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Series / The Famous Jett Jackson

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The Famous Jett Jackson is a Disney Channel series revolving around Jett Jackson who is, well, famous. Specifically, he's the star actor in the Spy Fiction Show Within a Show Silverstone. The premise, as explained in the Opening Narration, is that he was lonely in Hollywood and got the production of the show moved to his hometown, Wilsted, North Carolina, where he can lead a more normal life. As a Disney Channel main character, Jett is inevitably part of a trio, with his male best friend J.B. and his female best friend Kayla. Most episodes deal with Jett's everyday life, and a B-Plot playing out an episode of Silverstone.

The series lasted from October 1998 to June 2001, running for a total of 65 episodes over three seasons. After the series reached its 65-episode limit, a Disney Channel Original Movie was made to conclude the series.

Notable among Disney Channel shows for being set in the South and for having unusually sophisticated episodes about race, dealing with subjects like Jett's relative privilege compared to the average black American and Kayla's identity issues about being mixed-race.

This show provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Jett Jackson.
  • Artistic License Law: One episode involves the town banning Fahrenheit 451. While a local government could choose to take a book out of libraries and, if it wasn't a required part of the State curriculum, decide not to teach it, the idea that the city government would have the power to arrest people for simply reading it is ludicrous.
  • At Arm's Length: A flashback in the Silverstone show has Artemis doing this to a young Silverstone while training him.
  • Blood Knight: A very strange example is Crunch, who cleans the Halliburton store (and presumably other places) for free, simply because he hates dirt and messiness and loves cleaning them up everywhere he can.
  • Cool Old Guy: Artemis, to Silverstone.
  • Cool Old Lady: Miz Coretta.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Notably, the episode where Jett is bitten by a snake and J.B. has to be the 'action hero' to save him.
  • Danger Room Cold Open: One of the Silverstone sequences starts like this, with Silverstone and Hawk trying to escape a grid of tripwire lasers, only to fail because they couldn't effectively work together, when Artemis reveals that it was a simulation.
  • Deliberately Bad Example: Beauregard, another rich and famous celebrity who exemplifies all of the worst stereotypes that come with it, like arrogance, laziness, rudeness, dishonesty, etc. As opposed to Jett, who has similar fame and fortune, but tries his best to not embody those traits.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Jett thinks he'll be a better role model if he keeps them off the show.
  • Disguised in Drag: J.B. when he competed in the Miss Pork Princess pageant to win a computer.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the pilot episode, the female lead is a girl named Ana, rather than Kayla (who is still shown in the opening credits).
  • Enter Stage Window: J.B. does this in The Movie and almost gets attacked by Silverstone.
  • Failing a Taxi: This is how Jett comes to realize his privileged life is not that typical for a black teenager.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Jett is extremely displeased when Kayla takes an interest in his cocky stunt double.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: One episode has Jett having a really bad day, then waking up to do the same day over and over, learning from the mistakes in the previous loops. The loops turn out to be All Just a Dream, but everything from the first bad day eventually works out.
  • I See Dead People: Jett, weirdly enough. He speaks to the ghost of his dead great-great grandfather without realizing he's talking to a ghost until Kayla shows him pictures of him talking to himself in the park. He also sees the ghost of a deceased local baseball player standing next to his widow.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: Of the non-romantic sort. Jett's mother primarily only appears on the show when talking to her son over the computer (until she moves to town in the third season).
  • Mass Hypnosis: Dr. Hypnoto's gimmick in Silverstone. Specifically, using hypnotic stuffed animals to control the minds of children.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Kayla and her parents don't suffer this in the show, but the concept is discussed with Jett's grandmother when the three teenagers ask what life would have been like back when she was a teenager. Kayla's heritage would have made her never wholly accepted in either the Black community or the White community.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: One the biggest villains in Silverstone, Rat, is played by a man who's great with kids and spoke out when he thought the show was getting too violent.
  • Mood Whiplash: This show has quite a few Very Special Episodes, including one which is surprisingly cynical for Disney. The Aesop of that episode is basically, "Life SUCKS if you're black! Unless you're a movie star."
  • Never Trust a Trailer: It was common for advertisements to only showcase the "Silverstone" part of the show, making the show look like a spy series. One can only imagine the reactions of people who were fooled by this, and then saw the actual show.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In an episode of Silverstone written by Jett reveals the characters Jett based on his friends all play this card.
    • The corrupt country sheriff inspired by his father is an undercover agent who takes down a group of enemy mercenaries on Silverstone's skateboard.
    • J.B.'s and Kayla's characters look like local hicks who don't get technology are agents on par with Silverstone from an ally agency. J.B.'s character is even faking his American accent.
    • The kindly old lady character inspired by Jett's grandmother is the cold, methodical, and hidden villain of the week who is not caught and plans to keep watch over all these agents.
  • Parents Know Their Children: Leads to The Reveal in the movie.
  • Picked Last: In a casual basketball game, J.B. gave up and left when a kid with a broken arm was picked ahead of him.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: J.B.
  • Record Needle Scratch: Occurs when Kayla asks the guys if they see her as black or white while Jett is using his turntable.
  • Refuge From TV Land/Trapped in TV Land: The movie has Jett and Silverstone swap places with each other.
  • Rogues Gallery: For Silverstone
  • Romantic False Lead: Used in the last couple of episodes.
  • Save Both Worlds: Used in The Movie.
    Silverstone: If Kragg gets this world, it's only a matter of time until he comes for yours.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: "Kayla and I are just friends!"
  • Show Within a Show: Silverstone
  • Sliding Scale of Law Enforcement: Positive. Jett's dad is a very good cop and a devoted (if slightly stern) father.
  • Spot the Imposter: A rather complicated example of this in the movie.
  • Snow Means Love: It's revealed that it never snows in Wilsted, until Miz Corretta makes amends with a childhood sweetheart.
  • Token Trio: Mixed up a bit as the black guy's the main character and the girl is a mixed-race.
  • Trapped in TV Land: In The Movie, Jett and Silverstone switch places, with Silverstone entering the real world and Jett having to save the fictional world.
  • 2-for-1 Show