With modern animated series about crystal gems protecting Earth, magical princess from alternate dimensions, and ladybug-themed superheroes wielding indestructible yo-yos, it’s oddly refreshing to come across a slice-of life animated series with a simple premise of life in a large family. The Loud House centers 11-year old Lincoln Loud and his daily life in being the only boy in a family of 13. Along with his two parents who are typically faceless characters, Lincoln has five older sisters and five younger, being the exact middle child.
The series has been receiving much praise for its heart and old-school charm. Some vocal animation enthusiasts even go as far as to call it Nickelodeon’s trump card. Although these statements may be a little bit too optimistic, it’s definitely fair to say that The Loud House is heading a step in the right direction, and it shows its audience that the network still has a few tricks up its sleeve.
Adding to its charm and overall popularity are its very relatable themes. Each episode dives into scenarios that, despite being over-dramatized, clearly stem from a very real place. Creator Chris Savino has mentioned being the youngest of his 9 siblings, so has lived through many of the scenarios presented to us in the series in one form or another.
Even as someone with only two siblings, I find that many of the events that occur in the episodes are very relatable. For example, in the episode The Sweet Spot the Loud family has scheduled a road trip, so Lincoln plans out where everyone is going to sit in the family van. He claims the “sweet spot” of the vehicle for himself.
In having the most comfortable seat, the only working window, and in being the perfect distance away from his parents, he stakes out his place in the van overnight. This episode is reminiscent of going on long road trips with my own family, and (a) not wanting to be seated next to my older brother, and (b) fighting for a window seat. Although my personal experience is extremely downplayed in comparison, the premise of most of the episodes can be tied to a realistic rendition of life with siblings in various ways.
Each of the characters are living tropes. There’s Lori, the boy-crazed sister, Lisa the highly intelligent one, Lola the appearance-driven character, Lynn the athletic sister, the list goes on. Although the use of heavy tropes is typically unoriginal and bland, the characters truly feel alive when these colorful personalities interact, and at times clash with one another. And with a large total of 10 strong supporting characters, they need something that makes each of them distinct from one another.
The Loud House follows a moral-of-the-day formula. There’s something important to take away at the end of each episode; and based on the nature of the series, each lesson is generally related to sticking together as a family. Based on its overwhelming positive reception, I believe that its life on Nickelodeon will be long lived. Each episode is self-contained, so the series is not restricted by an overarching plot—writers can place these characters into every situation imaginable. Additionally, although the series is told from the perspective of Lincoln, with a roster of 10 secondary characters, all with distinct personalities, the series can easily expand its scope by exploring and developing each of the sisters.
Up until Gravity Falls, there hasn’t really been a stand-alone series focused on showcasing a healthy and realistic sibling relationship. So seeing a show that promotes familial ties and showcases relatable family-based themes is very refreshing. Common sibling tropes in animation most typically include an annoying younger sibling or a cold older one. Within this arena, The Loud House truly stands out as at the end of the day everyone in the Loud family openly loves and supports one another.
Overall, the series shows a ton of promise. Its writing is excellent, its character dynamic is endearing despite the use of heavy tropes, and its animation style triggers nostalgia of early classic cartoons such as Charlie Brown. Its premise is simple and its stories are fun and have a plenty of heart. It’s clear that the creative team behind The Loud House enjoyed making the first season as much as we—the audience—enjoyed viewing it.
And knowing that it has rightfully been renewed for a second season, definitely brings something to look forward to in the arena of animated works.