A show about a ghost band intended for ten year-olds shouldn’t be so addicting, yet here we are.
Produced by High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, Julie and the Phantoms follows the unbelievably talented girl named Julie who is struggling with the loss of her mom. One day, three (hot) ghost boys appear in her garage and discover they can be seen when performing with her, which leads to the forming of their new band. The rest is history.
First things first, it needs to be acknowledged – the show is cheesy. The cause of the death for the ghost band? Consuming hot dogs cooked on the grill of a car. There are other things that make the show blatantly G-rated like some of the dialogue, songs and outfits. Why is it that shows aimed at young children never fail to dress the females in ridiculous outfits??
But, all of the silly little things aside, the show is good. And, it seems that it’s completely surpassed its intended target as people in their teens and well into their twenties seem to be hopping on the bandwagon. The show hasn’t been renewed for Season 2 at the time of this article, but just recently, there was a Twitter petition to do so. Who do you think started that and kept it going, the ten year-olds? Definitely not.
So what is it exactly about a kids' show that draws in an older audience? At first, I thought it was just my nineteen year-old sister who’s been listening to the soundtrack on loop since September. I then learned that some of my best friends love it just as much. After I watched it and fell in love, I found out via Instagram that even more of my friends are crazy about it. Maybe we all have different reasons for loving a G-rated show, but I think I’ve finally managed to put my finger on the
reason it speaks to me. And no, it’s not just because of the attractive guys in their twenties.
For me, it's escapism. Sure, all media intends for us to leave reality behind for a short time, but this is different. During our teens and twenties, almost all of the media meant for us – songs, TV, movies, books – is centered around sex, drinking, and the harsh realities of life. I love this entertainment as much as the next person, but sometimes it's nice to take a break. I think the great thing about Julie and the Phantoms is that although it is targeted at children, it still tackles some
issues like familial relationships and getting back up when life knocks you down. But, even though the show might start to focus on the “real life” topics the media geared towards Gen Z contains, it only scratches the surface, leaving the rest of the show lighthearted. Watching a show aimed at kids that has positive and uplifting messages is exactly the escape I think so many people our age crave and Julie and the Phantoms gives us exactly that.