There’s honestly no questioning that Nickelodeon has contributed far more in the animation department than live action when it comes to television. But there have been multiple live action Nick shows with multiple adventures that have proven to be everlasting. Sadly much like in the animation department every live action Nickelodeon show has had at least one bad episode. This article takes a look at the worst episodes in what are otherwise good live action Nick shows.
Theatre Thug-Drake and Josh
In this episode Josh plays a wanted criminal known as the Theatre Thug in a reenactment on FBI’s most wanted and ends up being mistaken for the real guy and gets arrested multiple times. In all fairness this episode does give us some iconic lines from the show such as the one below. And there are some moments of humor. But really this episode is just downright cruel to Josh with several people being so stupid as to not recognize Josh from the real criminal and Drake mostly doing nothing to save his brother. It’s just upsetting particularly towards the end when Drake and Josh encounter and manage to pin down the real guy at the Premiere and Josh still gets arrested by the cops with the real guy getting off scot-free despite that the real Theatre Thug was nearby. This episode is just needlessly cruel and despite having some clever humor in some spots it just has no real pay off.
Anger Management-Zoey 101
This episode is probably one of the biggest mistakes the series made. In it Zoey’s younger brother, Dustin starts working as Logan’s personal assistant to make money to buy his mother a birthday present much to his sister’s dismay. In the process Dustin gets held up in juggling multiple tasks leading Logan to leave an irate voicemail on his phone. After showing it to Zoey and the other boys, James leaks it on the Internet causing everyone to hear it and an enraged Dean Rivers to sentence Logan to two months of anger management classes. The voicemail itself is over-the-top angry and feels very out of character for Logan but that’s not the only problem with this episode. Logan cuts a deal that if he can go two weeks without getting angry with anyone he doesn’t have to go back. This leads Zoey and Dustin to deliberately sabotage Logan repeatedly into getting angry in over-the-top ways that would probably make anyone angry. I don’t mind the concept of this episode and in theory it could have worked into developing Logan’s nicer side which he started to show in subsequent episodes when he began dating Quinn (one of the series’ better aspects). But this episode just really just does nothing and even the ending with Logan ending up going back to anger management after blowing up at Zoey and Dustin (after they blow up him funnily enough) just feels empty and the events of this episode never come into play again. Just about everyone feels unlikable in this episode even with the subplot regarding Lola and Quinn.
While I do like this series a lot, there are a couple of ICarly episodes that are quite terrible. This however is among the worst of them. In this episode Freddie reveals his dislike for Fred (Lucas Cruikshank) videos during an ICarly webcast causing Lucas to quit making videos. Ignoring the fact that the character of Fred is already annoying to begin with, this leads Freddie gets unjustly abused by multiple peers including his friends simply for voicing his opinion and Freddie is ultimately forced into taking back his opinion. Carly and Sam really show no care towards Freddie getting emotionally and physically hurt by all this. It also gives a really bad impression of hardcore fans as in the episode they make an anti-ICarly website simply because of one small criticism. There’s also a subplot regarding Spencer and a magic meatball and it does get a funny laugh including this one joke below. But overall there are far better episodes of this show that have far more humor and heart.
Tori Gets Stuck-Victorious
This was a tough one to pick between this and Brain Squeezers. At the end though this one won because Brain Squeezers didn’t really start to go downhill until the game show itself in the second half of the episode and for the first few minutes the brutal wackiness did get a laugh. This one however is just downright unpleasant (and in some ways terrifying particularly with the portions showing blood). In it, Tori gets selected to play the lead in Sikowitz’s latest play leaving an infuriated Jade as an understudy. Jade repeatedly tries to steal Tori’s part to the point of outright going through her medical records, delivering her bush daisies (which Tori is allergic to), and stealing her blood when Tori has to donate blood to a hospital-ridden Robbie. This episode really made Jade into nothing more than a one-dimensional jerk when multiple prior episodes have shown multiple layers to her. It really feels out of character as despite Jade’s dislike for Tori she always had lines she wouldn’t cross. Here however she almost outright kills Tori. Jade is hands down my personal favorite character in Victorious and it’s rather upsetting to see her portrayed like this given that she’s always had a heart beneath her mean exterior in just about every episode.
Are there any other bad episodes of otherwise good live action Nick shows? Any you disagree with? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!