My coworkers keep trying to get me to crack open Twilight, but I have no time to devote to the vampire series. Filling the young adult pop culture void for me (especially with Gossip Girl gone until September) is the N, Nickelodeon’s wiser, saucier relative. Its days are filled with a winning combination of original programming, old-school favorites, and Canadian teen soap operas — enough to keep me and my DVR abuzz through the wasteland that is August TV.
For me, it started with an episode of Degrassi. If the hit Canadian show allowed me to relive my youth in 30-minute blocks, then Beyond the Break was more about entertaining a fantasy — a fantasy that, for this Syracuse, New York, native, meant living vicariously through a bunch of 20-year-old surfers in Hawaii. About a Girl and The Best Years covered college, and South of Nowhere was there in case I needed to fantasize about roaming my high school halls, gossiping and giggling once more.
Special to their summer lineup, the N has taken the cue from major networks and introduced viewers to fresh reality TV show competitions: Queen Bees (pictured) features seven mean girls that would make the Plastics cringe; while in The N’s Student Body, groups of overweight students from rival schools compete to lose weight and stay healthy. With Laila Ali as the host with a Cat Deeley-like compassion for the contestants, you’ll feel their plight and the burn from that last lap.
If you don’t have a TV package that allows you instant access to Degrassi and friends, you can watch full episodes of many of the shows on www.The-N.com. Are any of my TV-aholic PWers as smitten as I am with the network? I know there are legions of Degrassi-philes out there — has your interest in that show spurred on a similar love affair with the N?