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Slam Dunk Shows
Jojo Montgomery
Friday, April 17, 2020

Streaming services have become increasingly popular in the past couple of years with their traditional sales pitch of being cheaper than regular cable and giving hit tv shows of all genres to binge watch. From the release of Disney+ last year to the contract Netflix signed with Nickelodeon, there has been a heated competition between these companies, battling to be the streaming service on top. Although all of the streaming services from Hulu to YouTube are incredibly successful, if certain phenomenal shows from childhood were put on services, they would prove to be valuable assets in competition against other streaming services. 

Avatar the Last Airbender

This cartoon was available on TeenNick and Nickelodeon before its official end in 2008. To this day, it holds a 100 percent approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes and is considered a classic for many cartoon and, debatably, anime fans. The show is about a young avatar in a world of people who are able to manipulate the elements, but he has gone missing after accidentally freezing himself and his bison, Appa, in a ball of ice in the ocean to save himself from drowning. People who are able to manipulate the elements are called benders, while the ones without this capability are called non-benders. However, the avatar is the one person in the world with the ability to control all four elements: earth, fire, water and air. The young avatar is named Aang, who is an airbender. The series follows him and his two closest friends, Sokka and Katara, as they travel the world in search to learn how to master all four types of his bending. However, they are constantly on the run from the fire nation, specifically the fire nation prince, Zuko, who was banished after speaking out against his father’s orders- ones that included betraying the loyalty of fire nation soldiers-during one of his military meetings. Zuko’s only way of being accepted by his father is if he finds the missing avatar that went missing a century ago. With twists and turns along the way, trusted people become enemies and enemies become friends. This show was one that showed incredible character development and plot for audiences of all ages to enjoy.

Zoey 101

The Pacific Coast Academy was a made-up boarding school in the nostalgic Zoey 101 that most people in our generation wanted to be a student at. This school had just shifted from an all-boys school to a co-ed school and with it came potential relationships and drama that having both genders in one school always arose. The show centered around Zoey, her little brother and her friends that she meets along the way. It was one of the most popular and successful shows of the 2000s, earning multiple nominations and awards from many elite youth television award shows such as the Kids Choice Awards and the Teen Choice Awards. This show was one that many teenagers grew up with. It aired for four seasons through three years, following the teenagers at PCA through their high school journeys while the audience could do the same. They go through various challenges and hardships that teenagers always seem to find themselves in, giving a relatable vibe to it. All the main characters, who are all Zoey’s best friends, had a unique role to play in the plot and gave the audience somebody to relate to on an even more personal level. There was Dustin, Zoey’s younger brother and academic prodigy, Quinn, another incredible academic prodigy, Nicole, Zoey’s roommate and girly-girl, Lola, Zoey’s roommate and aspiring actress, Chase, Zoey’s love interest, Michael, a freak athlete and flute player, and Logan, a stuck-up rich boy with a big heart. The relatability and universal themes are the reasons why this series did so well, and if a streaming service were able to sign it onto its platform, it would be a sure game-winner 

Spongebob Squarepants

Spongebob Squarepants is a character that no one could ever misidentify. With his signature box shape and formal school-boy attire at all times, he never fails to entertain with the plot in his daily endeavors and love for working at the Krusty Krab. All of the mini-plots are easy to follow and new storylines are followed every episode, so it is a show that does not require a constant commitment to understand what is happening. Spongebob is one of those shows that people can pick up on any episode and understand what is going on. In his life, there is a new adventure and lesson to learn every day. 

Pokemon

One unofficial Olympic sport of this generation originated in the late 90s and early 2000s when children would sit in front of the TV staring at silhouettes of Pokemon and trying to guess which one it was before it was revealed. These elite companions made children feel that having a pet was essential and gave us a sense of deeper appreciation in our real-life companions because we saw an idealized idea of them and what they would sacrifice for us. This series followed Ash Ketchum and his Pokemon, Pikachu. They traveled throughout the lands to help Ketchum become one of the best Pokemon trainers in the world. It became a classic, and Ash and Pikachu are now global household names. It emphasized that the best of anything always came in groups and pairs. Ash and Pikachu were a dynamic duo as were Team Rocket with Meowth, Jessie and James.