Returning to Roots Over Quarantine: An Ode to Sterling Knight


Lu MacKenzie and Edy MacKenzie

As my sisters and I were officially entering our second month of social isolation, all three of us were searching for a new activity to keep busy. We wanted something both entertaining and unifying, that a third grader, a freshman, and a senior would enjoy–which is a tough feat. Naturally, it took a mere five minutes before we were sitting in our family room, scrolling through Disney+.

After spending no less than an hour searching for the perfect cinematic masterpiece, and despite our mom’s persisting desires for us to watch the wholesome new Pixar movie, Onward, we unanimously defied the odds and landed on the 2010 hit film Starstruck, starring Danielle Campbell and the one, the only, Sterling Knight as teen pop sensation Christopher Wilde.

As we invested ourselves in the relationship between small-town girl Jessica Olsen and Hollywood star Christopher Wilde, my sisters and I found ourselves connecting over the nostalgia and love we share for 2000s disney, particularly Sterling himself. We then proceeded to stay up all night binging Demi Lovato’s Sonny with a Chance, in which Sterling single-handedly carries the show, playing Chad Dylan Cooper, star of #1 tween drama MacKenzie Falls. We also felt it necessary to revisit his minor role in 2009’s 17 Again.

Watching Sterling in action and reminiscing over our childhood sent us into many old patterns, as if we were suddenly back in elementary school hoping to catch the next episode at 8/7 central. We have each rewatched and discussed episodes (and the respective movies of) Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, Zoey 101, Drake and Josh, Phineas and Ferb, Spongebob Squarepants, Victorious and more of our favorites. Not only this, but we have been diving back into frequent Mario Kart Wii segments, Minecraft worlds and old-timey board games we’ve had for years like Sorry! and Zooreka. 

Sharing and laughing over childhood memories brought us much closer during these difficult times. We have come to the agreement that DCOMs are the purest form of modern artistry and that Sterling Knight does not in fact deserve his current reputation as the guy Disney tried to force us to crush on. Of course that is just our opinion, and we are sadly very much aware of his stark digression in attractiveness following the conclusion of the 00’s, but regardless, it was characters like him who we undeniably grew up idolizing. That’s what makes having the chance to pass down the legacy of 2000s/2010s childhood to younger generations (aka our nine-year old sister) truly rewarding. With the horrendous content Disney and Nickelodeon are attempting to advertise now, kids these days could use a good taste of quality television. 

All in all, if you’re looking for a place to turn during this chaos, you can always take a trip back in time to the memories and experiences of your childhood, since we all seem to have had similar ones. Whoever your elementary school icon was, rewatching Disney and Nickelodeon classics and spending day in and day out on the Wii is a calming, nostalgic way to revisit simpler times. One can safely say that, for us, it was Sterling Knight himself whose charming disposition and sarcastic one-liners have made these trying circumstances all the more bearable.

Wherever he is now, however he is coping with the pandemic and all of its ramifications, I only hope that the truly illustrious Christopher Wilde is doing well and staying safe. We really wouldn’t be sane without him.

All of Our Love, the MacKenzies

P.S.- The real fans know CDC does not in fact stand for Center of Disease Control and Prevention, but Chad Dylan Cooper. So all the work America is doing to combat Corona is really just Sterling in disguise. Thank you.