By Nora Whouley
Drake Bell and Josh Peck both participated individually in the Nickelodeon open auditions in the early 2000’s when they were thirteen. The options for tv shows at the time were “On Air Dare,” “All That,” and “The Amanda Show.” While waiting to hear back from the studio and hoping to be on “All That,” Drake Bell and Josh Peck were placed as the two leading boy characters on “The Amanda Show.” Prior to signing the contract with Nickelodeon, Drake Bell and Josh Peck participated in their own movies. Josh Peck starred in “Max Keeble’s Big Move” as Robe, and Drake Bell starred in “Jerry Maguire” as one of the kids.
Drake and Josh had been put on “The Amanda Show” but were really hoping to be on “All That.” The two accepted where they were put and did a fabulous job playing Amanda’s two quirky friends who are guys. Some roles Drake and Josh would have on the show were, Tony Pajamas and Paulie as the faux Italian mafia gang. We loved seeing Drake in his own skit as ‘Totally Kyle!’ and we would die laughing at Josh playing a girl such as Penny Nickel in ‘The Girls Room!’
In 2003 Drake and Josh were asked to have their own show, “Drake and Josh.” Now remembering how these two wanted to be on “All That,” they never would have had their own show if they weren’t put on “The Amanda Show.” “Drake and Josh” is a show about a blended family. Drake’s mother and Josh’s father marry and Josh and his dad, Walter move into Drake’s house with Drake’s mother and little sister, Megan.
Josh is considered a ‘loser’ at school and is not nearly as cool or popular as Drake. Drake is a stud who always has a girlfriend and plays more music than does homework. Josh gets all A’s and never has a girlfriend until the later seasons.
Meanwhile in the pilot episode, Josh is so excited to have a new stepbrother. He is so optimistic about his new family and he finally has a mother figure in his life again since his mother is either deceased or out of the picture. Drake, on the other hand, is very upset he has to now share a room with Josh and has a very hard time accepting him and the new family situation. Drake’s father is also out of the picture and is most likely divorced from Audrey. I like that “Drake and Josh” shows kids that families come together in different ways, and it can be hard at first, but the show gives kids the example on how to find a way.
Drake finds out that Josh is ‘Miss Nancy,’ the advice columnist for the school newspaper. Josh is in the room wearing a dress and a longhair wig claiming he can only give advice while wearing a dress, and he can’t give advice while wearing pants. Drake is in shock, and during the episode as the boys are trying hard to get along, Drake begins making Josh do things for him so Drake won’t reveal whom ‘Miss Nancy’ really is. Drake makes Josh cook dinner for him and his date, and during the date Josh comes out of the kitchen to use the restroom. Buck, the date’s ex-boyfriend arrives at the house uninvited and threatens Josh. Drake decides Buck and Josh should have a fight in the schoolyard. Josh accepts, and Buck leaves thinking he is going to win.
The next day, Drake brings Josh to a martial arts studio so Josh can learn Karate and be prepared for the fight. Drake watches as Josh is clearly a novice and it is questionable if he will be prepared for the fight. Josh ends up getting a black eye in the fight and loses. We notice throughout the episode that Drake is standing by Josh’s side, so in the context of dramatic irony, it is noticeable that Drake is automatically becoming like a brother to Josh and therefore, cares about him.
The Pilot episode has one of my favorite endings out of all the episodes I have seen of “Drake and Josh.” Drake and Josh get into a fight in their own room. Josh cries to Drake, “You are the worst step-brother ever!” Drake challenges Josh that the advice he gave him is not good. Josh says it is good advice. Drake has him look at his pants, and Josh gets excited that he gave advice while wearing pants. Drake apologizes for getting Josh into the fight, and Josh forgives him. The last line of the episode becomes the common catchphrase of the entire cycle of seasons. Josh says, “May I?” and Drake Cries, “Hug me brother!”
What I like about “Drake and Josh” is that it teaches kids that in life, anything can be thrown at you out of nowhere. This show is like a comfort zone especially to those who have unique or tough family situations. It isn’t always easy when parents remarry, kids have a new sibling who is of another family, or when parents have kids with other people. “Drake and Josh” has great balance of scenes where Drake and Josh have disagreements and are not on good terms, and there are episodes when they are the best of friends and are very considerate and caring for one another.
Common Sense Media has a parental review on the show, “Drake and Josh.” Many parents say this show is really funny and the messages are always good. The only part of the show many parents do not like is the younger sister, Meghan. Meghan is always playing nasty pranks on her two older brothers. My personal favorite prank is when she hired her friend Neil to make nachos for them. Drake and Josh really loved the Nachos, but they did not realize until after having too many that the cheese had glue in it!
Some parents do not like the kissing that Drake does constantly in the show. Frankly, Meghan’s pranks can get very tiring and it is extremely irritating that she gets away with all of them. Many older siblings will complain that their younger sibling gets away with things they never got away with as children. I like that the show teaches that your family will get on your nerves and will not always take your side. I like that Drake and Josh each have their own activities. Drake plays music, and Josh does magic, so they don’t do everything together as siblings, but they are there for each other when most needed.
The theme song sums up how Drake and Josh formed a brotherly relationship though times were hard. If you think about it, Drake and Josh were fifteen when they became stepsiblings. Fifteen is a tough age for any kind of transition like what they had. The beginning lyrics of the song are, “I never thought that it’d be so simple but, I found a way, I found a way.” I like how the song then goes into, “If you open up your mind, see what’s inside.” You never know what something will be until you do it and make a positive impact on it.