was the compilation album that celebrated the show’s ten-year anniversary.

SpongeBob seemed to have led to many products and branding deals, but I guess nothing screams success like screaming on a rollercoaster. Yes, they even have SpongeBob Squarepants theme park rides at Six Flags, Flamingo Land Resort, Shedd Aquarium, and at the Mall of America.

IMG_1695 source: Theme Park Review

SpongeBob Squarepants has been renewed for a season 12 and the 3rd movie, SpongeBob Squarepants 3, will be out in 2019. This billion-dollar monster franchise will continue to grow as the show is. Whether you like the show or not, you’ve got to admit that the success story has a beautiful side to it.

We Need to Talk About the Scheduling Problem with Nickelodeon & Cartoon Network

spongebob squarepants teen titans go

Courtesy of Nickeloden                                                          Courtesy of Cartoon Network

There is a serious issue going on right now with animated series on TV networks and we aren’t talking about it enough. Well, it’s at least serious to the common animation enthusiasts like you & me. If I would’ve told you 15 years ago that the variety in animation lineups on networks like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network would decrease greatly, you would probably think I’m a bit of a nut. In fact, if this was 15 years ago, we wouldn’t be having this discussion would we know? But it’s 2017, and that means SpongeBob Squarepants has taken over Nickelodeon & Teen Titans Go has taken over Cartoon Network. I mean, of course, we aren’t bashing these shows or the networks whatsoever, because the shows aren’t exactly the problem. It’s the lack of animated TV variety on their TV schedules. What happened to the glorious concept of variety and keeping things less-repetitive? I mean this issue has been made into a meme for crying out loud. YouTube videos like Modern Nickelodeon In a Nutshell or Cartoon Network in a Nutshell will help you grasp what exactly we are dealing with here. One of the things that made Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network great were the variety of both their animated series & how they incorporated it into their daily schedules. Let’s get a deeper look into the outrage.

There’s a reason why 90’s & early 2000’s nostalgia is such a huge phenomenon. There was a wide variety of cartoons on networks like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. Kids who loved cartoons always knew what channels to turn to, and they knew those channels would never disappoint them. 90’s Nick or CN fans aren’t trying to be edgy by bashing the modern lineup of these networks, but they just miss these networks not playing the same shows over and over again. I mean compared to now, there were a ton of cartoons on Nickelodeon that were popular and loved, so much that the network eventually branded their animated shows. Nicktoons was born and it had a wide variety of shows to keep the youngins (and even the adults) happy such as Doug, Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy, Hey Arnold, Kablam, Rocko’s Modern Life, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Angry Beavers, Oh Yeah! Cartoons, Rocket Power, The Wild Thornberrys, As Told by Ginger, Invader Zim… shall I go on or do you get how powerful this network was? Not only did Nickelodeon have a wide variety of cartoons, but the daily lineup wasn’t repetitive whatsoever.

Here’s a TV schedule for Nickelodeon from May 1999. Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you, there were actually more than one or two shows that played that day.

nickelodeon tv schedule may 1999

Source: rugratonline.free.fr

Now, for comparison purposes, here’s a TV schedule from just recently on September 22, 2017. I am just… speechless. Of course for diehard fans of SpongeBob this may not even be an issue, but for those who also want to see other shows along with SpongeBob on the lineup, hopefully, you can understand the frustration.

nickelodeon lineup spongebob squarepants

Source: tvlistings.zap2it.com

It’s no secret that SpongeBob Squarepants has been a top priority at Nickelodeon since it first emerged, so much that other shows were seemingly pushed out of the limelight. Besides SpongeBob, there are only seven other animated series that are currently on Nick’s lineup today, and one of those might just be going head-to-head with the world’s famous yellow sponge. The Loud House came to the network at it’s lowest animation drought in history, and it just might be here to stay. The show has already been renewed for a third season and a feature film that is set to be released in 2020. Plus it has some good ratings, an overall positive reaction from the general public & it’s pretty much proof that not all modern cartoons suck. Nickelodeon has a handful of upcoming animated series in the next few years, so maybe that’ll turn things around for the better.

Cartoon Network luckily has a somewhat wider variety of shows that are currently airing, but Teen Titans Go seems to be the majority of the lineup. When I say majority I mean that they actually aired the show 300 TIMES IN ONE WEEK back in July 2017. That has to be the worst TV schedule I have ever seen in awhile. This is a major issue on account of Cartoon Network having some of the most brilliant shows on their lineup today. Lately, shows like Steven Universe, Adventure Time, We Bare Bears & OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes have been having either a lack of appearance or no appearance at all on CN’s TV schedule.

cartoon network lineup teen titans go

Source: tvlistings.zap2it.com

Cartoon Network was once the home of many great originals and acquired series that actually had a place on the network’s TV schedule every day. Once again, for comparison purposes, here’s a TV schedule from August 2, 2002:

Cartoon network tv schedule august 2 2002

Source: archive.org

When and how did it all go wrong? Will we ever see a resolution? Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network have always dominated in the animated television industry. It will be unfortunate to see anyone’s ratings go down because of the lack of variety in their scheduling. A non-repetitive TV schedule is what kept their networks exciting and entertaining for so long. One can only hope that there’s something done about this soon.

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Was Chuckie Finster’s Mom Originally Alive on Rugrats?

chuckie finster

Courtesy of Nickelodeon

It’s always fascinating to learn about any “hiccups” that TV shows may have in their timeline – whether they’re minor or major. Today, we’re examining Nickelodeon’s classic hit series Rugrats, and a topic that still runs through the minds of many fans today. No we aren’t discussing any disturbing creepypastas or anything else that would give you the chills, but this topic does include the discussion of death. Just another cartoon theory coming through? You can be the judge of that. Now by writing this piece, I am in no way trying to “call out” the amazing team behind the Rugrats series. I just feel that this certain topic and the pieces that go along with it are just too interesting to not discuss. This topic is regarding Chuckie Finster’s biological mother, Melinda Finster. Throughout the series we eventually learn that she is deceased after three seasons.

melinda finster

Courtesy of Nickelodeon

On season 4 episode 2 “Mother’s Day” it was the big reveal. We learn that Melinda Finster passed away when Chuckie was a small infant, from what many can assume, a terminal illness. Chas Finster implies this when he showcased the tragically beautiful poem that she wrote for Chuckie, which he states she wrote while she was in the hospital.

Death can be a very controversial subject in children’s shows. Co-Creator Paul Germain explained in a 2016 interview with EW, that they originally wrote Chuckie without a mother because they simply did not want an extra character. By season 2 or 3 they had to make a decision whether to let the fans know what really happened to her. Both divorce and death were subjects that Nickeledeon thought were too sensitive to younger audience members. The Rugrats team eventually went ahead and decided that Chuckie’s mom was to be deceased. Germain also reveals that this is something he regrets. Did the Rugrats team make a mistake? Your answer can be formed as an opinion, or even as a fact. Let’s take a deeper look:

So it is confirmed that Melinda passed away shortly after Chuckie’s birth, but could a few of those aforementioned “hiccups” in the show disprove that? Rugrats fans have been speculating whether Melinda Finster was actually alive and well in the earlier seasons. This can be assumed due to the fact that in season 1 episode 8 “Real or Robots?”, Stu tells Chuckie that his MOM and dad will come pick him up in the morning. This implies that Melinda was still alive at the time when she was supposed to be deceased, since Chuckie was already two years old in that scene.

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Courtesy of Nickelodeon

Rugrats fans also pointed out that in season 1 episode 2 “Barbecue Story”, Chas was sitting next to a woman wearing green glasses that kind of resembles his (image shown above). It is assumed that she was originally suppose to be Chuckie’s mom. This argument could be backed up because of the fact that many other couples were seated or standing around Chas and this mystery woman, like Boris and Minka or Betty and Howard. This is one of the earliest episodes so who knows how things were planned to play out back then. I feel like divorce could’ve been slightly been a better option than the dark nature of death, but this option could’ve led down to other dark rabbit holes as well. The question of why Chuckie’s mom didn’t have custody of him eventually would’ve came about. Divorce is way too common in American families today, so if the Rugrats were to come out in the recent years, it wouldn’t have been too big of a deal.

So what have we got here folks? This may just be have to be ruled as a case of TV writers hiccups, or maybe a “glitch in the matrix” in the Rugrats world. If you like posts like this follow Cartoon Buzz and don’t miss another!

 

Does Disney’s Doug Deserve the Hate That It Gets?

disney's doug cartoon buzz

Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company

Doug originally premiered and aired on Nickelodeon as one of the network’s original Nicktoons, becoming the show that we all hold close to the Nostalgic section of our hearts. After ending in 1994 and leaving the Nick universe, Doug was rebooted and acquired by Disney two years later, becoming Disney’s Doug. The new and “improved” version of the series premiered on ABC as Brand Spanking New! Doug and the series picked up where it left off in 1994. Doug is 12 years old (eventually turns 13 by the end of series) and he and the rest of his classmates start middle school. Along with becoming Disney’s property, Doug had also received some major changes to the show. First off, Doug is no longer voiced by Billy West, but is instead voiced by Tom McHugh. A significant amount of other characters have also been revamped with new clothing and… lifestyles? Roger Klotz, the bully known to live in a trailer park, is now rich. Still a bully nonetheless. Connie, a character who originally had a plus-sized figure, is noticeably thinner. Oh, and how can I forget? Doug’s parents had another child. All of these changes had actually made Doug go nuts in the first episode, but he eventually accepts the fact that change is normal. He can thank big sister Judy for that, who also has a slightly different appearance in the Disney episodes.

The first two seasons of Disney’s Doug made the overall series THE highest-rated cartoon to ever hit the ABC network at the time. Not to mention it was a popular show on ABC’s Saturday morning lineup. Though it may have received killer ratings and some positive reviews on a number of websites, Disney’s Doug has a bad reputation with 90s nostalgia enthusiasts. In fact, a few major media sites stated that the revival series “ruined” the entire Doug franchise as a whole. Billy West, the original voice of Doug Funnie, also admitted that he wasn’t too fond of the new series and couldn’t watch it. It’s kind of like if Nickelodeon’s Doug looked into the future and saw Disney’s Doug happening, and suddenly became infuriated.

disney's doug

Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company

So does this series really deserve all of the negativity that it receives? I guess I’ll be the judge of that today. I think that Nickelodeon’s Doug fans should check out the first episode of the Disney series. Everything was changing in Bluffington and Doug wasn’t having it. Sounds kind of familiar right? When a show is revived or rebooted, and there are obvious changes, it can cause discomfort and even outrage to the viewers. The problem really stems from people wanting things to just stay the same. I have to admit, the first time that I even learned there was a Disney’s Doug, I instantly wanted to hate the series after seeing this infamous side-by-side of the character changes and such. I even wondered if Doug needed more seasons at all. Well, after analyzing a few episodes and putting all of my negative thoughts about change aside, I realized that the series isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

Doug Funnie may not be the exact same character as he was when the Nickelodeon series ended, and that’s okay. Can you honestly say that you were the exact same person you were a few years ago? Sometimes things have to change in order for things to keep going, and I think Disney’s Doug is a perfect example of that. I like the fact that we got to see Doug and the rest of the Bluffington characters grow a little more. What I COULD NOT stand for was the fact that The Beets, the best fictional rock band who’s better than most non-fictional bands, BROKE. UP. Killer Tofu was a true hit. That is probably the only part of Disney’s Doug that disappointed me the most. Other than that, I rest my case when I say that there’s no other real reason to form an angry mob over this series.

Fun Fact: Disney’s Doug was considered “lost” for awhile and was even listed on the Lost Media wiki page. It was finally found on April 23, 2017 and all of the episodes have resurfaced since then.

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