A (Somewhat) In Depth Analysis On Why (And How) Danny Phantom Should Go Ghost Again
Part One - Three Possibilities
There are three possibilities as to what is going on with all the hype surrounding the return of Danny Phantom, and these can be simplified as the “good,” the “bad,” and the “ugly.”
The good option, which I personally believe is the least likely, is that Nickelodeon HAS greenlit a fourth season, and we just don’t know about it yet because it’s so early in production. If this is the case then we probably won’t see any news or promos until at least 2018, seeing as how the hype train really got its start around August 24, 2016, when Butch uploaded a video called “Danny Phantom 10 Years Later” and the green light would have happened not long after that. Again, this seems extremely unlikely, but if it’s true, then Butch has been doing a good job building up hype while keeping it a secret.
The bad option, which will be the main focus of this post (and also isn’t so bad), is that as much as Butch wants to bring the show back, Nickelodeon isn’t so keen on the idea, and that’s why he’s turned to the fandom to build up hype, and THEN maybe Nick will listen.
The ugly option is… Well, it’s ugly. I hate that this is even a possibility, but as I’ve stated before, the good option is the least likely, making this one a decent possibility. Maybe there are no plans to #goghostagain at all, and the hype is all just a ploy to rake in the views and attention. Maybe it’s all just one big promotion for Bunsen Is A Beast (which by the way I think is a sub-par show, but I’ll get to that later). It’s disappointing to think about, but if it is the case, then here’s what I have to say: Butch, you are better than this. If you aren’t serious about this, then don’t go around trying to get people excited for something that doesn’t exist. Please and thank you.
Part Two - Forget The Hype
I wouldn’t be surprised or upset if nothing ever came out of all this hype, but since we’ve come this far we might as well take the extra step to convince Nickelodeon this is a good idea. Of course, there’s not a whole lot the fans can do to sway the opinions of the executives, and at this rate we’re DEFINITELY not going anywhere. Most of what I’ve seen has been “I love this show so you should bring it back” with no other reasoning. It’s all based on pathos with little to no logos or ethos, and that’s what I’m hoping to make up for with this analysis. There are plenty of reasons for Danny Phantom to get a fourth season, it’s just a matter of letting them be heard through the multitude of YouTube videos saying “Look, Butch said this one thing this one time!! Season 4 confirmed!!!! I am so HYYYPE!!!1!!!!1!”
Part Three - The Passage Of Time
Like many good shows, it ended too early. Apparently the ratings were a bit too low for Nick’s liking, so they told Butch to find a way to end it. (I don’t have a very good source, so if you can find one with real numbers and add it in, that would be great.) This is a common trend. Good shows don’t get the advertising and promotion they deserve because the network wants to spend more time on their cash cows like SpongeBob and Teen Titans Go, and then the good shows get cancelled because, “Well no one was watching it, so it’s not worth keeping, right?” Then, as the years go by, more and more people find the show and say “Why was it cancelled? It’s so good!” The good news here is that if an old show comes back with a much larger and stronger fanbase, it will do really well! Unfortunately there is one problem with the way the fans will probably watch it, and that is the internet. After watching the original episodes online, that’s the way they’re probably going to expect to continue watching them. This was a HUGE problem with The Legend Of Korra! (Again, source needed) So I guess this is more of a message to the fans than the executives: Watch the show on the TV, or AT LEAST set it to record!
Another problem that The Legend Of Korra had (it’s really only a problem in the eyes of the execs) is that the audience was mostly adults and older teens. You know, the people who either 1) Where the same people who originally watched The Last Airbender and are now a bit older, 2) Were old enough to use the internet in a way that allowed them to find ATLA in the first place, or 3) Are the type of people who enjoy more in-depth, plot-driven, mature-themed shows. I think that the third option is what networks like Nick, CN, and Disney are most afraid of when it comes to choosing which shows to pick up and air. These channels are supposed to be for kids, right? Well, first of all, these networks are wrong to think that kids can’t enjoy more complex shows than SpongeBob or that the most important thing in determining a show’s worth is how much money it brings in, but I digress. Instead, I’d like to talk about how Nickelodeon SHOULDN’T worry about having a repeat of TLOK if they were to continue Danny Phantom.
Part Four - Plot And Audience
Unlike the Avatar series, which were extremely plot-driven and weren’t afraid to get a bit dark, Danny Phantom is a lot more episodic in nature. Now, if it were too episodic, then I probably wouldn’t be arguing for it to come back. I mean, I love My Life As A Teenage Robot, but there’s no real reason for it to come back other than the usual “This is one of my favorite childhood shows! Why did it have to end?” You see, Danny Phantom had a nice balance of episodic plot vs overall plot that made for a great show for kids and teens alike. If it were to come back using the original formula, it would probably do really well with the “intended” audience of preteens. Hardcore fans (the ones who have been begging for a fourth season ever since it ended) might have mixed reactions, though. It all depends on the direction the show goes.
Again, the original formula will work, but what exactly should the plot be? Should there be a time skip or not? These are all questions that I’ll talk a little bit more about later, but ultimately can not answer. The biggest question that I CAN answer, though, is should it cater more towards the new preteens audience or the older, hardcore fans? The answer is a resounding “HARDCORE FANS!!!” We KNOW there are plenty of things that were planned that didn’t make it in, and we want to see them happen in a way that satisfies our nostalgia and our (slightly) older tastes. I personally think that even though the episodic nature works from a business standpoint, this continuation should have just a little bit more of an overarching plot. Just a little bit.
Part Five - Butch’s Other Shows
I don’t want to dwell on this topic too long, but it’s important enough that it’s worth mentioning.
Fairly Odd Parents: To put it bluntly, it’s dying. We could talk about how Sparky and Chloe are terrible characters, but there’s no point because the whole show has been moved to NickToons. It’s the channel where Nickelodeon shows go to die, and as unfortunate as it is that FOP has been drawn out to the point that the original fans don’t like it anymore, soon enough it will get low enough ratings that it will finally be cancelled. Rip
TUFF Puppy: I didn’t really watch this show, but from what I’ve seen and heard, it’s not that great. I mean, it’s not horrible, but it just doesn’t have a whole lot going for it that makes it worthwhile to talk about. It ended in 2015, so whatever.
Bunsen Is A Beast: This is another show that I haven’t seen a whole lot of, and I don’t really want to. I feel that even though it has a good message of being inclusive and stuff, it doesn’t really go about it in a unique way. You know what show has a similar setup of a character from another dimension going to a human school but is actually good? Star vs the Forces of Evil. I know I’m not the intended audience for Bunsen, so I’m not really in a position to complain, but between it’s obnoxious loudness, ugly characters, and seemingly random-for-the-sake-of-random humor, it isn’t as good as it could be. Don’t get me wrong, I respect Butch for trying new character styles and whatnot, but it just isn’t working.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that there IS room for Danny Phantom to return. FOP is dying and it wouldn’t hurt for Bunsen to die off as well. Good programing is what we should be after, not money makers.
Part Six - Questions And Suggestions
This is the part where I re-introduce the hype and fangirling. It’s not part of the main message that the show should come back, but it is important for the follow up question of how. So here are some important questions for Butch. *Takes a deep breath*
How will season 4 go? What’s the plot? Is it gonna pick up where it left off or will there be a time skip? How big of a time skip will it be? Will the intro be the same or will it be something new? What, if anything, will be retconned? What new characters will be introduced? When and how will Vlad return from space? Did Vlad meet Wheatley? Will Dark Danny make a return? Is Danielle gonna be adopted by the Fentons like you said? How are you gonna make up for the fact that the technology is so outdated? What about the Unworld and the Elsewhereness? What is the meaning of the universe??? *Incoherent screaming*
…I might have gotten a bit carried away just then.
Well, time to answer some of my own questions. I think that a decent sized time skip would be a great way to have the characters age with the show’s original audience, and it would also avoid any weirdness with the outdated technology. I’m not sure how big it should be, but 10 years does seem like a good benchmark number. If there is a time skip, this could also be a convenient excuse to brush over a lot of nothingness and say “It took Vlad [this long] to find a way to return, and now, after a long time of peace and quiet, the main antagonist is back to wreak some havoc.” Maybe the first episode of the new season could be a recap and summary of everything that happened between seasons 3 and 4, including an introduction to the new plot. There should be little to no retconning because this is a continuation, not a reboot. If something small needs to be changed to help the overall flow of the story, then so be it, but don’t go erasing the entire last episode just so Danny’s powers are still a secret or something like that. There should definitely be a new intro and theme song that are more related to the new story, even if there isn’t a time skip. The overarching plot should heavily focus on that Elsewhereness stuff mentioned in the video “Secrets of the Ghost Zone Revealed” and somehow include the conflict of ending up in the Unworld. As far as new characters go, I would much prefer to see older characters more in depth, but a few new villains couldn’t hurt. Dark Danny NEEDS to return because he’s my favorite character of all the one-off villains, he’s the only one with an entire two-part episode dedicated to him that basically ended with the promise of his return that never got the chance to happen. I only mention this guy above all the other villains because he’s my fave he is literally an alternate version of the main character. And if there is a 10 year time skip, then that would make Danny the same age as his evil counterpart and–
You know what? I could go on about this hours, but this post is already long enough as is, and I don’t want to turn it into a fanfiction. I think I’m going to leave this here for now and allow all of you to add on to it as you wish.
Part Seven - Sources???
I’m really bad at including sources, so if any of you can find good and relevant ones for me, that’d be great. Just reblog this post and add them along with any other comments or theories you have related to the return of Danny Phantom. Let’s make this one big cluster of ideas, and hopefully we will one day see that our efforts have paid off.
Danny Phantom makes a return, and there’s a running gag with Tucker’s tech (cuz he’s their inventor friend) Either:
A) it blows up like a Samsung, or
B) he forgets an essential, helpful part of it, like an iPhone.
“It’s innovative, it’s fresh, it’s like nothing the world has ever seen–”
“How do you turn it on?”
“There’s no button… how do I turn it on?”
“Danny, Danny, Danny, the FUTURE isn’t buttons–”
“TUCK WE WON’T *HAVE* A FUTURE UNLESS YOU TELL ME HOW TO WORK THIS THING!”
“Okay. Okay. I got it. This is gonna work. This SHOULD work. Er, I very very much so would like for this to–”
“Tuck, you’re on fire!”
“Haha, yes well, innovation does not come without a few failures along the way…”
“No, dude, I mean, you’re LITERALLY. on. FIRE.”