Chris Savino and Nickelodeon bring cartoon fanatics alike the hit series The Loud House. 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 watch a slice-of life animated series with its simple central premise being life in a large family. The Loud House stars Lincoln Loud, an 11-year-old kid 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 and savior. Although these statements may be a little bit too optimistic, it’s definitely fair to say that The Loud House is 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 reliable 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 highly athletic sister, the list goes on. Although the use of heavy tropes is typically unoriginal and bland, the characters truly feel alive when these colourful 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 is 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 the overwhelming positive reception of the series, 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—the 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 surrounding a healthy and realistic sibling relationship in modern-day animation. So seeing a show that promotes familial ties and showcases relatable family-based themes and scenarios is very refreshing. For example, common sibling tropes in animation most typically include the annoying younger sibling or the cold older one. Within this arena, The Loud House truly stands out as at the end of the day everyone in the Loud family 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 force behind The Loud House had fun making the first season as much as we, as the audience, enjoyed viewing it.
And knowing that it has (rightfully) been renewed for a second season, definitely brings something to look forward to.