Battle of Nostalgia: Disney or Nickelodeon


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Disney Channel, as well as its competitor, Nickelodeon, was a staple of many Guilford students’ childhoods.

“In five, four, three, two…” This iconic line is from one of the most well-known shows  from almost everyone’s childhood, “iCarly.” Many children grew up watching grew up watching different shows and programs, like Cartoon Network and PBS Kids,  but the two most well- known  children’s TV channels are Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.

Many Guilford students believe that as shows come and go, their quality rises and falls. Senior Kristen Smith thinks that current shows are not as original as they used to be in terms of content. “The newer shows are based on or influenced by shows that used to air regularly,” she said. The shows she watched growing up consisted of “Kim Possible,” “The Proud Family” and “The Fairly OddParents.”

Guilford students seem to enjoy rewatching their favorite shows, no matter their age. Delaney Nightingale, a senior, agreed that the older shows from her childhood are much better than television today. She shared that she was unsure if she only likes her these shows due to her nostalgic connection to them, or if TV quality has gone downhill. She also said that she is not sure if her taste in TV has changed. Some shows she still rewatches include “Liv and Maddie,” “iCarly” and “SpongeBob.”

Students also expressed their love for the representation in their favorite childhood shows. The Proud Family and That’s So Raven are two of the most popular Disney shows whose main characters and their families are black Junior Victoria Pigford shared how these shows impacted her life, saying, “It felt nice to see myself represented on TV with a black main character.”

Not only do these programs create an inclusive environment, but they also enhance our imaginations. Pigford reminisced on how cool she thought it was that Miley from Hannah Montana had a double life as both an ordinary teen girl and a pop star. She also enjoyed watching characters such as the training fighters in “Kickin’ It” and superheroes in “Lab Rats.”

“Both of these shows were very entertaining and action-packed,” Pigford said. These two shows in particular were on Disney XD, which specialized in shows for older teenagers.

When Guilford students were asked whether they watched Disney Channel or Nickelodeon more, the answer was Disney Channel. Smith said may not have realized it when she was younger, but reflecting on the shows she watched, she noticed the strong women featured onscreen. For Smith, Disney shows always had a meaningful lesson which she could relate to her life as she grew up, and they also showed her different perspectives. Nightingale said that she liked the Disney Channel Original Movies most. She said that whenever she goes back to watch any of the films, it brings back that nostalgic feeling she once had when the movies and shows initially aired.

As new shows air and new actors appear onscreen, Guilford students agree that there is something special about what we watch and connect with in our childhoods. For many students, the messages or themes from their childhood shows stick with them.

To this day, many in the Guilford community can still recite lines or even TV show theme songs with a smile on their faces. For those here at Guilford, there is no limit to the age at which people can rewatch programs that create a world of nostalgia and comfort.