Monday, August 8, 2011

How "Lizzie McGuire" Changed My Life

Believe it or not, I owe quite a bit to that show!
Okay, question time: When you hear the name Lizzie McGuire, what comes to mind? A classic sitcom that you wish newer shows on the Disney Channel were more like? A horrible television program featuring a dumb girl who fell a lot? A cash cow that had Mouse House executives rolling in the dough? A show you rarely or never got to see when it was on because you didn't have cable? Part of your childhood that you've since grown out of? The lead actress, Hilary Duff, whether you love her or lump her?  Truth be told, it's been quite a while since I've even seen any clips from Lizzie McGuire.  It must still be popular, because I've had to shelve books based on that show countless times at the library.  Most of my friends know that I used to be a huge fan of that show and Hilary Duff; I had her picture plastered all over my binder and desktop.  She and fellow Disney starlet Christy (Carlson) Romano (Even Stevens, Cadet Kelly) were my top two celebrity crushes back then, just like Victoria Justice and Jennifer Stone are now.  However, Lizzie had a wonderful lasting effect on me, and, even though I ditched Hilary in favor of Anne Hathaway over six years ago, those effects are still going strong.
What was it? Well, when I was younger, before I became a Hilary Duff fan, I had certain forms of entertainment I liked, just like I do now.  However, instead of it bringing me and my friends together, it mostly drove a wedge between my classmates and I.  Why? Well, all the entertainment I liked was at least one of four things: classic, obscure, a computer/video game, and/or widely seen as immature and/or childish by my peers.  What made things even worse was that I didn't want to talk about anything else, leaving all my classmates wondering what on earth I was talking about, if they even wanted to talk to me.
However, Lizzie McGuire changed all of that.  I still remember what led to me getting into it: Back in fall of 2002, I was lost because my then-favorite show, Growing Pains, was taken off of ABC Family quite abruptly.  I didn't know what to do; I felt like throwing my TV into the dumpster.  That all changed when a kid my mom was taking care of, who was a few years younger than me, showed me a little show called Lizzie McGuire.  It took more than one viewing to make me a fan; in fact, the first episode I saw was all about Aaron Carter, which led me to think it was the stupidest show on the planet.  Boy, did my opinion change on that one.
It wasn't just that show, though.  It was that it led my notions about current, non-obscure, non-gaming entertainment had been completely shattered.  If it hadn't been for Lizzie McGuire, I wouldn't care at all about Star Wars, superheroes, Victorious, Amy Adams, American Idol, celebrity birthdays, or most of the other things that I currently talk about profusely.  That Hilary Duff sitcom was the catalyst that started it all.  This may sound stupid, but here it is anyway: If it hadn't been for Lizzie McGuire, I don't know where I'd be right now.
Any comments?

1 comment:

SethC said...

When I was in college a good friend gave me a CD of music that I had never heard of before. As I listened to that CD over and over I began to define my taste in music. Up until that point I had only listened to music labeled as "Christian" and hadn't ever thought twice about it. It was the same kind of experience as you described. I'm not sure where I would be if I hadn't started listening to that CD. Great post, Jerry. Thanks for sharing.