Pop Culture

Clarissa, Pete and Pete: They’re back!

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.

Clarissa Darling.

By Catherine

Catherine is a Southern California based freelance writer, whose work has appeared in everything from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly. The highlight of her life (so far) was being featured on MSNBC for a story she wrote on Hello Kitty wines...she knew one day her love of all things HK would come in handy.

18 replies on “Clarissa, Pete and Pete: They’re back!”

I would love to see Are you Afraid of the dark and Salute Your Shorts again so I hope those will be in the line-up. Does anyone know if there was a show called “Wild & crazy Kids” where they did like obstacle course stuff usually outside I think involving teams with matching shirts and/or what the name of the show was with the kids in outer space, all I remember is the girl with the rainbow bob hair-do. No one I know remembers either of these.

Fear not, I remember them both! Wild and Crazy Kids had them do crazy obstacle course stuff, usually there was an event in a pool, and there were parts where they had to jump through gates while rotten tomatoes rained down on their heads.

The other show you’re talking about is Space Cases. Damn, I wanted to have that rainbow hair. Also the gal with the rainbow hair was in that show Firefly, and I think she was the main character.

Space Cases was my JAM. Rainbow-haired girl was Susie, who for awhile was the invisible friend of Rebecca Herbst of General Hospital fame, and all the other crewmembers didn’t believe she existed, until… something… happened and they swapped places. LOVED that show.

I loved Clarissa. I thought she was the coolest and wanted to have hubcaps on my wall. I have searched fruitlessly numerous times for full episodes on Youtube and Megavideo. However, I always wanted to be Annie Mack since she was a brilliant young scientist. I have found a way to relive Alex Mack on the internet with a list of episode links in the description of this video:

I totally agree. I remember watching All That in the beginning of its run, but I didn’t stick with it for too long. I also loved R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike. I probably shouldn’t have been reading some of those Christopher Pike books when I did, but I devoured them!

Are You Afraid of the Dark came out right when I was in the throws of Goosebumps Mania. And even then, that show scared the crap out of me. The candle. OMG the candle. I hope they bring it back.

I remember so many episodes…

Also, Doug. The world needs more Dougs.

And, I don’t know if it was a Nickelodeon produced show or not but they used to air this series that was about three friends with special powers. They were all British kids. There may have been some sort of necklace or charm involved? Maybe they were aliens? Either way, I was ENTHRALLED. I loved it. I think it was my gateway show to The X-Files.

Basically, I’m stoked for this new lineup.

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