Category Archives: Nickelodeon


Cooper Barnes as Ray, Jace Norman as Henry, and Riele Downs as Charlotte on "Henry Danger"

Cooper Barnes as Ray, Jace Norman as Henry, and Riele Downs as Charlotte on “Henry Danger”

Last week’s episode began with a somewhat obscure reference to the classic holiday chestnut, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” A girl comes into the shop and tries out a piano only to have Ray really lose it with a lame Jimmy Stewart impersonation. Ray flips out. Charlotte pleads for him to get a grip for the sake of the children. And then the moment is gone. Very funny. If you were a fan of the offbeat humor of “iCarly,” then you’ll love this new show, “Henry Danger,” from the same creator. Dan Schneider is the co-creator with Dana Olsen. And you’ll know Dana Olsen from his writing for the movies, “George of the Jungle” and “Inspector Gadget.” If you’re new to “Henry Danger,” or if you’re already a fan, read on. This is something very different.

Ray Bradbury was fond of saying that he read every genre. And he was especially keen on keeping up with books for young readers. In that spirit, I present to you, “Henry Danger,” one of the smartest shows on television, whatever your age. This is on Nickelodeon and, for the purposes of this review, we’ll consider what I’ll conveniently call, “kid humor.” Now, here’s the thing, kid humor is awesome and pretty darn universal.

Kids, let’s just say, are closer to knowing what they want than adults. It seems like they understand things, like a sense of humor, at a purer level. They appreciate a well-constructed sight gag right along with an ironic aside and that’s that. Kids know all the tropes. They know what adults find funny better than some adults realize. At the end of the day, kids get a good joke better than some older folk. Kids will accept something funny at a highly sophisticated level, whether it’s silly or surreal, or preferably both at the same time.

What “Henry Danger” does is live right in that kid humor zone. The creative team understands. They understand things like beloved characters are larger-than-life and can also suddenly explode. They appreciate that kids understand the great duality: fiction can be more real that everyday life while, at the same time, it’s also just fiction. There are numerous examples of how the show relishes breaking the fourth wall, as they say. Part of the fun comes from inverting and subverting. For starters, this is a wonderfully deadpan and absurd send-up of superheroes. Our superhero is simply known as Captain Man (played by Cooper Barnes) and his secret lair is, wait for it…the Man Cave.

Henry-Danger Cooper-Barnes

Captain Man’s origin story is a perfect satire of all origin stories. Little Ray was simply too close to a crazy experiment that his mad scientist father was conducting. An accident led to Ray becoming indestructible. And this led to a relatively easy-going career as the superhero protector of the small town of Swellview. And, just as things started to get a little hectic, Ray hired a teenager, Henry Hart (played by Jace Norman), to be his assistant, aka Kid Danger. Both Cooper Barnes and Jace Norman exude a winning charm and exemplify what makes this show so smooth and fun to watch. Rounding out the inner circle are Henry’s closest friends, Charlotte (played by Riele Downs) and Jasper (played by Sean Ryan Fox). Everyone on the show contributes to a particularly zany vibe.

The first rule of comedy is that nothing is sacred. Kids witness all too often the strained looks of concern from adults. And kids know there’s hardly any reason for all the worry. Are we really having a crisis, mom? No, actually, we’re not. Maybe that’s why Henry’s parents (played by Kelly Sullivan and Jeffrey Nicholas Brown) are so utterly clueless. A pure act of rebellion from the writers! And when Henry’s little sister, Piper, (played by Ella Anderson) acts up and gives everyone a hard time with her rudeness and crazy demands, what should Henry do? Well, he could always take his nifty raygun, entrusted to him by Captain Man, and knock his sister out. Reasonable? No, but funny!

We are told that kids hunger for resolution. But have you asked a kid lately what he or she hungers for? When it comes to comedy, what’s most funny is the opposite of resolution. Just as the final scene is set to lull us back into a sense of security, that’s a perfect time to have things topple over. In one episode, the running gag is that no one is safe from falling off a rooftop, even after the last precaution is supposed to be in place. In another episode, Captain Man and Kid Danger have botched things up so badly with a neighborhood father and son that the only solution is to wipe away their memories and leave them in an alley. Disturbing? Yes, but funny!

It’s a combination of the writing and the particular actors. The writing is bubbling with irreverence and the actors run with the sophisticated absurd humor. The energy of the cast in undeniable. The chemistry is pitch perfect. It’s simply one of the smartest shows on television. You can see it Saturday at 8pm/7 central, on Nickelodeon. For more details, visit our friends at Nickelodeon right here.


And for a sneak peek at the next episode, “Elevator Kiss,” on this Saturday, visit Dan Schneider’s website right here.


Filed under Dan Schneider, Dana Olsen, Nickelodeon, Superheroes, Television



You step into the world of The Legend of Korra and you enter into something stellar. This is a monumental work in animation. Nickelodeon has done itself proud. I am sure that this is going to strike a chord with anyone who enjoys a vast and epic adventure. This fourth season, “The Legend of Korra – Book Four: Balance,” brings everything to a conclusion and it is available on Blu-ray and DVD as of March 10, 2015.

Where to begin? Well, for fans and newcomers alike, this last collection works so well that it stands on its own. Each episode rings true as we follow the celebrated Avatar on her path of self-discovery. Korra has come out of the fight badly wounded and she must find the strength to recover, and even to forgive. She’s on her own, alone and a little lost. Meanwhile, plenty takes place in her absence. Left to her own devices, Kuvira has exploited an opportunity to seize power and she has the Earth Kingdom in her sights.

The Legend of Korra collectible poster inside DVD/Blu-ray for Book Four: Balance

The Legend of Korra collectible poster inside DVD/Blu-ray for Book Four: Balance

Getting to hear some of the creative team on the commentary, including co-creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, you get a sense of the hard work involved in bringing The Legend of Korra to life. It’s a team effort all the way. And it’s a very thoughtful effort. Going through all 13 episodes, there isn’t a missed beat or anything I’d want to see taken out. It’s quality throughout from the musical score to special effects to, of course, the voice talent. Did you know that the stellar roster includes Academy Award winning actor J.K. Simmons? Yes, he plays a pivotal role as Tenzin. Well, this is one of those shows you’ll love being immersed in.

It’s a panoramic stage filled with a variety of vital characters. There’s a great balance of personal struggles mixed with intrigue, humor, and action. For instance, Prince Wu, our hapless monarch, and Kuvira, our devilish villain don’t mix very well to often humorous effect. And, Korra’s journey proves to be filled with lots of twists and turns. It’s about finding one’s way. Given time, she will come closer to seeing who she really is.

The Legend of Korra is a wonderful opportunity for a writer to say a lot about life and what it takes to do great things. You can view this on many levels. Ultimately, this is a crowning achievement for Nickelodeon. You’ll want to get your copy now. You can start with this last collection and work your way back. As I say, the stories stand alone, down to each episode, beautifully. For more details, visit our friends at Nickelodeon right here. You can also buy “The Legend of Korra – Book Four: Balance” from Amazon right here.


Filed under animation, Nickelodeon, pop culture

Nickelodeon’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” Book Hits #1 on New York Times Best Sellers List


Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rift, Part 1,” the Nickelodeon and Dark Horse graphic novel, hits #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List.

This marks the 5th time that Dark Horse Avatar Graphic Novels claim the top spot. A key thing to note for devoted comics followers: this book is written and drawn by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru.

Details follow:

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Filed under Avatar: The Last Airbender, Comics, Comics News, Dark Horse Comics, Nickelodeon

‘Turtles’ Co-Creator Adds His Voice To New Series On Nickelodeon

Kevin Eastman

Kevin Eastman

Many cartoonists have an interest in theater and acting. It’s a natural extension of performing on the page. So, it makes sense for Kevin Eastman, the co-creator of one of the most dramatic teams of cartoon characters, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to expand on his talents. Kevin Eastman will make his voice-acting debut on the TMNT animated series this Sunday, March 2 on Nickelodeon.

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Filed under animation, Comics, Kevin Eastman, Nickelodeon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles



If you’ve been watching the hit show, “Alien Dawn,” on Nicktoons, then you know all about the mysterious character, Stella, played by Zineb Oukach. If you’re new to it, you’ll want to check it out here. And you’ll want to catch up with Zineb Oukach. Her next role is in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” in theaters November 15, 2013. You can view details here.

“Alien Dawn” is a wonderful sci-fi show for all ages that gives you a healthy dose of adventure involving X-Files-type conspiracies and aliens from outer space. Keeping it real and relatable is a great cast for this character-driven show. There’s Cameron (played by Aaron Sauter); his best pal, Boris (played by Kenny Sosnowski); his close friend, Lucy (played by Christina Caradona); and his rival, Pierce (played by Nick Wincenc). Add to the mix, Stella, who is, and isn’t, what she seems. It’s pretty crazy. And definitely entertaining.

Zineb is a thoughtful, down-to-earth soul, who is also very passionate and full of energy. It was a pleasure to get a chance to interview her. She shares with us her growing up in Casablanca, her study of acting in Paris, and her taste for science fiction and action movies. Don’t be surprised if you should find her in one of your favorite action movies in the future. For now, she has another movie project she’s working on and, of course, she is looking forward to “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Our interview is just below:

Visit Zineb are her website here.

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Filed under Alien Dawn, Entertainment, Martin Scorsese, movies, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Sci-Fi, science fiction, Television, Zineb Oukach

INTERVIEW: “ALIEN DAWN” Creator, Larry Schwarz



“Alien Dawn” is the hot new sci-fi thriller on Nicktoons. Here is an interview with the show’s creator, Larry Schwarz. We talk about how the show originated and a whole lot more including the secret life of teens, asteroids, the hero’s journey, and the wonderful world of New York City. “Alien Dawn” takes you on a roller coaster ride as 16-year-old Cameron Turner quite literally finds the fate of the world on his shoulders. His dad has gone missing and he knows he didn’t just run out on his family. This is the thing, Cameron’s dad, Brad, is an astronaut hero who knows too much. He’s done his best to encrypt secret messages to his son in the graphic novels he created. With the help of his friends, Cameron might just be able to find his dad unless he digs too deep and is never heard from again himself.

Here is our podcast interview:


“Alien Dawn” awaits you. Tune in to Nicktoons on Fridays, 10 pm EST/ 7 pm PST, and you can get more info at Nicktoons here.

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Filed under Comics, Entertainment, Interviews, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, science fiction, Television

WATCH: ALIEN DAWN on Nicktoons, Fridays, 10 PM EST/ 7 PM PST


Comics Grinder recommends a new show on Nicktoons that has it all: skateboarding teens in NYC who share one big problem that will require a huge leap of faith. You see, one of them is missing their dad. The only way they’re going to find him is to carefully study for clues through the pages of the comic book series he created. And this involves extraterrestrials in a very big way.

Yeah buddy, somebody’s dad is missing. You don’t think these guys are going to do whatever it takes to find him? Of course, they are. Even if their lives turn into something from “The X-Files.”

Press release follows:

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Filed under Comics, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, science fiction, Television