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The Problem with Disney Shows Today
Why is this an important discussion?
Maybe it is because I grew up in the 90’s with good quality shows, like Boy Meets World and Full House, or maybe it is because I am now a parent and I fear the influences my children are surrounded by, but for whatever the reason, I am appalled at the shows that appear on the Disney Channel these days. I long for the days of watching young children learn valuable lessons from their parents and teachers. I agonize at the thought that if the shows are this bad now, what will they be like when my soon-to-be three year old is a pre-teen, like most of the characters are in the shows now.
1. The parents, if they are even existent in the show, are made to look like morons.
Before I discuss the parents in today’s shows, I must reminisce of Mr. and Mrs. Matthews, from Boy Meets World. They were not perfect, by any means. There was the episode where Alan Matthews had to learn to balance his time and affections between all of his children, his two boys, in particular. They were always parents, though, not best buds, to their children. They set good examples for their children, how to work hard, how to become responsible. When Corey and Topanga insisted on marrying young, and then begged for help to buy a house they couldn’t afford because neither were working, the Matthews had to insist they deal with their life that they chose. This may seem harsh, but later in the episode, Corey realized that his parents were allowing them to struggle so they could realize how strong they were.
Now, onto today’s depicted parents. In the show Ant Farm, the parents are practically non-existent. The dad is a completely goof that doesn’t seem to have the intelligence of a piece of paper. He is constantly made fun of by his children, and their friends. The same is true on Good Luck Charlie. The dad is a complete moron. He is constantly made fun of by his children and his own wife. The mom on Good Luck Charlie is also absolutely ridiculous. She sets an absolutely horrible example for her children. Austin and Ally's parents show up very rarely, and they seemed to be concerned with everything except their children. Finally, the parents from Dog With a Blog also need to be included for their absolutely ludicrous behavior.
Now, on Full House, another beloved 90’s show, the dad (mom had died) and the two live-in uncles could be goofy at times (one was a comedian), but they were still authoritative figures when they needed to be. Again, they were not perfect, they were realistic.
2. There seems to be an unlimited supply of money in each one of their lives.
It gets me so frustrated whenever I turn on the TV and all of the characters on Disney Channel seem to have unlimited money, unlimited nice clothes, and the best of technology. Again, I must cite Boy Meets World. All of the characters were normal clothes, that were realistic. Shawn Hunter, Corey Matthews’ impoverished best friend, wore ragged clothes and the same leather jacket in almost every episode.
It is not the clothes that characters on Disney wear today that bothers me so much as it is the appearance of unlimited money. On Good Luck Charlie, the mother does not work and the dad is an exterminator, but yet, all of the 4 children all have brand name-looking clothing, an expensive looking home, and all the technology they need. What is this teaching our children? Children all over will want to know why their stay-at-home mom and working dad cannot afford to live like the ones they see on TV. The show Jessie is no exception either. At least, though, it makes sense for them to appear to have unlimited money because their parents, practically non-existent, are extremely wealthy. In Ant Farm, it was at least somewhat realistic, money-wise, until the show came into a new season where a billionaire built them a brand new school, with unlimited technology.
3. The kids are hardly ever shown attending school, like actually in a classroom.
Where have the times gone where Mr. Feeney would be teaching class, but he wasn’t just teaching a history lesson, he was teaching a life lesson. I do not believe I have seen an episode of today’s Disney shows where the kids are in a classroom, learning, from a teacher that isn’t ridiculous in some way. There was an episode of Good Luck Charlie where Teddy took her baby sister to school to help her get an ‘A’. The teacher, who seemed to hate her before, instantly became loopy because of seeing a baby. As a teacher, I might have a few questions if one of my students brought in a baby. Gabe, the younger brother on the show, would prank his teachers, which sets a great example for students today (please pick up my sarcasm). There is no respect between child and teacher. Teachers are mocked, pranked, and portrayed as crazy, but we wonder why children today have no respect for their teachers at school.
Now, I know I only reference two 90’s shows in my sh-peel. This is because they were my absolute favorites growing up. There are so many other great examples of good-quality shows from the 90’s that could have been mentioned. Likewise, there are tons upon tons of Disney shows that could have also been mentioned to make my point that Disney shows have gone downhill in quality over the years. I fear for the upcoming release of Girl Meets World, the Boy Meets World spin-off. Is it going to do justice to the original show, or will it succumb to the awful examples for kids that seem to be so prevalent on TV today? We shall see.