Side Hustle is an American comedy television series created by Dave Malkoff. It first aired on Nickelodeon on November 7, 2020, and stars Jayden Bartels and Jules LeBlanc, who previously starred in Nickelodeon's Group Chat. It lasted for two seasons and 46 episodes before its end on June 30, 2022.
On July 18, 2022, Munchy's actor Isaiah Crews and Fisher's actor Mitchell Berg announced the cancellation of Side Hustle.
Lex and Presley, along with their friend Munchy, wind up accidentally setting their school principal's (Munchy's dad) boat on fire via fireworks and have to repay for the boat or they will be forced to work as sanitation duty at school. Not helping matters is Munchy's older brother Jaget, who is constantly demanding money week by week. With the help of Presley's younger scientist/hacker brother Fisher, the three create a mobile app to help them get called into jobs, no matter how embarrassing or cheesy the job ends up being.
- To start, this show was made mostly to cash in on the fame of Jayden Bartels and Jules LeBlanc, who previously starred in Group Chat, which isn't any better.
- Writing can be poor at times to the point where most of the jobs provided are too generic, unrealistic, or inhumane to even happen in real life.
- Somewhat poor characterizations:
- Lex and Presley (while having unique personalities to one another) can display Mary Sue's qualities as they manage to find ways to still obtain money each week despite messing up in their jobs.
- Munchy (while also having a unique personality) is too quirky to the point where he ends up being too obnoxious and unhelpful when he could have been a more likable and helpful character instead.
- Speaking of him, what kind of name is Munchtopher?
- Fisher is the generic tech-savvy character with no character otherwise, who also has a stalker-like crush on Lex.
- Jaget is a sub-par antagonist who serves for unfunny comic relief and usually pops up out of nowhere as well.
- Acting can be laughable sometimes.
- The laugh track is overused in the early episodes of the show, with it being played after almost every other line.
- The protagonists end up doing more harm than good in the jobs, yet end up getting away with their payments with no consequences.
- For instance, despite nearly ruining a clothing store manager's plans in "Start Hustling", they manage to get away scot-free by extorting the manager into giving them the money. This makes the protagonists hard to root for.
- The stage setup and props can sometimes be cheap and unappealing.
- For instance, in "Vitamin D-isaster," after finding out the results of the vegetable vitamin was working, lots of fake food can be found on the ground.
- The theme song, while good, is extremely short (lasts hardly 20 seconds) and only credits Jules LeBlanc and Jayden Bartels. What about the rest of the cast? Note: The rest of the cast also appear in the theme song, they just aren’t credited.
- Tries hard to be hip and current. For example, the Walrus Dance Scene in the “Yard Sale” episode.
- A lot of the humor involves characters screaming or messing up on simple tasks.
- Much like Sam & Cat, Lex, Presley, and Munchy often engage in illegal actions to obtain their paycheck, and these actions are never commented on by anyone else.
- "Yard Sale" is a great example, as Jaget "helps" them find a dog toy with money in it by stealing all the dog toys from the neighborhood.
- This show has pretty bad morals, such as:
- Not using common sense
- Depending on your view, the crossover with Young Dylan, Danger Force, That Girl Lay Lay, and Warped! called "When Worlds Collide", was a mediocre crossover special, and the storyline was pretty boring although this was the first Nickelodeon live-action show to have a crossover with five shows.
- In Thumb and Thumber, the team was able to pay off Tedward's boat with the one Presley won from the thumb war, but ended up blowing up Jaget's dune buggy, starting a new, worse era of the show with him being a much stricter boss towards them.
- The worst episode of this era would have to be Dinner for Jerks, where Jaget forces the trio to do a job they turned down from their enemy Crunchy and invite every mean guest they've encountered from the past episodes and made sure they were extra hard on them.
- The finale of this show, Yesley Day ended the show on a cliffhanger, meaning that we do not know if the team ever fully paid off Jaget's dune buggy or not.
- Speaking of which, the finale is an exact ripoff to the final episode of Victorious where in both episodes, the characters have to say yes to everything.
- The show has an extremely creative concept of having someone work for another no matter of condition, although said flaws stated above make the execution rather poor.
- There are many good and funny moments in the series.
- The new episodes seem to be an improvement for several reasons:
- The episodes that do not revolve around the app are the "better" episodes.
- The laugh track is no longer overused in later episodes, is only used at appropriate times, and does not disrupt the episode's flow at all.
- The theme song, while short, is incredibly catchy.
- The songs in this show are extremely good, Especially “Be Like You" and "I Would walk 500 miles". "The, “I told you so” song in “Extra Crunchy” is extremely hilarious.
- Fisher, while generic, is pretty tolerable.
- Occasional good episodes like "Mouth Noise", "Room for Munchy", "Scare Bear", "Friendiversary", and "Karaoke Kickoff".
- Fisher's crush on Lex is hilarious at times.
- Sometimes the humor relies on actual jokes, and not just characters messing up in jobs.
- The acting slightly improving as the series went on.
- The show does have some cheap props but not all the props are cheap and many are just as real as other shows.
It has received mixed reviews from both critics and viewers alike. It holds a 5.1/10 on IMDb.
- Terry Crews (father of Isaiah Crews who plays Munchy and is an extremely famous actor) guest-starred as Munchy’s “Uncle Nedward” in the episode called “Uncle Nedward.”