McGee and Me!
|The Adventures of McGee and Me!|
Cover of VHS release of the first episode
|Genre||Children, Spiritual, Educational|
|Created by||Ken C. Johnson
|Voices of||Ken C. Johnson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||12|
|Executive producer(s)||Dan Johnson|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Focus on the Family
Living Bibles International
|Original release||June 4, 1989 –
June 11, 1995
The Adventures of McGee and Me! is an American Christian television series created by Ken C. Johnson and Bill Myers. The series premiered on June 4, 1989, spanning twelve episodes until its conclusion on June 11, 1995. Each half-hour-long episode centers on Nicholas, his cartoon friend, McGee, and the moral lessons they learn as Nick grows up after moving to a new town. McGee and Me! deals with issues such as honesty ("The Big Lie"), bullying ("Skate Expectations"), and faith in God ("Twister and Shout").
- Joe Dammann as Nicholas Martin
- Ken C. Johnson as voice of McGee
- Terry Bozeman as David Martin
- Vaughn Taylor as Elizabeth Martin
- Sarah Dammann as Sarah
- Chelsea Hertford as Jamie
- Eve Brenner as Grandma
- Brent Kelly as Louis
- Johnny Green as Derrick
- Shaylisa Hurte as Renee
- Whit Hertford as Philip
- Poundcake as Whatever: the Martin family dog.
On January 25, 1992, ABC aired "The Big Lie" as a pilot for a possible series run. The episode aired as part of the ABC Weekend Specials series. ABC spokeswoman Janice Gretemeyer stated that the episode had been edited to allow for commercials, and to remove specific Christian references. Another episode, "Take Me Out of the Ball Game" aired as part of the ABC Weekend Specials series on September 12, 1992.
- "The Big Lie" - Eleven-year-old Nick, along with his parents and 14-year-old sister Sarah and little sister Jamie, moves into his grandmother's house in Eastfield, Indiana. In an effort to make friends and avoid a bully, Louis tells lies about George Ravenhill's house, Nick sneaks into the old man's cellar, scares himself, and Louis, Renee and the kids at school create stories about the encounter that spiral into lies. Derrick and his friends wreck the house and Nick is forced to clean it up as punishment. His dad helps him learn an important lesson about lying, elders, fear, speaking up, and bullying.
- "A Star in the Breaking" - Nick, his mom, and his cartoon pal McGee learn a lesson in humility when the fame and popularity of being on a game show goes to Nick's head.
- "The Not-So-Great Escape" - Nick wants to go with Louis to see "Night Of The Blood Freaks Part 4" in theaters. His parents forbid him to go, saying that the movie's nothing but garbage, and they ground him for arguing and talking back (and telling his sister to shut up). Nick sneaks out, betrays and disobeys his parents, regrets seeing the movie, and gets punished more by doing extra chores this week. In this episode, Nick learns the lesson of honoring your father and mother, and making right choices.
- "Skate Expectations" - After trying to protect a geeky boy, Philip, from Derrick and his friends, Nick finds himself in a skateboarding contest, even though he isn't that good at it. He practices, but on the day of the race, Derrick's friends try to sabotage it. However, Nick's friends notice and even though he loses the race, they disqualify Derrick and so he does end up winning. He learns about cheating, practice, friendship, and standing up for others.
- "Twister and Shout" - One Friday night, Nick and Sarah are staying home alone while their parents are out of town. With Louis and Renee staying over as well, Sarah is left in charge, which leads to ensuing conflict between her and Nick. However this quickly fades when the kids face the news of an impending tornado, and in the process they deal with fear and faith in God.
- "Back to the Drawing Board" - Nick and Todd, both talented artists, compete for a coveted spot and reward in a contest. Neither win, but both learn the meaning of good sportsmanship and fair competition.
- "Do the Bright Thing" - Nick and the others learn another life lesson on making wise decisions, especially when Nick was planning on buying a new drawing table before settling on a sketch pad.
- "Take Me Out of the Ball Game" - Sarah tells Nick to learn to trust God rather than men as underdog Eastfield Braves battle the Dodgers.
- "Twas the Fight before Christmas" - Derrick begins to change his unruly ways after seeing the Nativity story performed and wants to become a Christian, and Nick discovers that Derrick's father, his friend Ray and his unknown friend abuse him and they're alcoholics, resulting in Derrick's bullying and aggression. He and Derrick become somewhat friends in the end after he saved Nick's life by beating up Ray who was about to destroy his mom's gift and beat him up.
The New Adventures of McGee and Me
In these episodes, Nick has matured from 11 to about 13 or 14.
- "In the Nick of Time"  - Nick, Phillip and Renee join their fathers on a mountain climbing trip to California. While Phillip's prankster father puts Phillip and the rest of the group on edge, and Renee's father hopes to catch up on lost time since moving to California some years earlier following his divorce from Renee's mother, in a way much to Renee's dismay, Nick deals with a staggering fear of heights. This fear is pushed to the ultimate limit when Nick must rescue his father after falling off a cliff. In the process, Nick learns about courage and believing in yourself.
- "The Blunder Years" - The new and improved Derrick makes Nick learn a lesson in peer pressure and knowing who your true friends are when he becomes friends with the "popular crowd".
- "Beauty in the Least" - Nick and his family learn to "love your neighbor as yourself". Much to everyone's dismay, Nick's Romanian penpal and his father pay a surprise visit to the Martins, just in time for Thanksgiving. Even though the two visitors seem like an inconvenience, they eventually teach the family a lesson in love, hospitality, and the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Mary Stevens of the Chicago Tribune described the children's series as "exceptional", and that "the production quality is top-notch". Stevens goes on to say that the series "offers an entertaining mixture of live action, animation and well-written stories with positive moral messages", and despite being based on Bible principles "the series isn't excessively preachy or pushy". Entertainment Weekly gave the episode "A Star in the Breaking" an A rating, stating "No matter what your religious orientation, you and your child will likely find the message compelling".
Awards and nominations
In 1990, producer George Taweel received the Michael Landon Award for the series. In 1993, Joe Dammann, Sarah Dammann, Chelsea Hertford, Whit Hertford, and Shaylisa Hurte received nominations for "Outstanding Youth Mini-Video Series".
- "McGee and Me Cast Profiles". Tyndale House Publishers. Retrieved 2008-06-05.
- Bianco, Robert (January 27, 1992). "Couple Isn't Thankful for 'TGIF' Break". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. pp. C6.
- Hale, Mike. "McGee and Me! The Big Lie". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
- "Fifteenth Annual Youth in Film Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
- Cf. The Adventures of McGee and Me at CEGAnMo.com
- Stevens, Mary (February 23, 1990). "Tapes Don't Preach but Send a Message". Chicago Tribune. p. 71.
- "The latest in kids' products". Entertainment Weekly. April 27, 1990. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
- "Twelfth Annual Youth in Film Awards". Young Artist Awards.
- "Fourteenth Annual Youth in Film Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
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