Series: Zoom

The ZOOMers, old and new.

ZOOM is a TV show first created in 1972 by PBS affiliate WGBH in Boston, and which ran until 1978. Here, a cast of ethnically diverse kids called the ZOOMers (who change every season) do various activities requested by viewers who write in during the show, such as games, arts & crafts, poems, and jokes.

In 1999, it was given a revival, which lasted until 2005. In the latter year, it was followed by a Spiritual Successor called FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman.

This show contains examples of:

  • Broken Glass Penalty: Jennifer (Season 5) parodies this.
  • Con Lang: Ubbi Dubbi, which simply involves adding an "ub" sound before each vowel sound (e.g., "ZOOM" becomes "ZubOOM").
  • Couch Gag: Various clips of ZOOM guests are inserted into a certain point in the opening credits.
  • Dancing Theme
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The ZOOMers were barefoot for the first two seasons, but they started wearing shoes in the third season.
  • Expository Theme Tune
  • Five-Token Band
  • Hollywood New England: Shot in Boston.
  • Late to the Punchline: Give the name Fannee Doolee a closer look.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The original cast wore uniforms resembling striped rugby shirts. Everyone in the revival gets their own outfit, which they wear throughout the season (except during some segments where they would instead wear a T-shirt with the ZOOM logo on it, or parts requiring them to wear a different outfit, such as the Ubbi Dubbi Man segments).
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The fourth season had ten kids. This was cut down to seven in the revival.
  • One I Prepared Earlier: During the cooking segments.
  • Running Gag: A number of kids have their own.
  • Spelling Song:
    • F, A, double-N double-E, D double-O L double-E!
    • If you didn't know what SASE (pronounced "SAY-zee") was, you soon found out: correspondence to ZOOM required a "Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope."
  • Stock Footage: Fannee Doolee and The Z-Mail song.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: In the opening and closing credits. In the last two seasons, the voice over kids shout out the ZOOMers' names during the theme song rather than having the ZOOMers introduce themselves.
  • Title Theme Tune

The revival contains examples of:

  • Big Word Shout: By season 2, PBS shows were required to add "thank you" to the end of their funding credits. Zoom was happy to oblige.
    Kids: (Holding up a sign) THANKS!
  • Bilingual Bonus: Sometimes Pablo would give submission instructions in Spanish.
  • Bottle Episode: "The Making of Zoom" and "How we Became Zoomers".
  • Brand X: Brand names are covered up with brightly colored labels. Sometimes Bland Names are used such as Mozo brand fruit, with the label mimicking the Dole Food Company's logo and trade dress.
  • Calvinball: Games like Crab Soccer.
  • Character Focus: The "Zoom Out" and "Zoom In On" segments in the last two seasons show us what the kids do outside of Zoom.
  • Exploding Closet: In some Of her ID's, Caroline is a victim of this.
  • Fun with Acronyms: A few pieces of Z-Mail (snail mail) feature kids sending in acronyms such as "Zero Ostriches On the Moon", with accompanying drawings.
  • Fun with Subtitles: The closed captions not only subtitle the Ubbi Dubbi, but write the sound effect descriptions in Ubbi Dubbi, too!
  • HAHAHA–No: Usually done in Ubbi Dubbi, in response to terrible jokes.
  • Happily Adopted: Season 7's Nick.
  • Halloween Episode: There's one in season three. It features instructions for making a few different costumes, and a claymation music video for "The Monster Mash" that was submitted by a third-grade class.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Half of season 2 was released onto Youtube, but the rest of the episodes have yet to get official release.
    • As of Summer 2015, all the episodes except the majority of season one have been uploaded onto Youtube by a dedicated fan who went to the lengths of recording every episode twice while the show was on the air, but do to season one being quickly removed by the network, never got the chance to record the remaining season one episodes. If you have any of those episodes, you should probably hang onto them.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: Done in one episode of reenacting a fairy tale, likely because the actors were still preteens. The actual kiss is covered up by the knight's shield.
    • In another episode that also reenacts Sleeping Beauty, Kenny (the narrator) moves in front of the camera and talks to the audience during the kissing moment.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In the season five finale's ZOOM Playhouse they have a skit about the zoomers reuniting for their 60th reunion. Caroline organized the event and has a lot of ZOOM activities for them all to reminisce over. Aline is surprised by how much Caroline remembered. Caroline responds that she is still on ZOOM, lampshading the fact that she was the longest running cast member of ZOOM with four seasons. This also happened to be her final episode.
  • Large Ham: Jared and Pablo in season 1, among others.
  • Lock and Load Montage: The first two seasons of the revival use this in the opening credits.
  • Logo Joke: A number of intertitles, the baseball mentioned below, and a giant logo that doesn't always have its letters in the right order.
  • One Head Taller: Jared, to David. Emily is one head shorter than her fellow cast members.
  • Main/Precap: Almost every episode of the revival have a "today on ZOOM" segment before the funding credits. Seasons 2-7 they last 30 seconds, while in season 1 they usually lasted between 14 and 22 seconds. Only episodes to not have a Precap include season ones The Making of ZOOM, one episode of season five, and the first two episodes of season seven.
  • Rearrange the Song: In addition to the theme song itself being rearranged in the seventh season, this is the premise of the "Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat" plays in both versions of the show.
  • Sequel Episode: Applied to ZoomSci segments.
  • Shout-Out: A few later seasons showed old clips from the 1970s, including one ZOOMer teaching viewers how to do Bernadette's "arm spin".
    • In a behind-the-scenes episode, the girls of the first season are seen dancing to "Stop Right Now" by the Spice Girls.
    • The kids from the last season are camping out as part of their overnight training retreat. They decide to sing the theme song from Arthur around their campfire. WGBH produces both shows.
    • Sketches parodying Antiques Roadshow and This Old House have also been used.
  • Smash Cut: The Season 5 intro has the kids playing a game of baseball. It flies out of the park and into the studio, where it is caught.
  • Spoiled by the Format: Rachel at the end of the "Things I Love" game in season 3.
    Kenny: I wonder who it could be!
  • The Stinger: At the end of every episode before the funding credits.
  • Story Arc: The Season 7 team participated in a LEGO League competition. The entire experience, including training, was recorded and given a recurring segment. This was probably the genesis of FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman.
  • Very Special Episode: The Zoom Chat segments, America's Kids Respond, and America's Kids Remember.
  • [1]: In all of the funding credits in the 1999 version.