Sunday, June 11, 2017

So It's Come to This II: Nickelodeon's Sizzlin' Summer Camp Special

You ever thought about killing a bunch of kids at a campsite?

You may or may not remember this, but in December 2015, I did a review of Nickelodeon's Ho Ho Holidays. It was a Christmas special where Nickelodeon stars (playing themselves for some stupid reason) get invited to a holiday party and end up being trapped inside the house by Modern Family's Rico Rodriguez because all he wanted was to sing with them. I'm not kidding. That was actually a thing that happened, and we all deserve a serious beating for letting it happen. It was one of the most vile, asinine excuses for children's entertainment that I had ever seen in my life. At the time, I thought about bludgeoning myself with some kind of weapon, or stabbing my eyes out with a fork so I would never have to witness something like that ever again.

But here's the thing. I hate myself, and I'm trying to get that review count up again so I thought it would be a great idea to talk about another one of these horrifying specials. Apparently, there have been four of these specials in total, and I never want to subject myself or anyone reading this blog to the unholy rant that will ensue if I ever gaze upon the other two. It actually pisses me off that the network decided to keep making these. Are they cheap? Are they openly admitting to us that they hate their audience? Are they letting us know that the end is near? Probably. I'm not counting out any of those possibilities. But before I begin, I just want to leave you guys with the following lyrics so I don't get accused of watching this crap out of enjoyment:

Mike is back, blog posts told like that
Comments acting like I love these shows
Like I told you "watch the shows," no, Mike did that
So hopefully, you won't have to go through that

Anyway, this special takes place during the summertime at Camp Nickelodeon, where a group of Nickelodeon stars (Jack Griffo, Jade Pettyjohn, Mace Coronel, Lizzy Greene, Casey Simpson, Kyla Drew Simmons, and Maya Le Clark) go to have some everyday, vanilla, all-American fun. However, they start noticing strange occurrences around the campsite like an enormous glove being left behind and their supplies destroyed. They believe it to be the work of the monster Bighand (played by Daniella Monet for some reason), but once they realize Bighand is not the enemy, they team up with her to stop........the Skunk Monster.

Okay, I feel like I just embarrassed myself by writing that. The weird thing is that I expected everything about this special to leave me in tears and waking up in the middle of the night screaming, but only half of it did that. I'll explain later. The main plot wasn't anywhere near as aggravating as the Christmas one, but it was just excruciatingly slow and boring. That's pretty much it. The plot just starts with them going camping, unfunny jokes are made throughout, they think Bighand is out there, they find out who the real monster is, and they get them. Not much else happens. It's just you waiting for something to happen that might be remotely exciting and it never does. Kinda like waiting for Bill Maher to actually be apologetic that he used the n-word on his show.


I find it bizarre how with a plot like a strange monster lurking around the campsite and some kids having to figure it out, it would be this uninteresting and depressing. Maybe it's the people they chose for this. I mean, I like Jack, but it's just him messing around with the Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn guys for 44 minutes, and none of them have that kind of charisma or stage presence to make this work. Oh yeah, they also have Jade from School of Rock and Maya from The Thundermans but they don't elevate this plot at all. They try really hard to give Jade the role as the funny guy but it doesn't work at all because her material is awful. It's just a bunch of jokes about how she packed way too many unnecessary items with her (look for the Kenan & Kel episode "Doing Things the Hemingway" if you want to see an entertaining version of this). Maybe if they put Jace Norman or something here, it would be funnier. But seriously, of all the actors and actresses at your disposal, you chose these guys? I don't get it.

Okay, so the main plot didn't really make an impression on me. But it was the segments, the absolutely offensive segments, that made this special go all the way to the unforgiving depths of hell. You know what I'm talking about. The parts where the mentally disabled elves transition into a completely different story that is unrelated to the main plot, kills time, and just serves as a constant reminder that this is seriously what qualifies for children's entertainment in 2017. I'm beside myself trying to figure out why they thought these segments were so hilarious, they brought them back in every other special. And I know they are in the other specials too, but unless I'm getting paid or taken out to dinner afterwards, I'm never disrespecting my eyes like that. Every segment here is just relentlessly terrible, and I'm having a hard time figuring out which one was the worst. The first segment involved Jace Norman working at an ice cream shop and trying to scoop up a sample for JoJo Siwa (I'm still not entirely sure how she was able to acquire enough fame to get to this point) to try. The ice cream is really hard and Jace can't get through it, to the point where he has to use dynamite to make the ice cream melt. JoJo then says that she doesn't have taste buds so everything tastes exactly the same.

The next segment is called "Are You Smarter Than a Coconut?," and involves a woman unable to answer the same question multiple times when asked, because she's stupid and the only joke is that it's stupid. The third segment made me wish I was dead. It was definitely one of the absolute worst things I have ever had the misfortune of watching, and made me long for the day that Nickelodeon was taken out back like Old Yeller. It involved Kira Kosarin rapping/singing about her brother being a complete nuisance at the beach. Did you ever want to hear Kira Kosarin rap? Or sing such an awful tune like she did? I know I didn't. The worst part is that Kira actually can sing, so why give her such garbage like an annoying guy at the beach and make it into some EDM/hip hop dumpster fire? You want to hear a good rap song about the summertime? Go listen to "Summertime" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. It will make you forget that this special existed.

The last segment is probably the least infuriating, but at that point, anything it did would have made me want to spit on it. It involves a cook off that has absolutely nothing to do with the actual plot or summer in general. The joke is that Kira Kosarin's character keeps making these elaborate dishes and should win first prize, but the mayor just says that everyone's a winner and gives everyone (even the host of the cook off) a blue ribbon. These segments are the result of people wanting All That back, but they have no idea what made All That work or how to write for sketch comedy in any way, shape, or form.

Ummm...hi. Anyway, it seems like Mike's done with this and to avoid the problem we've been having with posts being deleted I'm going to go ahead and publish it now. Besides, it's fun to have a running dialogue while in progress! Just look at our friends at Girl Meets World Reviewed!

And honestly...I'm actually a little confused as to why Mike's even reviewing this. Really, and let me explain myself with this one. I mean, don't get me wrong it's an awesome, very well-written review, so I appreciate that he did go through the trouble and the torture but after the Ho-Ho-Holidays Special, after the Valentine's Special whatever that was called, I think it's pretty clear what you're getting into. And that is: ...pretty much what you'd expect from a typical Henry Danger episode or Game Shakers episode, except Jim Bellinger (It's Artie!) and Audrey Whitby are in it because, I dunno, Liv and Maddie ended so they need to be on kids' TV somewhere? I mean I like them so I'm not complaining, but it's really a current-era Dan Schneider show in vignette form where all the actors play the characters they're mostly associated with except they use their real names for some reason.Which is weird because it's a Heath Seifert and Kevin Kopelow show, and our second-to-most-recent review besides this one was Kenan and Kel so, um...well that also had Dan Schneider so.


Also how appropriate that they have both actresses (Daniella Monet and JoJo Siwa) who apparently spend so much time at Nickelodeon Studios I'm convinced they literally live there. And hey, I laughed here and there.

But hey, there's always Andi Mack, right? And we'll always have the imagery of Aiden Gallagher dragging his tongue all over Isabella Monier who's now a major movie star - I'm not making this up, kiddies, this is something Nickelodeon actually aired, though dialogue only - and we'll always wonder if Siebert and Kopelow didn't just let Dan Schneider have that one bit to himself.

I'm only a few years older than Isabela Moner and I'm already a little disturbed by how adult she looks now. I don't know, I saw her at the Kids Choice Awards and I was having a hard time figuring out who that was.

I saw a commercial for this special and knew it would be terrible. Like, absolutely, soul-crushingly terrible. But I knew it would make a great review and I wanted to see how it compared to the first special. I think this one is worse because it feels like a ripoff of the first one. I don't know how low the bar is that you have to feel the need to rip off something so horrible, but it definitely felt like they were out of ideas and put all their energy into making you want to blow your brains out with the segments. At least with the first one, it was deliberately trying to piss you off. This one is just more of the same, and with that, I will never waste my time or yours by doing another review of these.

I need to bring back the Quest this summer. There are still plenty of other subpar shows out there that need the attention.


  1. I think silly things with the actors playing themselves should be reserved for bumpers in between shows or skits while they host an actual program, or something like that. I think this idea is innocent enough, but was the Christmas enough of a hit to warrant 4 of these now?

    (Weird how the Halloween one was only a half hour rather than a full hour).

    Haven't seen a single one of them but this one has Kira Kosarin in beach wear so A+/5.

  2. Because she got a mention, Daniella Monet to me will always be the actress who played the Elizabeth Kornheiser role in "Listen Up!". #MrTony

    1. Hah, I remember that show! ...from a year ago when there was a time I couldn't sleep and randomly found reruns on, TBS or something?


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