Saturday, 15 June 2013

TV Shows of Yester-Year

Nostalgia has been getting a bad reputation recently. 

I am constantly reading how we need to stop living in the past and move forward, lest we all attach strings to our iPad’s and start trying to yo-yo them. While I agree that dwelling on the past too much can be unhealthy, I don’t believe it’s entirely negative or in fact as sinister as some people make out. Yes, it’s probably true that our obsession with all things nostalgic comes from dreaming of a time when we had less responsibility, but we also had less freedom, less rights and limited pocket money to spend on Sherbet Dib-Dabs. With that said I really don’t see how remembering the TV shows we used to watch nor listening to the odd song we once sang into our hairbrushes to is that damaging. 

I’m all for moving forward and seeing new things but I can’t count the amount of times I have been somewhere and made an odd 90’s reference to some obscure film/book/song that has sparked off a conversation with someone or made someone smile. I’m so happy for those moments and I think it creates a special bond with people you never thought possible. It is for that reason that I’m going to keep one arm in the past for now and write this post dedicated to some of the nostalgic TV programs I used to watch at a child/teenager. Hopefully some of you will remember them and it will bring a smile to your face to!

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

When: 1996 - 2003

For those who may have spent the 90’s under a rock, the show was based around 16 year old Sabrina Spellman who moves in with her two eccentric aunt’s only to find out on her birthday that she’s a witch. In the series that followed, Sabrina studied for her witches licence, tried to figure out her family secret, found true love at 16 and developed friendships with Jenny (and later Valerie) in the mortal realm. This was one of my favourite shows as a child! All of the character’s had real substance and all the story lines never failed to deliver some kind of twist that always ended with Sabrina learning a valuable life lesson.

Best Characters: Wow, so many! There were some really fantastic characters - both minor and major, to go into too much detail with but to list a few: Salem the cat, Aunt’s Hilda and Zelda, Drell the Head of the Witches Council, Mr Pool (making science cool, e-hem) and the Quizmaster!

Two of a Kind

When: 1998-1999

Oh God. 

I have to say it. 

It’s the only way I can explain my reason for picking this. 

I was a massive Olsen fan. 

Ok. Now let’s move on from this little detail and never speak of it again.  

Two of a Kind was a program about science professor/single father Kevin Burke and the problems he encounters while trying to raise his twin daughters. As simplistic a premise as it sounds, Two of a Kind had some good story lines and characters that kept every episode fun, if a little predictable at times (but who cares when your 13!) Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen play two twins who are complete polar opposites. One is a tom-boy who plays basketball and prefers to hang out with the guys; the other is a boy crazy make-up loving straight A student. I wonder if there will be conflict. The first episode introduces Carrie the quirky and loveable babysitter, one of the main characters throughout the series and Kevin’s eventual love interest… Who is also one of his students… Who also went out with his brother. You can see why this stuff was gold eh.

Kenan and Kel

When: 1996-2000 (and 1 made for TV film)


If you grew up in the 90’s, you know about Kenan and Kel! The program centered on Kenan Rockmore and his idiotic, orange soda loving friend Kel Kimble who would get into the most outrageous mischief. The thing I loved about Kenan and Kel was their interaction with the studio audience at the beginning and end of each episode. I distinctively remember the red curtain they would stand in front of to set the episode up and Kel’s reluctance to get involved in any of Kenan’s ill-thought-through plots.

Now: With many American television programs making a comeback, there was talk about a Kenan and Kel reunion. However according to Kel Mitchell (who plays Kel), the two are no longer on speaking terms. My little orange heart breaks. 

 Raising Dad

When? 2001-2002

I consider Raising Dad to be a little bit of an underdog in the world of Nickelodeon nostalgia. I’ve had many fond reminisces with people over TV shows of yester-year and no one seems to remember Raising Dad! I’m urging anyone who does to get in contact so I can prove to myself that it did actually happen! The show starred a much younger Kat Dennings and an even younger Brie Larson. It focused around a widowed father struggling to raise his two daughters. Haven’t we seen this before? Yes! But Raising Dad was a lot more mature than its predecessors, with a cleverly witty script and a varied group of characters it really was complete gold!

Now? They did something right! Kat Dennings went on to star in Two Broke Girls, Thor and The House Bunny and Brie Larson starred in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and 21 Jump Street.
 Sister Sister

When? 1994 – 1999

More twins?! Tia and Tamera play two twins of the same name who were separated at birth and reunited at a chance shopping trip with their respective adopted parents. The plot focused on the parent’s unlikely union as much as it did the two twins which kept the story-lines interesting and allowed it to develop. The show was also kept entertaining by their next door neighbour, Roger, who was infatuated with both the twins and often popped up only to be greeted by the phrase ‘GO HOME ROGER’. Sister Sister didn't strike a cord with me straight away, it took quite a while for me to really get into it, but once I had I really enjoyed watching it and found most of the episodes hilarious!

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

When? 1991 - 1996

Submitted for the approval of the Blogger society I call this program, one of the best things to come out of the 90’s.

You knew a program was scary if it was on Nickelodeon after 9pm. Are You Afraid of the Dark was a complete gem and since it was taken off air I have watched quite a few clips online to remind myself how good it was! Every episode had a different story to tell, all of supernatural and spooky goings on that were told by a group of children that called themselves The Midnight Society. Meeting once a week at midnight, they would take it in turns to tell stories that always began with the teller saying ‘Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story…’ Sometimes the stories would be based on other old tales or urban legends and sometimes on true stories. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was obsessed with any spooky or creepy when I was little. Goosebumps was another fond favourite that had a similar feel to Are You Afraid of the Dark

Erin xx

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