Discover the top children’s television programs about going to school, including Best Foot Forward, from Young Sheldon and Boy Meets World to Zoey 101 and Lizzie McGuire.
Josh Dubin, a young student, will put his best foot forward on July 22, 2022, in the brand-new family-friendly program from Apple TV+. The new television program, based on author Josh Sundquist’s life, chronicles Josh’s transition from homeschool to public school and the ups and downs he encounters while attempting to fit in. As if starting at a new school weren’t challenging enough, Josh’s prosthetic leg from a skiing accident creates several additional difficulties in school. Logan Marmino will play Josh Dubin. In a new schoolyard environment that helps the main characters gain confidence, find their voice, and be the most excellent versions of themselves they can be, Best Foot Forward joins an exciting crop of children’s TV shows that concentrate on significant rites of passage.
Young Sheldon (2017-)
Stream On DirecTV
Young Sheldon, a hit spinoff of The Big Bang Theory on CBS, follows Iain Armitage’s (the title character’s) awkward transition from a nine-year-old elementary school student to a new high-school student. At the same time, he tries to fit in, make friends, and connect with students his age. He also pursues his dream of becoming a scientist.
Both the endearingly insightful coming-of-age story and Best Foot Forward deal with the challenges of social awkwardness, overcoming fears and anxieties of taking on new challenges in a new academic environment, and how a new change of scenery can have profound effects, both negative and positive, on the development of a young child finding their way in the World.
Boy Meets World (1993-2000)
Stream On Disney+
Boy Meets World, a top-rated teen sitcom on ABC, centers on the academic exploits of Cory Matthews (Ben Savage), a bright 11-year-old junior high school student who eventually transfers to high school with his best friend Shawn (Rider Strong) and girlfriend Topanga (Danielle Fishel), all the while tussling with Mr. Feeny, his teacher and next-door neighbor (Williams Daniels).
Boy Meets World was considerably ahead of its time for a show that lasted seven seasons and 158 episodes. It dealt with every important teenage topic regarding growing up, including interracial relationships, child abuse, sexual harassment, and underage drinking. Both Boy Meets World and Best Foot Forward have likable characters who realistically depict what it’s like to mature in public school.
Di4ries (July 26, 2022)
Stream On Netflix
The brand-new Italian Netflix series Di4ies, scheduled to debut on July 26, 2022, after airing in Italy in May, is another excellent complement to Best Foot Forward. The show follows 12-year-old Pietro (Andrea Arru), a Galileo Galilei Middle School student who, like Josh, starts to come into his own when he has his first crushes, kisses, friends, enemies, and more in his new school, which is in danger of closing.
Di4ies offers a perceptive look at young students at a formative age as they struggle with peer pressure, parental expectations, raging hormones, and finding a place among friends who share their interests. It also examines contemporary adolescent classroom dynamics that align with Best Foot Forward.
The Healing Powers Of Dude (2020)
Stream On Netflix
Netflix’s The Healing Powers of the Dude follows Noah Ferris (Jace Chapman), a homeschooled, socially awkward 11-year-old who relies on the comfort offered by his emotional support dog named Dude to get through the rigors of his new middle school, in a charming mashup of Best Foot Forward and Young Sheldon.
While the devilish chemistry between Noah and Dude helps the conceit along, the main themes of the children’s program are developing self-confidence, overcoming persistent social anxieties, becoming a better and more productive person, and how middle school can ultimately turn out to be a blessing in disguise despite its apparent horrors.
Drake & Josh (2004-2007)
Stream On Hulu
Drake Bell and Josh Peck play two stepbrothers who manage to support one another despite having an unusual couple dynamic. Best Foot Forward’s Josh is slightly older than the titular Drake & Josh. Still, the wildly popular Nickelodeon live-action series is too beloved to leave out, primarily as it explores the same sensitive coming-of-age themes for teenagers rather than preteens.
Fans of Best Foot Forward will be drawn to Josh, who tries his best to overcome his awkward demeanor and social awkwardness at school while coping with various adolescent issues. Since the two main characters portray themselves, the show has a level of sincerity that other children’s programming cannot equal.
Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide (2004-2007) – Stream On Parammount+
Fans of Best Foot Forward should watch Nickelodeon’s Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, produced concurrently with Drake & Josh. The plot revolves around seventh-grader Ned Bigby (Devon Werkheiser), navigating the first half of the school year while slowly accumulating a list of hacks that he uses to advise his peers on how to survive junior high.
Ned, hailed as one of the best adolescent TV shows at the time, offers everything fans could want from an insightfully entertaining kid’s show that teaches its demographic how to navigate a new school environment successfully. Ned dedicates entire episodes to tackling such profound issues as grades, cheating, popularity, peer pressure, athletic competitions, preteen romances, and more.
Zoey 101 (2006-2008)
Stream On Paramount+
During her first day at Pacific Coast Academy, Zooey Brooks (Jamie Lynn Spears) is the subject of the adored Nickelodeon show from the 2000s. It makes sense to link fans to other kid’s shows Matt Fleckenstein has worked on since he co-created Best Foot Forward. In 2008, Fleckenstein worked as a writer for the television program Zoey 101. Which is guaranteed to have many comparable tonal characteristics.
The struggle Zoey experiences as the first female student at the exclusive all-boys boarding school. And the prejudices she must overcome to be accepted by her friends are similar to Josh’s struggle to fit in at his new middle school. The popularity of Zoey 101, nominated for two Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. And nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program in 2005, will undoubtedly be felt by Best Foot Forward viewers.
Malcolm In The Middle (2000-2006)
Stream On Hulu
Malcolm in the Middle, winner of 7 Emmys, was one of the few family TV sitcoms. That examines the struggles of growing up in a compassionate and cutting way. Fans of Best Foot Forward will find many similarities between Josh and Malcolm. A 12-year-old with a genius-level IQ is abruptly placed in a gifted class. And must learn to adjust, adapt, and deal with the daily expectations of living up to his immense intellect.
The first-person approach to the camera that the show became famous for allowed viewers to relate to. And identify with Malcolm as he goes through one adolescent struggle. Later seasons of the show broadened their focus to include additional family storylines. The program so received a Peabody Award for its contribution to culture.
Smart Guy (1997-1999)
Stream On Disney+
The WB’s Smart Guy follows T.J. Henderson (Tahj Mowery), a 10-year-old child prodigy. Whose existence is upended as he rushes from elementary to high school in a blink. Boasts a very similar premise that served as inspiration for the other TV shows that made the grade.
In addition to exploring themes related to the internet in 1998. Smart Guy was well ahead of its time in terms of its examination of age, class, gender, and ethnic differences. As well as the growing pains of coming of age in a new school environment. Boy Meets World adopted the identical opening shot of Piedmont High as the opening shot. For John Adams High due to the show’s immense influence.
Lizzie McGuire (2001-2004)
Stream On Disney+
Along with Best Foot Forward, the excellent Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire is a great choice to see because it features a breakout performance from the vivacious Hilary Duff. The show centers on Lizzie, a shy and clumsy 13-year-old trying her best to go through junior high school. Overcome her social anxiety, and discover her own identity by channeling her much more self-assured alter ego.
Like Josh, Lizzie is one of the few teenage role models on the most popular children’s television programs. The brilliant charms of Duff. Who has been nominated twice for an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program, go a long way. Still, the uplifting messages about maturing, remaining true to oneself. And finding acceptance within will elicit the most strong reactions from Best Foot Forward viewers.