“Victorious” is ready to “Make it Shine”

After a decade, “Victorious” streams on Netflix


Pictured: Robbie Sharpio (Matt Bennett), Jade West (Elizabeth Gillies), Andre Harris (LeonThomas III), Tori Vega (Victoria Justice), Cat Valentine (Ariana Grande), Beck Oliver (Avan Jogia) and Trina Vega (Daniella Monet). Photo courtesy of Aaron Warkov/Nickeloedeon.

It’s 2010. With silly bands on her wrist and a McDonald’s Kids Bop CD in her hand, freshman Reya Yeddula turns on the TV to find Tori Vega dancing on stage at Hollywood Arts high school. Now, it is November 2019 and Reya opens her phone and finds “Victorious” on her Netflix home page. Suddenly, Webkinz and happy meals do not seem so far away. 

On November 4, 2019, three seasons of Nickelodeon’s hit TV series “Victorious” returned to Netflix. The episodes of the show were not available before it was streamed on Netflix. The show immediately struck the interest of viewers in over 190 countries. 

“Victorious” stars 16-year-old Tori Vega (Victoria Justice). She has been invited to attend a performing arts school, Hollywood Arts. The invitation came as a surprise, and Tori needs to adjust to her new environment through unnaturally choreographed dances and upbeat bops. 

“There was no work in the show, it was just all performances, but in real life, there is a lot of work and homework and tests,” Yeddula said. 

Yeddula reminisces about her days of watching the show, but she realizes Hollywood Arts is not an accurate representation of high school. High school is not improv classes taught by barefooted hippie teachers. 

“It’s nothing like high school,” Yeddula said. “Everyone in the show sings and dances, but in reality, it’s not like that.” 

Seventh grader Amber Stout also agrees with Yeddula’s sentiments regarding the show.

“It is funny to see that they only go to one class during their whole day, which is unrealistic,” Stout said. “But, my four-year-old brain couldn’t pick up on that.” 

Since 2010, “Victorious” has developed a fun, careless and easy-going image of high school, but the truth is startling.

“In middle school, I thought high school was going to be this amazing thing, that everybody’s going to celebrate every other day. It’s not like that at all; there’s stress and there’s hatred,” senior Mekhyle Ndah, who has recently started to rewatch the show on Netflix with his 11-year-old sister, said.

“Victorious” does not follow the guidelines of a stereotypical high school like “High School Musical” or “Glee” with its jocks, cheerleaders and band geeks. Instead, stereotypes are drawn with fine lines at Hollywood Arts. 

“I didn’t really notice any of the stereotypes. I mean, they had Robbie as the weird kid, and then Tori as the outcast, but everyone got along with everyone,” Ndah said. “So, you do see stereotypes, but it’s not as prominent.” 

Even though what is portrayed misrepresents high school, the memories of the early 2000s enter the hearts of “Victorious” streamers. 

“The show brings me back to when my sister and I watched ‘Victorious’ at my grandma’s house, back to when we actually got along,” Stout said.

With iconic teachers obsessed with coconuts and curly-headed ventriloquists, the environment surrounding “Victorious” remains carefree rather than heart-wrenching on shows like “13 Reasons Why” or “Grey’s Anatomy.”

“I like that it’s light-hearted because most shows nowadays are not light-hearted. They all have big issues behind them, but ‘Victorious’ is nothing like that,” Yeddula said. 

The perspectives of “Victorious” have changed as the years go on however, one point remains the same: the comedy. 

“I enjoyed watching it the first time I watched it so I was like, ‘Oh, I should have my little sister watch it,’” Ndah said. 

As viewers of “Victorious” rewatched the show as teenagers, many were able to understand the show’s jokes and comical elements. 

“It’s funny. A lot of the little jokes that I didn’t get before I get now,” Ndah said. 

“Victorious’s” comeback via Netflix has channeled the little kid in its viewers’ hearts. Within a decade, the perspective of this iconic series has changed, but reminiscence of “Victorious” will always shine. 

“I guess I just understand more of the show now because when I was younger I watched it just because there was nothing else to watch, but now I understand what is going on,” Yeddula said. “There’s a lot more to high school than just singing and dancing, and maybe Victorious wasn’t the best at showing that.”