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Secrets Behind Set

Review of Documentary “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids’ TV”

Photo by Miguel Ángel Hernández on Unsplash

Controversy surrounding how child actors are treated has existed for quite a long time now, which is why the new documentary “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids’ TV” is currently gaining so much traction in the media. With four episodes currently out, as of March 30, 2024, this docu-series explores the dark side of all the TV shows many kids used to love, through the stories of former child actors, writers, producers and more from Nickelodeon shows such as “Drake and Josh,” “All That” and “The Amanda Show.” 

This documentary touches on many important and sensitive topics, sharing first-hand stories from many who experienced such hardships on these shows. “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids’ TV” is an informative and eye-opening documentary that is definitely worth watching. 

“Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids’ TV” is structured through stories shared by former Nickelodeon actors, producers, writers and more, all of whom have personal stories relating to the topics discussed. The most memorable story in the documentary is shared by Drake Bell, who starred in “The Amanda Show” and “Drake and Josh.” For the first time, he bravely opened up about the tragic sexual assault he endured when he was 15 and working for Nickelodeon. All the interviewees, from actors to writers, reveal enough of what is necessary to leave an impact, however, do not expose too many details that could make them feel uncomfortable. The storytelling is a tricky part of a documentary like this, and  “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids’ TV” executes it beautifully. 

With all the darkness and sensitive subjects, “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids’ TV” handles these topics with care. The documentary deals with child endangerment, sexual abuse, sexism, toxic work environments and more. To remain educational and bring awareness, the documentary is brought to life through very well-spoken people sharing real stories. They tell things straight up but with grace and wisdom. It is a heavy and emotional documentary to watch, and often sad at times, but it is handled quite well regarding all the sensitive topics included in the stories that are told. 

By sharing things about child actors and Nickelodeon that haven’t really been brought up much before, the impact this documentary leaves is very important. It aims to inform the public about the heavy and dark things that can go on behind the scenes of TV show sets, zooming in through the lens of Nickelodeon shows, when child actors are put in dangerous environments with nobody to advocate for them. With all the information and real stories presented in “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids’ TV,” the impact it leaves will have viewers thinking about and considering what can be done to prevent such horrors in the future.

The safety of child actors is incredibly important, and “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids’ TV” is a great documentary that is enlightening and explanatory. Overall, this documentary accomplishes a lot in just four 40-minute episodes and aims to leave the impact needed to spark change in the industry.

<Star Rating>

Impact: ★★★★★

Storytelling: ★★★★★

Handling sensitive topics: ★★★★★


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Andy Poll

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