Tweenage Wasteland


This article was written on 11 Apr 2010, and is filled under big time rush, tween shows.

Hey Hey, We’re the Big Time Rush

So I’ve decided I should attempt to watch more Nick shows. With the exception of the odd episode of iCarly, I really haven’t paid much attention to Nick in awhile; I tend to be entranced by the cracktastic stylings of Disney, and the way they promote their stars does its job in that I get sucked in and become fond. But there’s plenty going on at Nick, so I figured what the heck and decided to watch the next Nick show I stumbled across. It happened to be Big Time Rush.

YOU GUYS, why didn’t anyone TELL me that Nick was running a barely-disguised updated version of The Monkees? I love boy bands, and I love wacky hijinks, so it took about four seconds for me to decide I needed a season pass on my Tivo. I mean, come on! It’s boys running around with cartoon side effects, and then doing choreographed dances and wearing wacky costumes! Their theme song seems to be primarily sung by robots, but that hardly matters, because YOU GUYS, THEY HAD TO SPY ON SOMEONE SO THEY HID BEHIND A SHRUBBERY WEARING TREE HATS. THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE SHOW.

Also check out the theme song/music video, which I was going to embed, but it auto-started AND the embed code broke Blogger. Nickelodeon, that is very bad planning, boo.

The show also has most of the peripheral cast going for it; they range from unremarkable (the sweet but dumb mother) to actualfax adorable (the smarter-than-everyone-else little sister) to over-the-top but watchable (everyone else — manager and his assistant, record exec, hotel guy, etc). There are some recurring girls in the background somewhere; I’d like to see them get larger parts to even things out gender-wise, but at least they’ve managed to make the boys’ girl-craziness as non-skeevy as possible.

Sadly, the show is not without LOL Wacky Sexism. The subplot of the second episode I saw — look, Nick has aired about six episodes in the last 24 hours, what do you want from me? — featured The Gay One desperately wanting to see a sexy mathematician (totally not Danica McKellar, really) give a lecture, but it turned out to be at an all girls school. Naturally, he had to wear a dress and sneak in. I’m with them so far! But once he got inside, Not Danica explained how she was excited to be at a girls-only school because boys are so dumb and no boy has ever understood her book because they’re all so bad at math! LOL. So The Gay One proclaims that yes, he is a guy who is good at math! So all the girls tackle him angrily, with cat meow sound effects. The cat sound effects would have bugged me on their own, but were actually the least irritating part here. What bothered me is that, in real life, we know how it works and it ain’t like that. In real life, people still suggest there’s an innate difference between men and women that makes women bad at math. Maybe the show thought reversing that would provide hilarity; idk, but actually, I found it belittling to a very real, very existent problem.

That said, if I can still watch Hannah Montana, an actually terrible show, despite its issues with racism and sexism — wait, why do I watch that again? — I can tolerate the problems with Big Time Rush for now, and hope that the show, still early in its run, improves in that regard. Because it was 90% charming to only 10% irritating (‚Ķokay, it was 60% charming, 30% old-school Hanna Barbera sound effects, 10% irritating), and for tween TV, that’s actually a pretty good ratio.

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  1. Anonymous
    April 11, 2010

    I couldn't watch it because it seemed like Nick's answer to the MoFoJoBros. My 11 year old cousin who generally 'buys' this kind of stuff(And likes Disney music) even said she knows they're just competing against JONAS, but she thinks they're cute.

  2. Anonymous
    April 11, 2010

    They're seriously just preteen eye candy. And apparently, a bunch of preteens now have eye cavities.

  3. beyondheroism__
    April 11, 2010

    A lot of people I know are getting into Big Time Rush, but I just can't really focus on it. IDK, I really need a leading lady to latch onto when it comes to TV or it doesn't happen.

    That said, I kind of got lost after you mentioned The Gay One because I'm 98% sure that they are all The Gay One.

    Also, the dude in charge of Big Time Rush was also the guy who created Ned's Declassified School Survival guide which was pretty much awesome, so I think BTR might actually end up cheesy but AWESOME.

  4. Rebecca
    April 11, 2010

    @Anon #1: I definitely agree what that, but it's not problematic for me — my problems with JONAS and the mofojobros are… well, that i dislike the Jonas brothers. But boy bands (and wacky tv shows about them) I am, overall, totally in favor of.

    @Anon #2: Hee, good line.

    @BH__: That's almost exactly what I said to my sister about The Gay One, but The Smart One (I haven't actually learned their names yet) seems to actively be coded that way — he's fastidious and neat, was the one who got put in a dress, etc.

    (I never saw Ned's Declassified, but I'm glad to hear it was good! Apparently one of the BTR guys was in it, too.)