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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Coastal Carolina chapter.

When I first heard that The Proud Family would be getting a reboot, I couldn’t have been more excited. I grew up watching reruns of this show as it was one of the many shows that represent Black culture authentically. I was excited to see the changes that they’d make with Louder and Prouder and how they’d address serious topics, just as they did in the show’s original series. I loved the first season and how they decided to bring the old characters back to life. Seeing that our favored characters were still the same was refreshing, and I loved Michael’s revamp, as well as the new characters Maya, and her brother KG. I also fell in love with Penny’s love interest Kareem. 

One thing that I enjoyed about the show while growing up was its unapologetic connection to Black culture. I’ll never forget the episode that opened while they were in church and we see the church literally jumping then we cut to the inside with Penny singing Kirk Franklin’s, “He Reigns” (a song that I can remember singing on my own choir at church). This show had a way of connecting with Black culture in a way that was so authentic and real that I was excited to see how the show would continue to do that while also connecting to issues and topics in modern times. This season, I wasn’t disappointed as the show had allusions to Princess Tiana, Coming to America, and some of the show’s original episodes. While some of the show’s allusions are for millennials and older Gen Z, and since the original show catered to them, does this mean that the reboot is targeted to their demographic too?

When I decided that I was going to write about this show, I was pushed to see how others felt about the new season. I was very shocked when I went to IMDB and saw that it had a 2.8/10 rating. I flew to the rating section to figure out why so many people weren’t feeling the show. My shock decreased as I saw the demographics of the 4,340 people that rated the show. Of the 1,750 people that listed their age in the review, over half of them were from the age 30-44, which was the highest group of raters with a 2.3 average rating, the second highest group with a 1.8 average rating was over the age of 45 with 493 raters, the third highest group was ages 18-29 with an average rating of 4.5 had 346 voters and the final group of viewers under the age of 18 had a 1.9 average and there were 21 voters. 

After looking at these numbers, the low rating honestly made sense to me. For a show about middle schoolers, there’s no surprise that people over the age of 30 didn’t like it. It’s not like the That’s So Raven reboot, Raven’s Home, where viewers who were in high school like the show’s main character can relate to her now as a working mother of two. The same thing goes for the iCarly reboot where the characters have grown with their audiences over time. For live-action shows, it’s easier for a reboot to grow with the characters because the actors have physically grown, but for a cartoon, the characters can stay the same age for as long as the showrunners want. Ultimately The Proud Family is still a show about middle schoolers and the characters still face middle school problems. 

When the show was first released in 2001, these viewers were between the ages of 8-23. The kid’s show was meant for those around that age. Now that they are older, have kids, face new problems, and the world doesn’t look the same as it did 22 years ago, it’s understandable that they can’t relate and don’t understand some of the things that go on in the show. The issues that they faced as middle/high schoolers in the 2000s look much different than the issues that middle/high schoolers face now in the 2020s. It could also be because they don’t agree with some choices made on the show, like Maya’s adopted parents being an interracial male couple, Michael’s character being more open in his sexuality, and people’s opposition to these issues being called out. It would surprise me if this was the reason, though, because the original Proud Family constantly addressed larger issues like racism and xenophobia.

As I continued to go through the reviews, they had pretty harsh titles like “Nothing like the Original Disney is trash now”, and “Save yourself the time, They’ve ruined our childhood show!”. Now the show can be behind the times by using phrases like zang, bae, squad goals, and other phrases that haven’t been used in years, but even then this doesn’t touch the issues that the older audiences have with this show. 

Christian Livingston

Coastal Carolina '24

Christian is a senior honors student majoring in Communication with a minor in Creative Writing at Coastal Carolina University. She loves reading, watching movies, and taking pictures on her Minolta X-370.