Jul 1, 2018

Bizaardvark: Bizaare Beefcake

I find it interesting that many of the teencoms broadcast on television today are about post-television media: streaming series, web-based series, video games, various techno-devices that the older generation finds disconcerting (in my day, you stared at a box and liked it!).

The Disney Channel's Bizaardvark is about two teen girls, Frankie and Paige (Madison Hu, Olivia Rodrigo) who upload funny videos to their vlog (video blog).  Sounds like ICarly so far.

But they get so many subscribers that they are invited to join Vuuugle Studios, where they can upload professionally-made videos to their internet channel, Bizaardvark.

So it's more of a workplace comedy, with lots of crazy coworkers (other internet video uploaders).

 1. During the first two seasons, internet celebrity Jake Paul (top photo) played Dirk Mann, host of Dare Me Bro, where he takes dares from subscribers.  But Paul's on-screen controversies got him fired, so he was replaced by Kirk Mann (Logan Paul).

There are nude photos of Jake Paul on Tales of West Hollywood.

2. Amelia Duckworth (DeVore Ledridge) hosts Perfect Perfection, offering fashion tips, along with her assistant, Angelo (Jimmy Fowlie, left).  He dropped out of medical school in order to join her team; apparently the pay is quite good.

3. Viking Guy (Adam Haas Hunter) hosts Live Like a Viking.

4. Rodney (Elie Samouhi) hosts What's in My Hair

5. Victor (Calum Worthy, left) hosts an unnamed prank show, along with his assistant, Teddy (Nick Galarza, below).

6. Horse Face Guy (Ross Kubelak) is a very muscular guy in a yellow tank top and horse mask.  He doesn't speak.  No one knows what channel he hosts.

The studio is run by Liam (Jonathan McClain), son of the owner, who appears only as a robotic tv screen.  He seems to have a crush on Horse Face Guy.

There are also real world characters:

1. Bernie (Ethan Wacker, left) is the girls' best friend and agent.  He also has a gay-subtext bromance with Dirk Mann.

2. Belissa (Maya Jade Frank) runs the fansite I Heart Vark. A website devoted to a website?  My head is spinning, but I guess kids understand it.

3. Dr. Wong (Tom Choi), Frankie's father.

No explicit gay characters, but a lot of subtexts, which is standard for Nickelodeon shows.  And a lot of beefcake.


  1. "Computers are cool" is an old kids' show trope. I'd argue the movie The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes began said trope. In the 80s, computers being cool was part of every action cartoon unless it was set in a historical or maybe fantastic setting. (Even then...) In the 90s, we had Reboot, and something called an "information superhighway"? I don't know what that is, but as I've never heard an IT professional use that term, but kids' shows used it all the time, I assume it's fictional. In the aughts, cheaper cell phones mean it and the "teenagers love phones" trope (vintage 1980 at least) had a baby. Which is why you get kids' shows about blogging today.

    My own theory is that old people don't get newer technologies, younger people just see it as mundane, and so Futurama really deconstructed it in an earlier episode, Fry being impressed by everyday things like going to the moon. (At the same time, Fry could find the site of the original moon landing, so don't count the thousand year old who is his own grandfather out yet.)

  2. Ok, I fixed the numbering, and I decided that web vlog channel titles should be in italics, like the titles of traditional tv series.


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