If I had a dollar for every time my friends and I reminisced about how amazing it was being a child of the 1990s, I wouldn’t have to keep forbearing my graduate school loans. From Ace of Base to Lisa Frank, we can talk for hours about the things that made the decade fun, colorful, and absolutely awesome. Sure, we didn’t have the Internet and cell phones, but we had Full House, The Baby-Sitters Club and pogs!
Our talks often turn to television, which just so happens to be my favorite mode of entertainment. I make my DVR work hard for me, and it’s not unusual for it to only have a few hours of space available – I’ve got a lot of season passes. What we remember most fondly is ABC’s TGIF lineup (The saga of Cory and Topanga! Steve Urkle versus Stefan Urquelle!) and Nickelodeon. Now, Nick has picked up on the love so many of us twenty-somethings still have for their shows, and have announced that later this year, they’re going to start airing such classics as Clarissa Explains It All, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, All That and Kenan & Kel during the aptly titled “The “˜90s Are All That” block, airing from midnight to 2 a.m.
Clarissa Explains It All was one of the definitive shows of my childhood. Melissa Joan Hart was the perfect Clarissa – she was creative and curious and charming without being annoyingly sassy like most of the characters on shows today. She paved the way for Nick’s later take-charge female characters, including Alex Mack and Shelby Woo. I wanted to dress like her and have my very own Sam (although he wouldn’t need a ladder to get into my first floor bedroom). Clarissa wasn’t perfect though – she could get jealous and selfish, making her an accurate portrayal of 99.9% of teenagers worldwide.
I also loved Pete & Pete, which was delightfully weird. My mom didn’t have a plate in her head, I didn’t have a tattoo named Petunia, and my sisters and I didn’t share a name, but the show was oddly relatable. I vividly remember the episode where the family went to the Hoover Dam, a place that I would still like to visit.
“The “˜90s Are All That” lineup isn’t perfect, at least not yet. There’s no word on whether or not Salute Your Shorts and Hey Dude will air, or Are You Afraid of the Dark? I do believe every child needs to live through watching that creepy opening sequence, complete with a sinister clown and a deserted playground at night. Ohhhh … I just got a chill.
I’m excited to watch these shows again, and I hope my nine-year-old niece, who loves Sonny With a Chance, Good Luck Charlie and Big Time Rush, will love these classics. Even though I’ll be viewing through adult eyes, it’ll be fun to go back to being the seven-year-old who thought Clarissa Darling really could explain it all.