Based off the series of books written by Louis Sachar, Wayside originally got its start in Canada but then got commissioned to air on Nickelodeon in the fall of 2007. The show takes place in the fictional Wayside School, a strange school that was accidently built “sideways” thus making the school 30 stories tall with 1 classroom on each floor. We follow the adventures of a boy named Todd a new student who has transferred over to Wayside and his attempt to adapt to the strange life of Wayside. The school is just strange, and everyone in the school including the students, teachers, and principal are all strange as well. This is how I imagine a new kid feels like when he transfers over to a new school. Nothing makes sense to him, everything and everyone is strange, and he feels like the odd man out. Along with Todd we meet a few of the other students and staff members. We have Maurecia a roller skates girl who has crush on Todd and shows her affection by constantly punching him, a vain and self-centered student named Myron who wants to become class president, an overachiever named Dana who’s completely obsessed by Waysides rules, Mrs. Jewels the teacher who disciplines Todd in almost every episode despite the fact that he does nothing wrong, and Principal Kidswatter who makes up rules on the fly and doesn’t really care for the students.
Looking back the show was pretty funny and it matched the zany and craziness of the books but I wasn’t a big fan of this show. I didn’t hate this show nor did I dislike it, I just really couldn’t get into it. I watched a few of the episodes and from what I saw nothing was in there that made me hate the show or bored me. Like I said it was interesting, zany, and there were a few moments that got a good laugh out of me. I think the reason why I didn’t get into this show so much was because I never really read the books and could never really understand the overall premise of the show so a lot of the humor kind of flies over my head. But from my understanding a lot of people who read the books and watched the show found it to be mediocre at best. This was mostly because the show changed a lot from the books. For starters Todd wasn’t the new kid, the new kid was a guy named Ben who everybody thought was named Mark. That’s where we get the first problem with this show. Because Todd keeps getting sent home early on the bus we miss out on a lot of the strangeness that the books were known. Ben would have been the better choice as the main character instead of Todd. Second, Myron is portrayed as an asshole in the show but in the books he’s actually the nicest and most normal guy in the class. Maurecia actually had an obsession with ice cream and didn’t have a crush on Todd. To be fair I can understand this change a little because they don’t want to send kids the wrong message but Hey Arnold had Chocolate Boy who had an unhealthy obsession with chocolate and kids responded well to that. In fact there was actually a whole episode confronting his obsession with chocolate and that was actually a pretty good and sad episode (sorry wrong show, back to Wayside). Another problem everyone has is that they only show like 12 students when there’s actually 28 students. No doubt the animators were trying to save money but yeah I can see why this would piss off people. Looking at the show as a whole it was a pretty bad adaptation of the books and those who were hoping to see the show stay true to the books were very disappointed in this series and for good reasons. But if I had to name one upside to this show I will say that it got people interested in the books. Like I said before watching this show I didn’t know anything about Wayside so this show did get me interested in the books and sure enough the books were funnier and better than the show so if there’s any good to come from this cartoon is that it got people like myself interested in the books. So in the end Wayside wasn’t the best adaption out there but the show did get me as well as others I’m sure interested in the books. It captured the zany and craziness of Wayside but it failed big time on the characters and dragged the show down.