I am 100% the audience for this book. I lived for SNICK especially (Saturday Night Nickelodeon) with Roundhouse, Rugrats, Clarissa Explains It All and OF COURSE Are You Afraid of the Dark? Not to mention the wider variety of shows offered throughout the week - GUTS, Legends of the Hidden Temple, You Can't Do That on Television!, Hey, Dude, Salute Your Shorts, Wild and Crazy Kids, Double Dare, and so many more. I loved this network, turned it on as soon as I got home from school every day, and spent a good amount of time with it on Saturday nights. That is why it is so painful for me to only give this book one star. Full disclosure: I was actually going to give it two stars, but then I discovered the author is a racist piece of shit, so one it is.
When I finished this book I was utterly confused. See, the "author" (and I use that term loosely because he's a shitty person), compiled all these answers from people, which is exactly what an oral history is. He got that part right. BUT, then he goes and fucks it all up by putting no identifiers with any of the interviewees AT ALL. The reader is just expected to know so-and-so was a writer for this show, this person was a voice actor for that show, this person was the animator for that project, etc. Literally, just their names.
There is also zero organization at all. Instead of going in chronological order, or by show, the material is thrown together by question/topic. So you have a bunch of people from a bunch of different shows, sharing their experiences, which may or may not mesh with the experiences of others on the same show, and you are constantly flipping to the back of the book to figure out who is talking and what show they were even on, or wrote for, or directed, or whatever.
Then I went over to Goodreads to post a quick blurb about my thoughts and I noticed a review that linked to an interview the author gave. I read it and it was so ridiculous and horrible. Basically, he thinks diversity is bad and sometimes white dudes really are just the best at whatever it is that needs to be done. White is the standard and the only time you would need diversity is for a plot point. Otherwise casts should just be white. He says the women over at the channel are obsessed with diversity and that's the only reason the shows have characters of various backgrounds. Seriously? Fuck off into the sun.
I wanted a nostalgic trip down memory lane and I sort of got that, with the actors I knew. But everything else ran together like a jumbled mess. And the author is a shitty person. This era of Nickelodeon deserves SO MUCH BETTER.