In recent years we have learned that one of the main people behind many live action Nickelodeon shows Dan Schneider had a quite a notorious reputation hidden behind him and since said reputation has crawled to the forefront Nickelodeon has rightfully parted ways with him. But this article is not about that. Schneider helped bring so many flavors to Nickelodeon live action shows over the course of several years. Sadly in later years said flavor became bitter. With that being said we still have the best to look back upon. This article ranks all of Schneider’s Nickelodeon shows from worst to best.
10. Henry Danger
Somehow this show is still going. The thing that really puts it as the worst is its over-reliance on the laugh track and not even understanding its use. It’s used here after practically after every line and the jokes are horribly unfunny. One of the people behind show also wrote the Inspector Gadget movie and yet somehow that movie is far better than this. The writing for this show is just downright unoriginal and it really shows through the names given in this show like the town of Swellview and Captain Man. And the characters are pretty much shells of far better characters from better sitcoms. None of them particuarly feel like people or have any down-to-earth feeling in them. And Henry’s sister Piper in particular is annoying.
9. Game Shakers
This is where Dan Schneider’s sitcoms began to go wrong. While not offensively horrid it lacks Schneider’s usual great comedic timing and the characters are largely forgettable. The show feels like a watered down and rehashed version of ICarly and unlike that show, the actors’ performances and the character personalities don’t balance out the weirdness here and in no way leave any impact on the audience. Even the talent of Kel Mitchell still can’t make any of this work.
8. Sam and Cat
This one isn’t so much as insultingly bad as much as largely disappointing because the characters of Sam and Cat were quite the highlights of their respective original shows. But the premise is uninteresting, the writing and humor is nothing short of bland and predictable, all the old characters are reduced to their most basic traits, and the new characters have no distinctiveness to them. This only lasted one season and that’s rather fortunate because the way the episodes were going it would have only gotten worse from there.
Although largely considered bad when it first came out, many Nickelodeon fans have warmed up to this show over the last couple years. On the one hand the plots for the episodes, while they have some good ones, aren’t always easy to get invested in. Some outright stop instead of ending and others have really bad writing. And the show’s finale was outright terrible. But with that being said the characters for Victorious are legitimately enjoyable, the writing gives them some great timeless jokes and heart, and their antics are balanced out perfectly. From the cynical and savage remarks of Jade, the naiveté and child-like innocence of Cat, the awkwardness of Robbie and his puppet Rex, the laid back goofiness of Sikowitz, Andre’s crazy grandmother, and so forth these characters are fun in the ways they work off of each other and give the show its comedic and heartfelt strength.
6. Zoey 101
This show was rather different from the rest of Schneider’s Nickelodeon shows. And it had a couple of things going for it in being different. There was no laugh track and it allowed the humor of the show to be more appreciated. And it was more story-driven. Even though some of the characters weren’t the most relatable or were generic, they all had a legitimate camaraderie together that engulfed all four seasons even as old characters left and new ones came in and they gave the show its own unique goofy humor. All the characters had their own sense of likability to them and the last two seasons in particular gave a lot of heart to the bonds the characters had with one another leading to some heavy hitting episodes such as Chase’s Grandma (which I consider one of the best Schneider episodes of all time) and an unexpected relationship in the last season that even the most hardcore fans of this show didn’t ask for and yet it was still an enjoyable one. The main core was the relationship between Zoey and Chase and even though Chase was mostly in the friendzone that was okay. Him and Zoey were allowed to be special just as being friends and it never felt tedious. The only gripe is that even though the show had a legitimate finale, it was still cancelled when big changes came about and it left a lot of questions regarding the characters that will sadly never be answered. While certainly not one of the best Nickelodeon shows of all time, it’s a show that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Although the stuff in this show regarding the web show sometimes went into too random and awkward territory and there was a terrible arc regarding a relationship between Sam and Freddie, all the characters of this show gave such a comedic, energetic, and light-hearted vibe to it. It had a lot of episodes with all sorts of adventures that would carry throughout the series. All the actors had great and likable chemistry with one another and the characters had some amazing comedic writing given to them, which melded them into believable and well-rounded characters that allows this show to have a special place in the hearts of many.
4. The Amanda Show
Following her time on All That, Amanda Bynes was given her own show and it was great. Even though the show mostly relied on dumb humor the writing clearly had brains in pulling it off in creative ways and the show had a vast array of enjoyable skits from Totally Kyle, Judge Trudy, Mr. Oldman, and others. And Amanda showed herself capable of playing a good variety of characters on each of these sketches.
3. Kenan and Kel
Some things inevitably age but the chemistry of Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell has proven to be everlasting even to this day. Their hilarious chemistry plays perfectly with the fun plots and goofy antics. The characters have unique character traits and their shenanigans are simple but effective given the chemistry the two share. On top of that the show was actually filmed in front of a live audience, which actually means that there can be some genuine emotion and expression. And who can forget Kel’s love for orange soda? These two are an amazing duo giving life to just about even the dullest of writing.
2. All That
This is the Nick shows that was the starting point for several iconic Nick actors and gave way to multiple Nick shows we knows and love today. Like the Amanda Show this relied on stupid humor but with great execution. It had a fantastic cast with several fresh and creative ideas. It lasted a total of 10 seasons and it proved to be a major powerhouse in Nick’s live action humor. The only real nitpick is that it did have a couple of rough spots in the early 2000s and it did take a couple seasons before it fully got off the ground and had a became the powerhouse it is today but once it got off the ground it soared with the eagles. All That is truly all that and more.
1. Drake and Josh
This is a Nickelodeon show that has remained consistently amazing throughout the entirety of its run. Drake and Josh have incredible chemistry and although the characters were two completely opposite sides of the social spectrum they gave a fresh life to this cliché. They still had legitimate common ground and both always had a sense of likability to them in just about every scenario they got caught up in. Not only was their banter enjoyable but also when they teamed up it was awesome. Through all the comedy the two had there was still enough to show that they felt like brothers. The episode where they sing Soul Man at the talent show pretty much showcases this at its peak. There were also flashbacks of previous episodes showing the brotherly love they had for one another in the Dr. Phyllis episode. And Drake and Josh would get comeuppance for their actions if they got into mischief. The show didn’t just allow them to get off the hook. These two have writing for them that has gone down in Nickelodeon history. There is nary a line of dialogue that has not come off as creative and brilliant.
How do you rank Schneider’s Nick shows? Any rankings you agree or disagree with? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.