It feels like it was just a few summers ago when I was prepping for a five-hour Nickelodeon marathon, geared up with sugary snacks and Capri Suns. Unfortunately, the reality is that it’s been a decade and then some, but the fond memories of my old summer days will never be forgotten.
Nickelodeon marathons were representative of my golden days, when my only worry was missing an episode of my favorite show. Now, I’m worried I’ll never see these shows again. Nickelodeon’s late 2000s shows and their one-of-a-kind characters have yet to resurface, but they should. If not, today’s audience may never know about these classics.
It’s in my current (and stressful) college days that I have nostalgia for my Nickelodeon glory days. College comes with its fair share of decisions outside the classroom too, like study vs. sleep, night out vs. staying in, Uber vs. Lyft, GrubHub vs. Doordash, and Netflix vs Hulu. In fact, Netflix would be a great way to reminisce on the old Nick days. If only Netflix would make these shows accessible.
Sitting back and watching two (or 10) hours of nostalgic content after a lengthy day would be one of the best (if not the best) pastimes for college students. Having some old-school content on a popular student service like Netflix would help lighten the mood and let viewers remember better times. I know I’m not the only one who wants to watch some classic shows. If my wish were ever granted, here are the five Nickelodeon shows I would want on Netflix.
1. Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide (2004)
This educational sitcom provided a great perspective on life from the middle school student Ned Bigby. For a curious elementary schooler like myself, the show was both funny and informative. Ah, the struggles of “modern” day middle school: rivalries between characters, avoiding teachers like Mr. Sweeney and his hawk-like instincts, tests, gym class, crushes and an infamous weasel looming around the school.
Looking back, the best part of the show is trying to mentally construct how many of Ned’s various tips proved true. The comical adventures of the main trio of Ned, Cookie and Moze remind me of simpler times, when basking in cheesy humor was a fun activity.
2. Danny Phantom (2004)
This show may be a biased pick, but the series completely consumed my Thursday afternoons during Nickelodeon Marathons. At the time, the show’s premise, which focused on Danny Fenton, a boy who had accidentally gained supernatural powers after messing with his parents’ machine, was astonishing to me. With his newfound abilities, Danny Phantom (his new nickname) went on a quest to capture all the ghosts from his parents’ portal in a thermos.
I guess I was just so amazed by Danny’s schoolkid-during-the-day-and-ghost-chaser-by-night vibe. If you like action, thrill and suspense, a “Danny Phantom” revival might be just what you need.
3. Victorious (2010)
For kids like me, the days at Hollywood High were always entertaining to watch, as Tori Vega and her crew dealt with the harsh struggles of high school. The large ensemble of characters, including the goofy Robbie, suave Beck, amusing Cat, assertive Jade and Robbie’s talking puppet Rex, made the show ultra-memorable. The show contained captivating subplots, including Robbie’s romantic mishaps, Tori and Beck’s obvious chemistry and Cat’s hidden intelligence.
I remember loving the show so much I made it a special point to visit the set location during a trip to Los Angeles many years ago. Although the set was blocked off by a gate, it was clear enough to peek at the “outside” area, where the characters frequently gathered for lunch. My pre-teen self felt so accomplished, ad seeing a set in-person rather than on TV felt like visiting a historical landmark. “Victorious” was also known for its popular songs by Victoria Justice and Ariana Grande (the start of something special?).
4. Drake & Josh (2004)
As one of the most-recognized sitcoms of its era, “Drake & Josh” is simply too classic for Netflix to pass up. There are many highlights in this nostalgic sitcom, including the two brother’s daring adventures, Josh’s hilarious disaster as a weather boy and their sister, Megan’s evil pranks on her brothers. As an added bonus, Nickelodeon released full-feature films based on the show, including “Drake & Josh Go Hollywood” and “Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh.”
Sitcoms like “Drake & Josh” and “Victorious” set the tone for teenage Nick comedies and provided a realistic view of how many future teenage lives (AKA college students today) would look like.
5. The Fairly OddParents (2001)
The adventures of Timmy Turner lasted for a decade and a half, with the show ending recently, during the summer of 2017. Nevertheless, the magical powers of Cosmo and Wanda, irritating babysitter Vicky and main protagonist Timmy proved that any wish in the cartoon world was possible — for a price, of course.
Fans of the show can practically hear Timmy’s teacher, Mr. Crocker going beserk and yelling “fairy godparents,” or Timmy’s clueless dad pointing the finger at their neighbor and yelling “Dinkleberg.” Nowadays, fairy godparents sound like a worthwhile wish for college students.
In the 2000s, Nickelodeon had a creatively elite and unforgettable lineup for many current college students. I certainly can’t forget to mention “SpongeBob Squarepants,” a show still airing today, from its premiere in 1999. By having “SpongeBob” air today, kids are growing up with the same characters many current college students have grown to love.
There are several other shows with the potential to rekindle distant memories, including “Romeo,” “Zoey 101,” and “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius,” all which should be equally considered for a possible placement on Netflix. By having old Nick show on Netflix, the streaming service could foster a connection between old and new generations.
An endless stream of early Nickelodeon sitcoms readily available at your fingertips is a perfect pastime. Picture this: You take an Uber home from a night out and sleep in on a Sunday. You open your laptop and have endless options for a nostalgic binge-session.
The college Ned Bigby would certainly use one of his tips to encourage streaming old Nickelodeon shows, pointing out the influential role his era of programming played in shaping childhood memories of college students today.