As an avid viewer of children’s programming, I usually don’t feel the need to analyze too much when I’m watching Disney or Nickelodeon. For me at least, when I watch Wizards of Waverly Place it’s supposed to be a light and fun affair where I can just kick back and watch Selena Gomez get into crazy magical shenanigans without having to think about the societal issues of what she’s doing. I’ll save that kind of thinking for The Walking Dead.
***Side Note Before We Continue: I hope readers don’t think I’m a creepy pedophile for watching Disney shows. Trust me, I’m not. In fact, I rather dislike children, but for some reason the adventures they get themselves into are hilarious to me. When a main character breaks his or her mom’s favorite vase I NEED to know if they’ll get in trouble or not 🙂 ****
One thing that I have noticed about children’s programming (including cartoons) is the fact that it seems like the creators/casting crews put so much emphasis into making the shows diverse. You probably have not seen any children’s programming lately, but believe me when I tell you that there seems to be a formula on how friends of the main characters are cast.
It goes a little something like this: If the main character is a white male then friend “A” is usually an ethnic male while friend “B” is usually a female of any ethnicity. If you’ve ever seen or heard of the Disney show That’s So Raven starring Raven Symone, the formula is similar, but tweaked, due to the fact that Raven Symone is an black female. Raven’s friend “A” is a white female and her friend “B” is a black male. Some other examples of this include True Jackson VP, Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, Supah Ninja and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. I know most (if any) of you have not seen these shows, but I just thought I’d at least throw a couple of sources your way.
Why do I care about this formula you ask?…I don’t (haha). It was just the fact that it took me up until recently to notice this pattern. If it were an adult program I would have linked this pattern to about 5 different television shows before the pilot episode even aired. It just irks me that I’m so ready to believe that five diverse teenagers can fight intergalactic monsters (Power Rangers), but the minute I see a cast of diverse doctors working at the same hospital (Grey’s Anatomy) I call it out for looking sort of manufactured when in actuality it’s just blind casting. And neither show is even THAT diverse. They add a black guy over here and an Asian lady over there and I act like it’s a big deal. What the hell is the matter with me? Yes, I do realize my own madness sometimes haha.
I also understand that one theory I accept Power Rangers so readily and not Grey’s Anatomy could be that Power Rangers is so ridiculous and over the top as it is that I just go along for the ride whereas Grey’s is supposed to be a little more realistic. Or maybe it’s the fact that I grew up watching the Rangers that I don’t pay attention to these sorts of things. Who can honestly say?
FYI: Power Rangers is still on the air. Woot, woot.