Drake and Josh (2004-2008)
Created: Sat Mar 20 21:36:58 2010 | Last modified: Sat Mar 20 21:36:58 2010
Starring: Drake Bell, Josh Peck, Miranda Cosgrove
Produced by: Nickelodeon
External Link: IMDb
Perhaps it would be unfair to term Drake and Josh as the "white" version of Kenan and Kel. Although there are huge similarities between the two shows, it must be said that Drake and Josh stands out as a separate entity with its own brand of humour and entertainment. I must admit though that Drake and Josh does not always sparkle in the comedy aspect.
Drake Parker and Josh Nichols become step-brothers when their single parents get married to each other. There is a world of a difference between Drake and Josh. Drake is the "cool" guy, always hanging out with girls, enjoying life to its fullest and generally lacking in intellect, while Josh is the fat, nerdy type who always likes reading and books and behaves responsibly. Thrown in the mix is Drake's younger sister, Megan Parker (played by Miranda Cosgrove) - a young devil whose sole purpose in life seems to be to torment her brothers using a variety of high-tech (and low tech) gadgets at her disposal.
The episodes vary a lot from mildly interesting to extremely humourous, but somehow lacks depth. Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that there are no variations on a common theme and the characters involved hardly evolve as the series goes on. Another aspect is that there seems to be no sense of natural justice that prevails in the storylines - Josh always suffers in spite of being the "good guy" and Drake always seems to get away with most things. Again, the little sister always manages to successfully pull off yet another prank against her brothers and it becomes quite boring.
It would be interesting to compare Drake and Josh with Kenan and Kel. First of all, Kenan and Kel is meant to be an all-out, over-the-top comedy show while Drake and Josh seems to be stuck somewhere between a family entertainment show and a laughter riot. I think one of the problems with Drake and Josh is that the producers are stuck in a kind of image trap: if they make it too similar to Kenan and Kel, there will be inevitable comparisons. And yet, if the humour angle is somewhat toned down, the show doesn't have enough depth to keep it really involved. And to be fair, neither Drake Bell nor Josh Peck are really stand-up comedians like Kenan Thompson or Kel Mitchell. Neither are very good at emoting and at times, their acting really comes apart in scenes which demand some emoting. And the presence of a tormenting little sister who never gets her desserts is another irritation for the viewer.
I think it would be fair to say that Drake and Josh is a fairly decent show, in parts. It doesn't have too much appeal to slightly older audiences and yet, it's not entirely a kid's comedy programme either. Maybe there lies the problem: it's doesn't seem to be targetted at any particular class of viewer and hence falls flat in trying to cover all the bases.