Next up in my Blast From the Past series? TV shows!!!
As a kid, I watched a lot of TV. I mean, I played with friends and played outside and went to school and everything. But, really, our family had the TV on pretty much all the time. We watched Saturday morning cartoons every Saturday until we were old enough to be at sports games on Saturday. And, we watched TGIF every Friday night! I have vivid memories of being frustrated with my mom as a small child because she was vacuuming while I was trying to watch Eureka's Castle! Ha!
So, in honor of my favorite pastime, here are the shows I watched as a kid...
1. Under The Umbrella Tree - Okay, this is one of those things where I absolutely remember it fondly, but I absolutely can't remember what it was about. Oops. I know this show came on the Disney Channel when I was really young. We had the Disney Channel off and on until I was about 8 or so. Then, we always had it. But, I remember watching this when I was 4 or 5. These 3 puppet kids lived in a house with a strange lady. Maybe the girl puppet was named Gloria? I really don't know. But, I know I loved it! And I can still sing the theme song, so that's gotta' count for something, right?
2. David the Gnome - This show came on Nickeloden back during its prime. (I'm sure they'd tell you right now is their prime, but come on. We 90's kids know the truth!) David was a gnome who lived in the forest. He had a wife and a pet fox that he rode around on. Awesome. There were always forest emergencies and David would jump on his fox and swiftly swoop in and save the day. There were these troll people who were always causing problems and I remember one episode especially when a troll baby got stuck in the middle of a river and David helped save it. Even though they were the bad guys. What a stand up guy. Er, gnome.
3. Full House - As a kid, I just absolutely, positively could not get enough of this show. I adored it. I'm a year or two older than Mary Kate and Ashley, so it was pretty much on every Friday night for the entirety of my childhood. Michelle was always my favorite, but I have to say that upon watching reruns of this show in the last few years, Michelle was obnoxious. So was Stephanie. They're kind of entitled little brats, actually. You don't notice that as a kid, do you? How everyone in that whole house drops what they're doing 24/7 to deal with those whiny kids. But, the kids in my class still love this show today. So, it's longevity can't be denied. Duh!!
4. The Jetson's - This wasn't made during my childhood, but it's definitely a show I watched as a kid. We loved some cartoons over at my house. This futuristic cartoon was one of the best. Judy and Elroy were kids just like us, but they seemed so cool! And Rosie the maid could do all this neat stuff like clean with a feather duster that came out of her body. Oh, and they rode around in rocket ship thingies and lived in outer space. Yeah, this show was totally one of the good ones.
5. The Flintstones - This is the other good one. Who didn't love the Flintstones?? While The Jetsons was set in the future, this show was set in the past. Fred, Wilma and Pebbles were your average Stone Age family! I loved every single minute of watching this family and their friends, the Rubbles. In fact, one Halloween, me and my brother and our neighbors dressed up like the gang from The Flintstones and went trick or treating together. If that's not dedication to a tv show, I don't know what is!
6. Rugrats - I loved me some Rugrats, y'all! Loved it. It was just always on. Always. Tommy, Angelica, Chuckie, Phil and Lil were the sassiest babies ever and they always found some trouble. A lot of my friends weren't allowed to watch this because.... I don't really know why? Because Angelica was mean, I guess. Well, my mom didn't care that we watched it and, boy, did we watch it! Tommy was always my favorite. That bald little baby had a lot of spunk!
7. Doug - Here's another Nickelodeon classic! Admit it, you watched Doug too. He was the straight man to his eccentric friend Skeeter and his tomboy love interest, Patty Mayonnaise. Doug was just like Rugrats in that it was a half hour show that included two 15 minute shorts. This was Nickelodeon's method of choice back in the nineties. Extra points to anybody who remembers Doug's alter-ego name!! (Okay, I'll tell you. Quail Man!)
8. Reading Rainbow - If there was ever any doubt that I was destined to be a teacher, my love of this show should put that to bed. Reading Rainbow: making teachers out of kids since the 1980's.
9. The Cosby Show - I can't really remember what age I watched this. Probably middle school? But, once I caught on, I tuned in to the reruns every day! I loved Theo and Vanessa and, of course, little Rudy. This was just one of those shows that sucked you in because it was funny and heart-warming. A winning combo.
10. Home Improvement - Tim Taylor never met a domestic disaster that he couldn't fix. Well, that's not true. But, he sure did try. And his three sons were always up to all kinds of shenanigans. I'm pretty sure I watched this for two reasons: Tim Allen was funny and Johnathan Taylor Thomas. And that really needs no more explanation... Remember the very-special-episode when they thought he had cancer? Tears for days, y'all. Tears for days.
11. Smart Guy - Tahj Mowry was the little brother of the stars of Sister, Sister. I never really loved Sister, Sister. Although my mom sure did! Ha! But, when Tahj starred in his own show, I was alllllll about it! Mostly, I liked this show because Tahj's older brother and his friend were really funny. I remember my brother and I watching this all the time and laughing our heads off. Plus, Tahj played a really, really smart kid who went to high school with his brother and sister. As you do...
12. Boy Meets World - Has there ever been a more perfect love affair? Have two people ever spent more time together? Have you ever seen two people stare majestically into each other's eyes so happily? Shawn and Cory: the bromance of the century. Plus, Cory and Topanga liked each other a lot, too! All that was great. We all loved Shawn and laughed at Cory and rolled our eyes at Topanga. But, you know the reason you really watched this show. Eric Matthews, the funniest tv character of all time. Oh, and Mr. Feeeennnnyyyyyyyyy!
13. Dinosaurs - You know, if you do any research on this show or see it on nineties blogs, people are very fond of this show. They all talk about how it was ahead of its time and how it shed light on social issues of our time and all that. Sure, I guess. You know why I was tuned in every week? I'll give you a hint. A baby dinosaur who sat in a high chair and hit his family on the head with a frying pan. "I'm the baby, gotta love me!" I did love that baby. I did.
14. Double Dare and other Mark Sommers shows - They just don't make shows like this anymore. Where else can you tune in to watch families compete against each other, slide down giant noses into pools of slime, get pied in the face and get utterly and completely filthy? Mark Sommers used to host about four of these shows and they were all good. They were all filmed at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida in front of a live audience, or so they told us about ten times an episode. This is quintessential Nickelodeon television right here, folks.
15. Family Matters - Or, as it was formally known, Urkel. Why they didn't name that show Urkel is beyond me. Because, I'll just say it. You weren't tuning in to see Judy Winslow's latest adventure and neither was I. All we wanted was to see Urkel knock Carl off the roof or back the car through the kitchen and say "Did I do that?" That's all we wanted.
16. Growing Pains - Two words: Mike Seaver. There was never a more adorable, lovable, disaster of a teenager. But, although he found his fair share of trouble, he always managed to do the right thing in the end. He bugged the heck out of his sister Carol (who wouldn't, though) and his brother Ben (who grew up to do his own fair share of bugging people.) But, then, he became an adult (kinda) and took in a homeless kid named Luke and got all mature and stuff. And, boy, did they bring in Luke just in time! Because, Ben Seaver never turned into a heartthrob and Mike Seaver was now to old to be a proper crush for all the Tweens. I'd say a young Leonardo DiCaprio saved the last season of Growing Pains - just on his looks alone!
17. Saved by the Bell - I've seen every show. New class, original class, middle school version, the awful Tori years, the beach episodes and, of course, the often loved college years. Boy, they milked this series for all it was worth, huh? Zach Morris was cut from the Mike Seaver cloth: hot, charming, mischievous, and, ultimately, a good guy who gets it right in the end. But, ya know, I learned a lot of life lessons from Saved by the Bell: never take caffeine pills (they make you too excited!), oil spills are not good news for your animal friends (never mind that I lived in Tennessee), and there's no hope with dope ( I know, I'm shocked too!)
18. Brotherly Love - Look at all that hair! The Lawrence Brothers starred in this show about three brothers who lived in Philly who worked at a car garage. I just remember this being funny.
19. Bug Juice - It doesn't come in a jar. Bug Juice comes from who you are. Omg. I could not get enough of this show about the true life adventures of real kids, making friends, having fun, on Bug Juice! (Dare you not to read that like the song. Couldn't do it, could you?) This was a reality show before reality shows were all the rage. The Disney Channel featured this show of kids going to summer camp. I can't remember how old I was when this came on. Probably too old to watch it as religiously as I did. But, after an episode or two, I couldn't wait to tune in to see who had a crush on Hassan this week. And would Asa ever stop being so annoying to everybody else? And would Caitlin be a giant baby and want to go home? (Spoiler alert: she did.) Just as a side note, I found this show on youtube recently and watched the entire series. On my iPad. And it's still just as good. It's full of 90s fashion and slang, which is always funny to relive.
20. The Brady Bunch - Remember when Nick at Nite used to play the best television of all time? Me too. Sigh. I used to watch all kinds of good shows before bed. And the Brady Bunch (and I Love Lucy) were my faves! It's just so quaint. And happy. You physically can't watch this show and be in a bad mood. It's just not possible.
Honorable Mentions: Doogie Howser: MD, Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, California Dreams, Rocko's Modern Life, Eureka's Castle, Salute Your Shorts and Hey, Dude.
Well, those were my favorite tv shows as a kid. What were yours?