Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute: Romeo!

To conclude 2003, we take a look into another Nickelodeon sitcom starring a mostly black cast. Unlike My Brother and Me or Kenan & Kel, this one was based on a then popular celebrity known as Lil' Romeo. Lil' Romeo was a kid rap singer who is the son of rap singer Master P. He had featured in singing a few hit songs that he would perform in Slime Time Live! and had even sung "Parents Just Don't Understand" in the Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius soundtrack. There was even a little competition between Lil Romeo and Lil Bow Wow on who was the better kid rap singer since they came around at the same time. Nonetheless, Lil' Romeo was getting popular with the kids. That had gotten the Nickelodeon executives thinking to make a show based on him. So on September 14, 2003, Romeo! debuted on TV.

The show was about a kid named Romeo Miller (played by Lil' Romeo) living his everyday life with his record producer father Percy Miller (played by Master P), his older sister Jodi (played by Erica O' Keith), his little brother Gary (played by Zachary Isaiah Williams), and his white foster brother Louis (played by Noel Callahan). Romeo and his siblings are a part of a hip-hop band and they dream of having a big music career. But their father wants them to have a normal life right before they tackle such a big responsibility. He's mostly busy and is almost never around so he hired a nanny named Marie Rogers (played by SNL actor Victoria Jackson) to watch over them. She was a former circus performer and doesn't do the traditional nanny activities such as cook, clean, or help them with their homework. She's portrayed as a ditzy, goofy, and enthusiastic woman who loves the kids and entertains them with her sense of humor.


Similar to 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd, there were numerous changes that occurred in the 2nd season of Romeo! Victoria Jackson's character was omitted from the show and entered in Percy's new girlfriend Angeline Eckert (played by Natashia Williams). Percy brings her into the house and the kids don't like her at first since big changes have been occurring around the house. But as time goes on, they start warming up to her and eventually, Percy and Angeline get married and have an additional son named Bobby. There were other character inclusions and certain character developments such as Jodi leaving the group to go to college, Romeo has a love triangle situation with his on-and-off again girlfriend Myra (played by Brittney Wilson) and his crush Peyton Cruz (played by Brittany Moldowan), and Louis struggling to find his place in the Miller family with all the changes going on in the house and seeing his former foster brother again. In the end, Percy officially adopted Louis in their family. In the series finale, Romeo and the group have a chance to have a music career in Los Angeles and they end up getting it. 


The show was created by Fracaswell Hyman, Master P, and Thomas W. Lynch. It's interesting to note that this would be the last Nickelodeon program that Lynch would ever created, not counting The Assistants and South of Nowhere on The N. It lasted for 4 seasons until it ended its run on July 23, 2006. The actors went on to do other projects afterwards.

Romeo Miller went on to do other projects such as becoming a more prominent rap singer, male model, and basketball player for his high school. He also appeared in movie and TV shows such as Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Dancing with the Stars, God's Gift, Uncle P, Jumping the Broom, Single Ladies, The Choice, and Madea's Witness Protection. 


Master P is still on his music career as a rap singer and record producer.
Master P.jpg 

Erica O'Keith went on to do other TV roles such as Scrubs and Close to Home. She's currently on the McDonald's commercials as the cashier advertising for the Southwest Salad.

Noel Callahan went to finish high school and is currently at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia to major in Communications.
Noel Callahan 

Zachary Isaiah Williams went on to do other movies such as Honey, Lincoln Heights, and Calvin and Freddie's Cosmic Encounters. He also likes to give time to help the community such as bowling for AIDS, playing basketball for autism, and going to schools to speak to 4th graders.

Brittney Wilson went on to do TV roles and voice acting in shows such as Zolar, InuYasha, Johnny Test, Spymate, Scar, Ice Blues, The Collector, R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour, Motive, and Bates Motel.


Overall, this show was incredibly boring, dull, uninteresting, had bland characters, and felt very manipulative at times being a marketable product for Lil' Romeo and Master P. This was the Hanna Montana of its time in which it was a show that featured a kid celebrity with a famous father that no kid ever heard of getting more mainstream and eventually getting its own show. Nothing about this show stood out and has gotten to be forgotten when the popularity of the character faded away. The one thing I sort of liked in the show was Louis' struggle with being a foster child and trying to find his place in the Miller family. That is definitely Thomas W. Lynch's touch when it came to his former shows like The Secret World of Alex Mack, The Journey of Allen Strange and Caitlin's Way in which it brought realism to the show. One problem, they rarely focused on that and mostly showcased Romeo's journey into being a hip-hop singer. It's just too bad that they didn't bring out Lynch to his full potential since he could've developed the characters a lot more. But they didn't. Unfortunately, this would be the beginning of many other shows from other children's channels to copy from this formula. I don't recommend checking it out.

That's all for now. Tune in next time as we go into 2004 with Dan Schneider's first Nickcom Drake and Josh.


Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading. 

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