Alright folks, sit down because I am going to take you on a beautiful virtual tour of memory lane. Have you ever babysat, and been forced to watch the abominable schlock that Disney Channel and Nickelodeon are passing off as children’s TV shows these days? And you thought to yourself, “When I was a kid, Disney and Nick were the bomb diggidy and the shows on these channels were phenomenal. What happened?”
What happened was probably that you grew up and your shows were just as bad as the new ones, but I like to discard that more logical point of view and believe instead that the kids TV of the mid-2000s was just simply better. Without further ado, here is my very biased list of the top five children’s shows from our youth.
- Kim Possible, Disney Channel
Okay, Kim Possible is basically the greatest show ever. I will fight you on this. The protagonist is a badass girl who manages to be a super spy and fight bad guys. All of the men are incompetent yet hilarious—e.g. Ron Stoppable, Dr. Drakken, Senor Senior Junior. It’s a funny, sweet, great show for any budding young feminist who really likes action. Also, all of it is currently online for free on the Disney Channel website. You’re welcome.
- Drake and Josh, Nickelodeon
I maintain that Drake and Josh is one of the best sitcoms of all time. It applies the traditional odd couple formula to two teenage stepbrothers, with hilarious results. Remember the Peruvian Puff Peppers? Ah, man. Good times.
- The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, Disney
As I am writing this, I am singing the Suite Life theme song in my head. This was another winner by the Disney Channel, starring Dylan and Cole Sprouse as troublemaking twins who live in a hotel and are generally hilarious.
- Zoey 101, Nickelodeon
Talk to any girl, and I am positive that they will all be bitter that Jamie Lynn Spears got knocked up in the fourth season so they had to cancel the show. (Seriously, I’ve had multiple conversations with different people about this.) Zoey 101 gave us all unrealistic expectations about high school, and taught us the lesson that friendship is important (and so is safe sex).
- Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, Nickelodeon
I like to think of this as the dark horse of my top five. Ned’s Declassified was definitely underrated. It was funny, genuine, and featured kids who were actually played by kids. I don’t actually remember much of what happened in this show, but I remember that it was fabulous and made me feel like I could get through middle school.
Runners up: Lizzie McGuire, That’s So Raven, Phil of the Future, and even Hannah Montana. Y’all will go down in the pantheon of great kids shows.