The internet has ALOT of gems and some of the content on YouTube might surprise you. Several years ago, K.D. and I stumbled upon a channel known as “Brat” (Now known as Brat TV) and well in the beginning it was an interesting experience for sure. Brat is most well known for their popular series called, Chicken Girls, which literally pulls in million of views on the official Brat TV channel. Originally I was going to do an entire article solely dedicated to just the show, Chicken Girls, but I figured the whole channel in general deserves it’s own article so your welcome Brat TV. I don’t know if they are going to be very thankful after reading this article but ya know free press is free press. Also it’s not like our opinions are going to really matter let’s be real. I mean the network is pulling in solid numbers even getting major sponsors from Netflix, Extra Gum, and Subway. So I think they’ll be just fine. Anyways, I hope this article was worth it because I literally subjected myself to watching hours of Brat content just for this article. Again this will mostly be an article on “Chicken Girls” but we will be touching on the Brat network in general. We want to make it clear that we are not hating on the show, but pointing out some issues we have with the show’s writing alongside the common flaws we’ve noticed in several other Brat shows in general. We will give credit when credit is due, which in this case is hard to find but I’m sure there’s some silver lining in all of this right?
What Is Brat TV?
Brat TV is a digital media network that founded by Rob Fisherman and Darren Latchtman. The name “Brat” stems from the term “Brat Pack” which was a name given to young actors such as Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe, and other 80s actors who appeared together in multiple films during the 1980s. So there’s something you might not of known. See this is turning into an educational post, I mean who would’ve thought. Basically the network is a YouTube Channel featuring free scripted content on it. Obviously this network is home the main story of this article, Chicken Girls. Now a majority of the shows on Brat consist of 11-20 minute episodes and from what I’ve seen a majority of the shows consist of different social media influencers including Annie LeBlanc, Baby Ariel, Mackenzie Zeigler, Johnny Orlando, and others. If you didn’t recognize any of the names, relax your not getting old, I didn’t know who a majority of these influencers were other until I fell down the Brat rabbit hole. Also, I’m not trying to put down any of the influencers, I just wasn’t familiar with the names.
Anyways basically, since Brat’s launch in 2017, the network has managed to pull in 3.7M subscribers and has since seemingly been relatively successful. However, I do want to point out that it’s obvious Chicken Girls is the main show pulling in the most solid numbers. There’s other content on the network that does do well but it seems that Chicken Girls is the show that got the network really on the map. There’s also a show staring Mackenzie Ziegler called “Total Eclipse” that pulls in solid views as well. I didn’t watch that show by the way, I just couldn’t subject myself to anymore Brat programming. I just couldn’t. I will say that Brat TV have been able to build a name for themselves, they’re currently getting sponsors, legit well known actors, well known established shows and overall having a pretty solid following on social media. Does that mean I think they’re content is Oscar worthy? No, not at all but I do want to point out their achievements and I will continue to do so in this article because I give credit where credit is due.
Now Let’s Talk About The Chicken Girls.
So Chicken Girls is basically the staple show of “Brat TV” and I’m surprised most people don’t know much about it because the views are huge. Or at least they were huge at one point. If you want a good commentary on Chicken Girls, go watch Casey Aonso’s video she did. It’s really funny and I just love her videos in general. Anyways, this show pulled in insanely big views in Brat’s prime. I mean The Chicken Girls Movie, yes there is a movie, has a whopping 25M views on YouTube, like what? There’s episodes with 10-14M of views. The show focused on a group of friends known as “The Chicken Girls”. Why are they called that? I honestly do not know, they probably mentioned it at some point but like I have better things to memorize. Anyways the group consists of Rhyme (Played by Annie LeBlanc) and her friends who I don’t remember the names of. I think some of the friends are named Birdie and Ellie, correct me if I’m wrong. Basically the show focuses on their dynamic among with a million other characters, I’m not even joking this show has more characters than Riverdale. I don’t even know what the main plot is, I just know it’s about a group of friends called “The Chicken Girls” and they sing and dance. Oh and they’re known for this “infamous” theme song called “Birds Of A Feather” which is now playing on a loop in my mind and it’s the worst type of ear worm anyone could have. For real, I wouldn’t wish it upon my own worst enemy. Regardless of my confusion with the show, it’s still pulling in views. The latest episodes on the show have been averaging 1-2M views per episode which is higher than how most network shows get on a weekly basis. Crazy right? I mean shows on the CW now are pulling under a million views yet Chicken Girls is currently thriving on the YouTube platform. Goes to show how people prefer streaming over live TV.
The Show Has An Identity Problem
Moving onto my next point which is Chicken Girls has an identity problem. They literally do not know what they want the show to be. In the beginning, I noticed the show felt very kiddish, like content that would appeal to maybe 9-12 year olds but as the show progresses, it starts to take a different direction. First off, the show pulls the same stunt that Riverdale does in terms of having bizarre and random music sequences. You got random characters busting out in song for like a whole season then the next season the musical aspect of the show is gone completely then they do the musical sequences again. It’s a flat out mess. The “Chicken Girls Movie” seemed to be basically a musical, yet they’ve seemed to drop that aspect. Another thing is the tone does get a bit mature which is strange because again in the beginning this show seemed to target 10-12 year olds. Look there’s some episodes I haven’t watched, I honestly cannot say I’ve watched all the episodes of this show but unfortunately I’ve watched enough to notice the inconsistency within the tone of the show. As the seasons progress, the show takes a heavier approach to storylines with characters learning about sex education, drinking, and even placing some swearing here and there. Then they revert back to the kiddy tone they established when the series first began. It’s just inconsistent and it’s hard to take storylines seriously, also if it’s intended for younger kids then why are they leaning into heavier topics? I guess I get that the kids that started the show when it started probably have gotten older and they’re trying to appeal to that audience but there’s still young kids watching this. I get this might be the writers way to approach the concept of “growing up” and facing new changes into your teen years but I don’t know, it still seems the show struggles with finding it’s identity. Another issue is the writers attempt to tackle serious topics such as anxiety and eating disorders yet they don’t know how to do it properly. I get why they’re trying to do it to spread awareness but I don’t know if they’re able to portray it the proper light. To back up my point, this one character is struggling with PTSD after a car accident and is having constant anxiety about driving, yet she gets into a car with the person who got her into the accident in the first place. The way the writers wrapped this storyline up in my opinion was sloppy and should’ve been done better. I don’t care if this is a “kids show” that doesn’t excuse bad writing. As a writer your portraying a message to your young audience, so make sure you do it right. I can’t stress that enough.
The Characters At Times Feel One Dimensional
As a writer, I’ve learned how difficult it is to write characters and to develop them. It’s rough, not gonna lie so I will try to give the writers some type of grace here. I don’t know the people writing this but I assume they are grown adults. The thing I’ve noticed in Chicken Girls, is the characters are all over the map. Some actually feel developed and that they’ve experienced growth, while others are random “throw-away” characters who at the end of the day do literally nothing to the plot. The main character known as Rhyme, seems to from what I’ve noticed, the most developed on the show. Then you have all these other characters who just add conflict or serve as random love interests that just get written off, never to be seen again. Seriously the character of Rhyme has a million different boyfriends who in my opinion don’t give her any development. One important approach I have to writing love interests in my stories, is to make their purpose more than just to be a love interest. On Chicken Girls, you have couples mixing and matches with each other. One minute this girl is dating Boy A, then they break up and he ends up with her best friend, then the cycle continues. The actions the characters decide to take make no sense, the dialogue at times is questionable. Another huge issue is the relationships these writers set up, do not have any lasting impact half the time. They build up a relationship between two characters then after they get together, the couple breaks up after like two episodes and then the love interest is never seen again. It’s dumb, set up a relationship between two characters and at least make it last a season or more. The mixing and matching is over the top ridiculous, I’ve never seen another show do this before.
Mixing Good And Bad Actors Is A Recipe For Disaster
Look not all the actors on this show are bad, in fact there’s several actors and actresses on BratTV that seem to be really talented and I legit question what they’re doing on BratTV? Then there’s the other batch of actors that no offense, are little to be desired. Some actors and actresses I want to point out are Indiana Massara, Mads Lewis, Matt Sato, and even Annie LeBlanc, are all very talented at their acting skills. Indiana is actually a singer and an actress so I think that being a factor is why she’s able to stand out, at least to be personally. Now while BraTV does have a large range of professional actors, there’s some who I feel need more time bettering their acting skills. It doesn’t help that some of the dialogue seems poorly written but while the stronger actors are able to work with what they’re given, the other actors seem to struggle more. I’ve noticed this in particular, not hating on any of the other actors, just saying sometimes there’s some actors that struggle more. I’ve noticed this with surprisingly the adult actors like Billy LeBlanc (Annie’s father, who is in this show for whatever reason), Rebecca Zamolo, and a few other actors that portray adult figures on the show. Shocking right? The adult actors are either the most poorly written ones or the most poorly acted. Who would’ve thought. The only show that has solid adult actors in my opinion, are the parents from Brat’s, Zoe Valentine.
The Bad Product Placement
Now let’s move onto our next point which is K.D. and I’s favorite thing to make fun of which is the BAD product placement. Now, it’s no surprise that with Brat’s growing success they are now getting several advertisers and sponsorships. One of their biggest sponsorships and most noticeable are their sponsorship with Subway. I get having product placement and getting sponsorships, that’s completely fine but at least do it in a way that isn’t too obvious your getting sponsored. The way they showed their product placement with Subway was beyond noticeable. So noticeable that the scene in the legit show felt like something straight out of a TV commercial. The scenes I’m talking about literally show a zoom in of the product, they write several scenes of the characters are Subway, it feels like a 7 minute add half the time. One scene in particular shows the characters having lunch and them going on about how delicious the subs are, like c’mon? Could you of made it anymore obvious. The ironic thing about this is they showed a quick ad before the actual episode so wasn’t that enough, why write a advertisement for subway in the actual episode? It’s just really tacky in my opinion. Again, I know brand deals are important and if you want to somehow incorporate it in the show then fine I guess, but don’t make it so bloody obvious. Again it’s just super tacky.
Similarities In Other Brat Programming
So while this is article dives into Chicken Girls alot, I also want to say some of the things I mentioned earlier applies to other BratTV content. I’ve not watched really many other shows because there’s only so much I could honestly take for the purpose of this commentary article. The other shows struggle with the same problems as Chicken Girls which is the following, bad dialogue, mixture of good and poor acting, inconsistency with plots, and so forth. Now basically the shows on the network are set in the same universe so this is essentially “The Brat Cinematic Universe” which means they do alot of crossovers. All the shows exist in the same universe so maybe that’s why all the shows share similar flaws. The thing about most of BratTV’s programming is most new content doesn’t last long. Several shows only make about a one to two season run before getting cancelled and my guess is they don’t pull in enough views to generate another season, very similar to how Network TV works. The shows with bigger influencers such as Annie LeBlanc, Mackenzie Zeigler, Johnny Orlando, and so forth usually have a longer run because those influencers have a big fanbase who will support them in whatever project they’re staring in. This makes me question if Annie didn’t have such a big following, would Chicken Girls be the monster show for Brat that it is? I’ll give more into Brat’s technic with using influencers as a key to their success in my next point. Back to my point, BratTV creates ALOT of content but not all of their content hits the jackpot, some of their shows only get 200K-300K views while others with bigger, more popular influencer stars who are trending at the moment manage to draw in more views. While a majority of the content on BratTV seems like well B budget writing, I will say the show that actually seems well written that took me by surprised is the show called Zoe Valentine, which stars, Anna Cathcart, which follows a young girl navigating life through high school following the death of her sister. Shockingly this show actually has a solid direction to it and Anna does a great job with the role she’s given. This proves that there is some type of good writing going on with the network. I know shocking right?
The Key To BratTV’s Success
We have now reached to this part of my analysis where we dive into the answer as to why BratTV has managed to gain such a following in such a quick amount of time. The answer is purely simple: the influencers. Yes, influencers such as Annie LeBlanc, her sister Hayley LeBlanc, Mackenzie Zeigler, Johnny Orlando, and so forth are the huge draw for Brat’s success. Annie and Haley LeBlanc originated their popularity through their family vlogging channel, Bratayley. On this platform their channel went on to achieve millions of subscribers and a huge fanbase who will literally support them no matter what. Mackenzie Zeigler, started off on Dance Moms then went on to start her own YouTube career which resulted in her gaining a following as a result, a following of an influencer that again generated a really supportive fanbase. Then we have Johnny Orlando who I don’t know much about other than he’s a “singer” who also started off on YouTube. You see influencers are a bigger draw than you may think and they have just as much of a draw if not more than A list celebrities. Annie and Hayley LeBlanc got their start on YouTube and as I’ve mentioned they have a very devoted fanbase. Now how this beneficial to Brat? Well because all of the influencer’s fans will watch the shows that their influencers are on. It’s genius if you think about it, all these kid influencers have a large following and their following consists of younger kids who grew up with them and have supported them for years.
Let’s also dive into another marketing tactic that BratTV used to draw fans into watching their content. I’ve done alot of observation and research because I find this way of marketing a very….interesting approach although I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s no surprise that fans will often pair certain influencers with each other or will “ship” certain pairings. Several years back when Chicken Girls first “hit the market” the show teased a relationship between Annie LeBlanc’s character and Hayden Summerall’s character. These were two influencers that fans paired together so the fact their characters were paired together on the show, drew these young fans in. Now Annie and Hayden were like 12 and in my opinion, I really didn’t like how the press was asking these 11-12 year olds about their “relationship status” like they were just kids. Imagine having thousands of people online pairing you up with someone, like that’s alot to handle. Either way, in my opinion the fact fans shipped them in real life and on the show, seemed to really be what pulled in the views. It’s just an observation I noticed while doing my research on BratTV. Eventually Hayden’s character left the show and following this the views for the show started to decline. To make it even more interesting, Summerall’s character has since returned so I’m wondering if BratTV is using this as a tactic to bring back old fans/shippers of the show.
What Was The Point Of This Article?
With my points being addressed we have now come to the conclusion of this article. Now you might be asking, NJ, why did you waste your time researching content made for 11-12 year olds? To answer that, I frankly don’t know the answer, originally K.D. and I would just watch some Brat content because we liked to laugh and make fun of how bad some of the writing was. I know, that’s super harsh but you know it’s still entertainment. I didn’t watch it because I thought it was good but the poor writing still never failed to make us laugh as terrible as that sounds. I’m not trying to put down the network, I just think as they grow they should try harder to improve their writing more and make sure all the actors (Including the adults) get proper acting lessons before they’re thrown on set to be filmed. I personally think that the people in charge of BratTV are smarter than many realize. Influencers nowadays are huge and have a very loyal fanbase, sometimes more of a loyal fanbase than A list celebrities. It sounds crazy but it’s true, influencers have a huge following and the reason why is people feel more connected to them hence why their fanbase is so dedicated. Young kids watched Annie and Hailey for years on Bratayley and have since developed a sense of relatability that you cannot get with a normal celebrity. Influencers usually open up more to their fanbase and engage more with their followers. I think that BratTV is very well aware of this hence why they have a variety of actual celebrities such as young actors and kid influencers who have a rapid fanbase on social media platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, and so forth. Once again, this was all in good fun because I find analyzing this type of stuff to be interesting. I don’t wish any ill will upon BratTV or anyone involved, however I do advise they try to step up the quality of their content and improve their writing. Just a piece of advice, I doubt they care enough to follow any of it. To wrap this up, BratTV is a rabbit hole that I feel many commentary accounts don’t dive into as much surprisingly but it’s one worth checking out. One thing I hope is that the actors and actresses get more opportunities to do more with their careers through this.