A few weeks ago, this teaser found its way onto the internet. It was then that life came full circle for everyone lucky enough to grow up with cable in the ’90s.Living the entirety of a decade in a span of 30-one seconds doesn’t seem possible to people who spent their childhood outdoors not eating fluffernutters, but for us generation X and Y latchkey kids who came home after school to watch Are You Afraid Of The Dark?, watching the teaser conjured a rush of indescribable nostalgia that washed over our collective being. Yells of “Ahhhhhh, here it goes!” could be heard all over the country.
It is now time to bask in the glory of 1990s Nickelodeon programming. Starting at midnight tonight, Nick will begin nightly airings of a two-hour block of their 90s programming called “The ’90s Are All That.” The shows that this block will include Clarissa Explains It All, Doug, Kenan & Kel, Pete & Pete, All That, and pretty much every other culturally relevant Nickelodeon program put out during the decade that raised so many of the people now entering the workforce.
These shows mean a LOT to the twentysomethings that are now getting used to the morning commute, and it’s not necessarily because they were any good. All That, for example, wasn’t gut-busting by any stretch of the imagination, but the humour it represented was important. While not subversive, it ever so gently stomped on the toes of the baby boomers that didn’t “get it.” Parents refused to laugh at it, but the kids loved it.
Subconsciously, 90’s Nickelodeon was anti-establishment. It used surreal humour in pretty much every single program, and there was no way any kid with average intelligence could ever relate to a good chunk of the subject matter since most of our parents were confused over its construct. The mark it left on our hearts is indelible. Kudos to Nickelodeon bringing it back unadulterated. There’s no better way to unwind after a long, hard day than watching two hours of our childhood to remind us of how we got there.
Now, what about future generations? Does their television programming have a message? It doesn’t appear so. Nickelodeon has seemingly gone the way of the Disney Channel and they are doing their absolute best to find the next Hannah Montana who didn’t teach anything in the first place except that we should always change who we are to impress other people. In fact, practically every network with a semblance or sliver of children’s programming is harvesting their own crop of Miley Cyruses to attempt a global take over. I am speaking in hyperbole, of course; a Cyrus army would be downright scary.
If we want to save our children from the meaningless programming that they are inundated with, other networks should bring back the best shows of yesteryear’s that are not only entertaining, but actually mean something.
Fort Greene, Brooklyn has a large, youth-oriented population that would love nothing more than to see Ghostwriter comeback. The show was based out of, and filmed, in this neighbourhood.
Ghostwriter was about a group of friends from Brooklyn that solve mysteries and minor crimes within their neighbourhood with the help of a ghost that they cannot see or hear. The only way the ghost could communicate with the kids was by manipulating the text surrounding them.
What made Ghostwriter so special was how it took the crazy idea of a ghost that literally had to find words in order to communicate with others and somehow turned the concept into one of the most 'real' kid's show in history.
The kids had great rapport and actually talked like they were kids which so many shows just didn't do. Not only that, the group of kids were diverse culturally, and in personality. The diversity on the show didn't feel forced like a college brochure; we could actually believe this group of kids could exist even if the jury is still out on ghosts.
If someone could set up a device that texts total strangers hanging out in Brooklyn about the details of a rather innocuous mystery, that would be fantastic.
As a nation, America has some of the worst standardized testing scores in science and maths in the world. As a nation with nearly universal access to television, we can remedy this.
When Bill Nye said 'Science rules' during the intro of each episode, even the biggest anti-learning advocate would be inclined to agree with 'the Science Guy.'
They made 100 episodes of Bill Nye The Science Guy. The first episode was about flight and the last episode was about motion. There's a lot of science between those two bookends, but there's a lot more science waiting to be found right outside the library.
Assuming Bill is willing to go back into the studio (which in all likelihood he's not), we could get these low test scores back up.
The words 'truly ahead of it's time' don't apply to anything as well as they do describing Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
Created by Ted Turner to encourage environmental awareness (yes, seriously), Captain Planet and the Planeteers was about Gaia awakening from her peaceful rest to find out that humans are ruining the planet. She in turn created a task force comprised of youth from all over the globe to stop the waste and pollution.
Each 'Planeteer' was from a different continent and represented one of the following elements: Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water. There was one more element added to equation with the inclusion of Heart. And, 'with their powers combined,' they could summon Captain Planet who would routinely solve all the problems brought forward in the episode with seconds to spare.
The world sure could use Captain Planet now. The United States Government hasn't really seemed to care about climate change since the show was taken off the air, and it can't be a coincidence.
It may be too hot outside for him to come out and play, anyway.
It's hard to fully explain what happened on You Can't Do That On Television since there was very little order to it. Describing YCDTOT as a sketch comedy show doesn't quite do enough to label it.
Parts of the show that appeared to have some sort of order to it would often be interrupted with a full grown adult making raspberries with his mouth or with buckets of green slime falling from the sky.
What could YCDTOT teach the youth of today? That's simple: how to be a kid.
It sure seems like a lot of people have lost all contact with their inner-child, and maybe that's because we've socially constructed ourselves to grow up as fast as we possibly can.
It's important to live up to your responsibilities and obligations to your family, your friends, and your job, but that pile of leaves over in the distance does look like it needs a good jumping upon.
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