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  • Why Nick or Disney Can't

    So I've finally gotten around to rewatching some episodes, and I noticed one thing that's probably been discussed here ad infinitum, and that's the production quality of the show. Not to insult it and say it wasn't good, but it wasn't "perfect".

    It was at just the right level to draw kids into the show, like this was a show they could be doing, which went along with all the plot about making the show. I remember thinking, "There's some risers like that at my public library...Those sports uniforms don't match, I could find three uniforms." I'll bet that helped lead me and my buddy try to write jokes for the show.

    I remember watching All That, and not giving it a second shot. I wonder now if it was too good looking and I thought "those kids are not like me." It's been shown that, especially with sketch comedy, high production values are not necessary. But I don't think Disney or Nick would let a show this "bad" looking exist.

    Am I wrong?

  • #2
    Originally posted by UncaAndoo View Post
    So I've finally gotten around to rewatching some episodes, and I noticed one thing that's probably been discussed here ad infinitum, and that's the production quality of the show. Not to insult it and say it wasn't good, but it wasn't "perfect".

    It was at just the right level to draw kids into the show, like this was a show they could be doing, which went along with all the plot about making the show. I remember thinking, "There's some risers like that at my public library...Those sports uniforms don't match, I could find three uniforms." I'll bet that helped lead me and my buddy try to write jokes for the show.

    I remember watching All That, and not giving it a second shot. I wonder now if it was too good looking and I thought "those kids are not like me." It's been shown that, especially with sketch comedy, high production values are not necessary. But I don't think Disney or Nick would let a show this "bad" looking exist.

    Am I wrong?
    I think nowadays, they wouldn't. Back then, it was perfect for Nickelodeon.

    Besides, considering that YCDTOTV (and subsequently WTYO) was filmed in Ottawa, which isn't exactly Hollywood North by any stretch, the production costs would have had to have been kept as low as possible. Even with that, the cast and crew did an incredibly good job being resourceful and making it work in their favour, and not the other way around.

    Had the show been filmed in Toronto, or even in New York or L.A., the production costs would have likely gone through the roof before an episode was even in the can.

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    • #3
      You're exactly right that they made it work in their favor.

      It could be argued it helped with anti-establishment marketing, with the establishment being "grown-ups." Hmmm...probably means Family Double-Dare should never have been made.

      Now I wonder how things would have changed had they made the move to Orlando.
      Last edited by UncaAndoo; July 7, 2009, 12:56 PM.

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      • #4
        Back in the old days, lots of local TV stations had their own weekday-afternoon TV shows that they produced in their own studios. They had the kind of budgets and production values that you would expect from a local TV station. That's how YCDTOTV got started. Meanwhile, Nickelodeon was still in its infancy when they picked up the show. They didn't have any studios or production capabilities of their own, so everything was subcontracted.

        It's been almost 30 years now since all that happened, and the entire TV world has changed. A show like YCDTOTV would probably never get made today. Instead we'd get something a lot more "polished" - and probably a lot less interesting.
        Robert A. Black, YCDTOTV writer 1985-86
        http://www.rablack.com

        Ah yes... very tricky, those Argentinians...

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        • #5
          From what little I remember and know, the vast majority of these self-produced shows were of the "kiddie show" variety -- The Bozo Show on WGN out of Chicago being a very famous (and higher budgeted) example (but on in the morning).

          The audacity of having a self-produced, young actor-driven, sketch-based show is pretty spectacular. (To summarize the entire point of this website, I suppose.)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by UncaAndoo View Post
            From what little I remember and know, the vast majority of these self-produced shows were of the "kiddie show" variety -- The Bozo Show on WGN out of Chicago being a very famous (and higher budgeted) example (but on in the morning).
            Yup, that's the idea. When I was at CJOH, I saw a couple of old tapes from some early pre-Nickelodeon shows, and they looked much more like that. What we know today as YCDTOTV evolved out of it.
            Robert A. Black, YCDTOTV writer 1985-86
            http://www.rablack.com

            Ah yes... very tricky, those Argentinians...

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            • #7
              And I guess it is safe to say for most programming, it has gone quality wise down the toilet like most shows are today as opposed to the fun times in the 1980's.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bigzman View Post
                And I guess it is safe to say for most programming, it has gone quality wise down the toilet like most shows are today as opposed to the fun times in the 1980's.
                More money means more risk. More money also means more guys in suits (and ladies now, too) wanting to have their say. In other words, more money means less innovation and less willingness to take a chance.

                For every show like YCDTOTV, there were many others that were simply dreadful. But nobody had much riding on any of them, so the people making them could get up there and give it their best shot. Those opportunities aren't around any more.
                Robert A. Black, YCDTOTV writer 1985-86
                http://www.rablack.com

                Ah yes... very tricky, those Argentinians...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BBOvenGuy View Post
                  For every show like YCDTOTV, there were many others that were simply dreadful. But nobody had much riding on any of them, so the people making them could get up there and give it their best shot. Those opportunities aren't around any more.
                  This is true, because when a show that isn't expected to do well (say, YCDTOTV) does, other attempts to copy its formula for success are made.

                  And you're right, they do fail because either the writing for it isn't there (sorry! ) or the on-camera talent just isn't as good as it was expected to be.

                  That's what made YCDTOTV as great and memorable as it was. It had a formula that just could not be duplicated, no matter what was tried to do so.

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