The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact us

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Disney shows of today lack substance

The Disney Channel has been a source of good TV for children since 1983. It hasn’t only been revolutionary in its work with cartoons and feature films, but has also created worthwhile and educational programming for young adults. It’s been successful in accomplishing this, until now.

When the college students of today were growing up they had characters like Phil from ‘Phil of the Future’ and Ren from ‘Even Stevens’ and Lizzie from ‘Lizzie McGuire.’ They were characters who, while leading entertaining lives, provided the viewer with a half an hour of entertainment and always left the viewer with a piece of knowledge in the end. The shows taught viewers things such as how to respect your family, get along with friends and deal with bullies. Although viewers didn’t realize they were learning something, there was a valuable lesson in every episode.

Today, tweens and teenagers do not have those characters to look up to. With characters on TV shows such as Miley from ‘Hannah Montana,’ Zach and Cody from ‘Suite Life of Zach and Cody’ and Alex from ‘Wizards of Waverly Place,’ viewers see the characters trying to be glamorous, rebellious and famous.

The shows do not have the same lessons as their predecessors. If they do, then the lessons are disguised by the character’s attitude and their desire to disobey their parents. It is not the kind of thing that children should be looking up to, yet Hannah Montana is known as a phenomenon and more shows are being created for the Disney Channel in its likeness.’

The biggest problem with these shows is the educational value is clouded by a new image Disney is trying to create. No longer do we see the geeky and awkward girls and boys who are easily relatable for everyone; the ones who have the realistic life, the characters who seem more like us than the glamorous and unattainable.

While we were growing up we had people to look up to. Today’s TV sensations are far from being exemplary role models. Inside the shows, they are allowed to get away with a lot while exhibiting shallow and selfish behavior. Outside of the shows, the behavior of the actresses doesn’t change. They speak badly of each other, using mediums such as YouTube, and blatantly act out in public.’ They are terrible role models for children, yet tweens continue to look up to these actresses because there is no one else on TV for them to admire.

Although not all of the shows on the Disney Channel are like this. The shows with good intentions and morals are on too late for the general youth population to see them.

Because of the way the Disney Channel has set up their audience, none of these shows can hold a viewer’s interest long enough for the message to get across. The youth of today are no longer interested in having good morals or being good people. Instead they want to be famous and have the newest cell phones and latest trendy clothing, like the characters in the shows.

What this means for the rest of the population is that we have a greater responsibility to be good role models for the youth around us. Although everyone makes mistakes, it becomes our job to produce the image that the youth can look up to. It shouldn’t necessarily be every young girl’s dream to become Hannah Montana, or every young boy’s desire to live in a hotel like Zach and Cody.

Everyone remembers their favorite Disney show from when they were growing up and it is now up to us to teach the things we learned from those shows to today’s youth.

There is more to life than being famous and having nice things. While the youth stars of today don’t exhibit that like they should, the lessons can still be there. We still have our Disney TV memories to hold onto and the ability to pass on the lessons. At least we’re good for something.

More to Discover