Zoom (TV series)

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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 2006. In the latter year, it was followed by a spin-off called Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman.


Tropes used in Zoom (TV series) include:

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.
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Kids: (Holding up a sign) THANKS!

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  • 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.
  • Calvin Ball: 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.
  • Fun with Subtitles: The closed captions not only subtitle the Ubbi Dubbi, but write the sound effect descriptions in Ubbi Dubbi, too!
  • Ha Ha Ha No: Usually done in Ubbi Dubbi.
  • 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.
  • Rearrange the Song
  • 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 one video, 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.
  • Smash Cut: The Season 5 intro has the kids playing a game of baseball. It flies out of the park and intro the studio, where it is caught.
  • 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.

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