Julie and the Phantoms: Marking a Turning Point in the Arc of Children’s TV
I originally clicked on Julie and the Phantoms out of curiosity. I wanted to see what G-rated programming in 2020 looked like, figuring I’d click out after 5-10 minutes or so. While I enjoy rewatching Mulan (the animated film) or Wizards of Waverly Place as much as your average Disney-lover, I felt skeptical of my ability to enjoy a new children’s show — especially without nostalgia to keep me engaged.
After witnessing modern cinematic disasters like Bizaardvark (2016-2019), I had lost faith in the genre. With cable TV viewership among children on the decline, streaming services like Netflix have been chambering to fill the niche market of children’s television. I worried new shows would not live up to the past hype of iconic 2000s shows like Wizards of Waverly Place and iCarly. However, Julie and the Phantoms goes beyond filling a void in the children’s TV. Through its family-centered themes and '90s nostalgia, the show attracts viewers of all ages, especially bridging the generation gap between parents and children.
But Julie and the Phantoms had me hooked from the start, when a '90s rock intro blared from the first scene. The costumes, the banter, the relatable moments — even the music (bop after bop after bop) — all immaculate. Julie and the Phantoms really hits the mark when it comes to portraying a narrative that’s engaging and relevant to all.