From what I can gather, Game Shakers is a live-action Nickelodeon sitcom about two tweenage girls, Babe and Kenzie, who run a multimillion-dollar computer game business. This seems like a pretty good premise – a chance to celebrate female tech entrepreneurs and inspire young people to dream big. Sadly, it did not live up to expectations and mainly consists of shouting and unpleasantness.
This episode starts with Kenzie manhandling Babe into a new ‘gyro-chair’ that she’s bought for the office. Apparently it wiggles the user’s hips to ward off premature death. Where are the child labour laws in this world? These youngsters should be in school and frolicking through fields, not worrying about premature death. Babe spills soup all over herself while jiggling in the chair and it feels like I’m on that weird part of the internet again.
Kenzie and Babe are soon joined by fellow youngsters and employees Hudson and Triple G. Hudson drops his phone in the toilet. It drips. Delightful.
Triple G is a paranoid wreck because it’s Halloween, which means his dad, rapper Double G (ho ho!), will be playing pranks to frighten him. Triple G shows a video of his dad scaring him as a baby, causing baby Triple G to produce a graceful arch of wee. ‘He scared the urine right out of you?’ asks Kenzie. Quite so, Kenzie, quite so.
The kids go a restaurant and all the other diners begin to get ill from poisoned chilli – the same dish Triple G has eaten. As people collapse around him and groan in pain he screams for an ambulance, eyes bulging in fear, convinced he will soon be dead. But do not worry gentle reader, it was all a hilarious prank staged by his dad, who gleefully throws money at the restaurant guests for going along with the ruse. I’m beginning to think Double G is an unfit parent – YouTubers have literally had their children taken away for things like this.
Remember earlier when I asked why these children were not in school? Well they do go to school very briefly in this episode, dressed up as pepperoni toothpaste and a basket of dirty laundry for Halloween. Why do they choose these costumes? It is never revealed. I have no idea why a teenage girl would willing dress up as a basket of dirty laundry.
Double G shows up at the girls’ school wearing a mask of himself for his Halloween costume – perhaps he has narcissistic personality disorder? It would certainly explain a lot. He wants the girls to help prank Triple G, but they decide to protect their friends and counter-prank Double G instead.
Double G’s ultimate fear is ‘Wet Bathtub Girl’, a character from horror film ‘Tub of the Dead’. When he comes into the office with a snake to scare his son, Babe lurches at him dressed as Wet Bathtub Girl. In the chaos that ensues the snake bites Double G and there’s about 15 seconds of solid screaming from all the characters.
Double G goes to hospital and dies. Yep, you read that correctly, he lies in his hospital bed and breathes his last in front of his only son, who is aged just twelve. The children console their mourning friend as he softly weeps. The audience goes ‘aww’. We are all moved by this touching scene.
But of course this is just a prank as well. He’s been ingesting small amounts of cobra venom for a full year to build up immunity, in anticipation of faking his own death to scare his son. The kids tell him he’s crazy. I guess if they acknowledge it that makes it ok?
Double G gets his comeuppance in a way when the doctor has to inject his buttocks so he doesn’t get an infection from the snake bite. The nurses hold him down against his will while the children chant ‘Give him the shot, give him the shot’. His son films the whole sorry scene while Double G screams in terror. This is pretty mean, but in no way does it make up for the years of psychological abuse that Triple G has suffered at the hands of his father. Will he ever trust again and be able to form meaningful relationships? We can only guess…
Game Shakers sadly does not live up to its interesting premise. From what I’ve seen, the girls make no business decisions and display no technical knowledge. It could have been a chance to empower girls and defy stereotypes, but instead it’s just twenty minutes of child abuse and shouting. I thought Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn was meanspirited, but this is on a whole other level. Watch at your risk.