Give me the controller...
While I'm a very big fan of Disney, I'm not a very big fan of some of their shows on the small screen...
Now, I realize that they're not all aimed at my demographic of course, but one of the main staples of a Disney film is it's supposed to appeal to everyone. That's one of my problems with entertainment in several of the parks right now. It's aimed at the tween factor or even younger and not meant to entertain all. That's one of the reasons that Pixar does so well. It hits this demographic square in the center of the bulls-eye.
So I thought I'd take the opportunity to pretend that I had been programming the television series of the Mouse. And by this I don't mean ABC, which appeals to different groups, but the "family" entertainment that is supposed to be on its other channels. Disney Channel, which is now sadly aimed at tween girls and Disney XD, which has been now designed as a counter to the female driven viewers of the original channel. If it were up to me, there wouldn't have been one or the other. It would have been a Disney channel with Disney series for everyone. Perhaps it would be like HBO, where they have an HBO 2 and HBO 3 and so on.
Now, pretending I had been the Suit in charge of a mythical channel over the past few decades, here are a sampling of what I would have put on the schedule. Now, some of these series derive from my own taste while others reflect programs that I may not like, but feel would appeal to the demographic that the company should/could aim for. And here they are:
"Everybody Hates Chris" - this series focusing on a fictionalized account of Chris Rock's childhood. It's sweet, charming, actually funny and has family values all throughout.
"Freaks and Geeks" - A wonderful series created by Paul Feig and some unknown guy named Judd Apatow about teens going through their day to day lives. It's sweet and real, respecting teens and the world they inhabit.
"Goosebumps" - Something that feels like a child's version of the Twilight Zone. An anthology series that lets kids (and parents) experience fears and thrills inside the comfort of their living room.
"Sliders" - A fun, sci-fi show created by Robert K. Weiss and Tracy Tormé that follows a group of travelers that use a wormhole to "slide" into alternate universes. Fun and adventurous journeys abound for all involved.
"Young Indiana Jones" - I know this one was on ABC, so it technically was a Disney series, but I put it here based on what the show could have been rather than what it turned out to be. It had a lot of potential, but wound up seeming more like it was trying to be a history lesson than an entertaining story. That said, I'd like to have seen what could have come from it.
"Eerie, Indiana" - What would you do if you lived in the strangest place on earth? This early 90's series created by José Rivera and Karl Schaefer, and creative consultant Joe Dante followed Marshall Teller and his family as they adapt to their new and weird surrounding. Kind of like an "X-Files" show for adolescents, this series disappeared before it had an opportunity to grow a big enough follow, other than Elvis conspiricists.
"Amazing Stories" - The 80's anthology series from Steven Spielberg was filled with all kinds of tales, from scary to funny to animated. And truthfully, anything from Spielberg in the 80's could be considered Disney in my opinion.
"Doogie Howser" - A story of the live and travels of a teen genius who is a doctor created by Steven Bochco. A child prodigy who becomes a doctor at 14 and deals with the world from his perspective. The show dealt with very mature subject matter, but from a teen's unique insight into the problems of our world.
"The Adventures of Brisco County Jr." - A show featuring Bruce Campbell cannot go wrong. So how did it get canceled after opening up for the "X-Files" after its first season? The world is a strange place. Created by Jeffrey Boam and Carlton Cuse following the wild west travels of bounty hunter Brisco County Jr., the show feels like a continuation of the original "Wild, Wild West" television show (not the horrible Will Smith film). It was a fun show with a great deal of humor and action amid a lot of horses and gun play.
"The Clone Wars" - It's sad that Disney didn't try harder for this show. I know that they were interested in it and the fact that most kids think of Star Wars as part of Disney when they enter the parks would have made a great addition to Mouse tv. I know that Disney XD is becoming the Marvel Channel, but having this show and others like it would have made the channel a force to be reckoned with years ago. While I was initially skeptical about the show, it has turned into a series that has high quality animation and stories that range from good to compelling.
Now, we return you to the world of reality...