Disney Channel is a television channel known for its ties to Disney, and its original programming tuned to children. Alright, it's mostly known as the cable babysitter, and the birthplace of the Jonas Bros. But they also show movies now and again.
Disney Channel was started back in an odd, almost unreal time before Return of the Jedi or Wrestlemania, back when Disney wasn't an automatic child-star-turned-cultural-punchline machine who relished in destroying cherished animation sequences with the addition of Nicholas Cage and Jerry Bruckheimer.
Early programming included Paddington Bear, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and Kids Incorporated. Kids incorporated was a musical sitcom, a result of dangerous and morally ambiguous research to see if these two genres could survive if meshed into one horrifying monstrosity. The show became the launching point for the careers of actress Jennifer Love Hewitt and singer-impersonator Fergie. The urge to make a Let's Get it Started joke is unbearable.
Then, in 1989, came The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, a revival of Disney's 1950's variety show, launching the careers of Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and pretty much everyone else who made sure that music, as an art form, wouldn't survive beyond the 90's.
Comedy, however, is immortal.
During the late 90's, DInsey Channel gained more viewers by airing shows like Zorro and movies like Love Bug, then, like Food and Cartoon Networks before it, began airing exclusively-channel-created content. Flash Foraward was the first original show aired, and featured two or more lifelong friends dealing with quirky teachers, puberty, and burdgeoning romance based on childhood friendships. This premise would go on to feature in literally every show Disney Channel would ever produce. Ever. No, I'm not exaggerating. At all.
Other early shows include:
The Famous Jett Jackson
Think Hannah Montana, minus the secret identity and starring the guy who played Cyborg in Smallville in perhaps the saddest high point in any career.
Pictured: The bastard child of the forces of Gay and Awesome.
Are You Afraid of the Dark, except occasionally scary.
A group of friends use a magical jersey to possess famous athletes, solving their life's problems while theoretically ruining the lives of innocent people through demonic possession. Sure it's cute when a bunch of pre-teens do it, but when one fallen hellspawn does it, the priest gets called.
A quirky, family-based sitcom known for catapulting the career of Shia LaBeouf, lead actor of the Transformers movie franchise. Thus, Disney Channel is responsible for the official death of geekdom.
Birthplace of Hilary Duff's career, proving that even a channel responsible for Shia LaDouche can't be all bad.
Seriously, between this and Christy Carlson Romano, I feel like a douce.
Starting in 1998, Movie Surfers is a group of kids who hype upcoming Disney films. Yes, even The Shaggy Dog.
During this time, Disney Channel produced several original movies, but quite frankly, the premise for any one of those films is funnier than anything that could be written about them.
Recently, Disney Channel has forgone any idea that it's a family-friendly, watch-with-your-kids network, and settled comfortably in the role of making sure your kids will never, ever shut up about the Jonas Brothers.
Okay, so Belle and Eric Matthews are a crime-fighting team aided by a naked mole rat with the voice of Bart Simpson and the kid from smart guy. Said team fights Bender, Joan of Arc, Professor Utonium, Guru Pathik, Khan, Remy the Rat, Sookie St. James, Reese, Deputy Trudy Wiegel, and the blond girl from High School Musical, all while receiving advice from Harvey Birdman and Monica and Ross's dad on Friends, and being tormented by twin brothers who grow up to be Freddie from Scooby-Doo. That sentence took a half-hour of Wikipedia research.
May God forgive our transgressions.
That's So Raven
So, the little girl from The Cosby Show grew up, and has psychic powers that don't really work? Who greenlights this shit?
Dave the Barbarian, Phil of the Future, Brandy & Mr. Whiskers, American Dragon: Jake Long, The Buzz on Maggie, The Emperor's New School, The Replacements.
Ugggggggggggghhhhhhhhhh. Jesus H. Squaredancing Christ, read a book, kids! Please! The future depends on it!
The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
A show featuring the twins who played Ross's son on Friends, who live in a hotel. Alright, Disney Channel: aside from some suprisingly sophisticated Marx brothers homage sequences, give me one good reason I shouldn't tear this show to itty-bitty pieces, and shit on the pile.
Well played, Disney Channel. Well played.
Cory in the House
A spin-off featuring the two best characters from That's so Raven, which is kinda like being the two fastest cashiers at Wal-Mart. Add in a slew of vapid characters and a plot involving the White House, and Elektra is no longer the worst spin-off of all time.
Wizards of Waverly Place, Sonny With a Chance, JONAS
You know, there are other channels on TV. Food Network, for instance. Alton Brown is a genius. And Giada De Laurentiis is a babe. Plus, you can learn how to cook. I'm just saying, you have options.
Phines and Ferb
It features brothers who make Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory look like Larry the Cable Guy, and a secret detective platypus fighting an evil German scientist who is prone to breaking into song. This show is amazing.
What happened, Billy Ray Cyrus? The "Achey-Breaky Heart" cash-train finally derail? You know, I'd have more, but what can I say on this site about this show that hasn't already earned Cracked several cease and decist letters.
This man is on a popular show, during a recession. Thousands of Americans unemployed. But not him.
Suite Life on Deck
Suite Life of Zack and Cody... on a boat. Yep. Alright, Disney Channel, game on.
No. Not this time. Sure, movies like Transformers 2 and Charlies Angels can get away with the "but there's a hot young chick" defense, but you're a children's network, originally designed to allow parents to watch television with their children, as a family bonding activity. These girls are all too old to be appreciated by the young kids, and too young to be legally attractive to any older siblings and parents who might wanna watch TV with the little ones. It just makes it harder to bond with your kids when they keep screaming "Hannah Montana" in your ear until you cough up money for yet another flash-in-the-pan CD. Leave the hot girls to Micheal Bay, and for God's sake, lay off the "celebrity living like a normal kid" thing. That horse is dead.
You may have noticed I didn't mention High School Musical that much. 1. The franchise really deserves its own Topic. 2. I'm just... so tired.