Nuggets of Wisdom

Friday, September 25, 2015

Old School Nick Returns With The Splat!

Do you miss Nickelodeon's old shows from the 90s? Rugrats? Hey Arnold? Rocko's Modern Life? All That? Kenan And Kel?

How is that even a question at this point? Of course you do! Any self-respecting 90s kid does--which is why Nick is bringing back those old shows with The Splat!, a new programming block to start airing next week.

I'm somewhat split over this announcement. My inner kid is screaming in joy that my favorite channel as a kid is brining back some of my favorite shows (and he's also screaming in agony since he no longer has cable). My outer adult, on the other hand, can't help but feel that this is an act of desperation on Nick's part.

It's no secret that Nickelodeon hasn't been doing well. The channel's rating have been circling the drain for nearly a decade, and its lackluster programming isn't helping at all. The only decent show airing right now is the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Legend of Korra, it's only other decent show, ended its run last year, and even then, the network had been screwing it over. Other than that, the channel has been kept on life support by keeping both Spongebob SquarePants and Fairly Oddparents on life support well long after both shows were supposed to die with dignity. So the very fact that Nickelodeon is bringing back its older, more popular programs reveals that the channel has nothing else to offer.

In contrast, Cartoon Network was in a similar predicament more than a decade ago. After retiring its original Cartoon Cartoon shows, the network tried to be "hip and edgy" with reality shows and substandard Canadian imports. Like Nick, the channel started circling the drain in terms of ratings and quality; unlike Nick, it actually brought on original creators to create newer, fresher programming. Now the channel is more popular than ever with hit shows like Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Steven Universe. Sure, it has a few stinkers like Teen Titans Go!, but that pales in comparison to a channel with nothing but stinkers like Sanjay and Craig and Breadwinners.

I think we can all see the main difference here. When Cartoon Network was struggling, it created new shows. With Nickelodeon struggling, it's bringing back its old shows. Cartoon Network is moving forward and striving to be better than it once was, and Nickelodeon is trying desperately to turn back the clock and return to the glory days of what it used to be.

But hey, at least it'll be nice to watch Legends of the Hidden Temple on television again!