While the days of waking up and checking the news to see if the superintendent or chancellor declared a snow day seem as ancient as the Y2K scare, thanks to Mother Nature, I’ve found that snow days, while rare, still do exist in the real world! Granted, snow days are now filled with compulsively checking my work e-mail, digging out my car and shoveling the driveway instead of building igloos, having snow ball fights and sledding. One thing has stayed the same, though, thanks to good ol’ TBS: my snow days still start with an hour of Saved by the Bell.
Back when Zack Morris’s cell hone wasn’t considered enormous, we used to have some pretty rad TV shows to watch. My recent snow days have left me reminiscing about “simpler” days when Nickelodeon rocked and everyone’s Friday plans were the same week after week, because, of course, we were all home, tuned in to ABC’s T.G.I.F. (which for anyone who spent the 90s living under a rock, means Thank God It’s Friday). Before the days of boy geniuses and pop stars with their own shows, we had a dancing tattoo named “Petunia” and a teenage boy madly in love with his next door teacher-turned-principal.
As we embark on a journey full of car and mortgage payments, insurance, investing in 401ks and repayment of our student loans, it can be easy to wish we were back in the less stressful times when we could turn on Nickelodeon to be amused by the different faces of Face. Nickelodeon’s line-up of shows in the 90’s may have been their best line-up of all time — it was home to many of our favorites, including:
- The Adventures of Pete & Pete, wherein though brothers shared a name, they were extremely opposite people
- All That, where some of the most hilarious things we saw on TV occurred and we saw some comical actors begin their careers. It was SNL for kids and Kenan Thompson even made it to the big leagues after getting his start on All That.
- Are You Afraid of the Dark? We all got spooked sometimes, even though no one wanted to admit it.
- Clarissa Explains it All. Melissa Joan Hart’s beginnings. We all saw parts of us in Clarissa Darling and we loved the annotations that she offered directly to her audience as well as her awesome bedroom.
- Doug. The kid made being not cool cool and everyone’s heart tugged at his obsessive love over Patti Mayonnaise.
- Guts. An ever-evolving game show which kept getting bigger with each season, it was completely based on skill and mastering the Aggro Crag was the dream of kids everywhere.
- Hey Dude. For all of us who didn’t live in a desert or near a farm, we all had a glimpse of what life out on the range would look like.
- Kenan and Kel. The reason orange soda holds a special place in all our hearts and the show that birthed the phrase “Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”
- Legends of the Hidden Temple. The Red Jaguars, Blue Barracudas, Green Monkeys, Orange Iguanas, Purple Parrots and Silver Snakes battled to advance each round to get to the final round in hopes of making it to the temple and feeling a little bit like Indiana Jones.
- Rugrats. Where babies talked and screwdrivers were stored in diapers, yet were never found when it was time for a diaper change.
- Salute Your Shorts. So many of us wished we had spent a summer at Camp Anawanna tormenting Kevin “Ug” Lee.
- The Secret World of Alex Mack. Alex could do the one thing we all wanted to be able to do: turn into a silver puddle so we could sneak out of our rooms without being seen when we were grounded.
Fortunately, we had more than one outlet for awesome TV. In addition to Nickelodeon, ABC nailed it home with T.G.I.F. The twins, Mary Kate & Ashley, doubled up to play Michelle on one of T.G.I.F.’s original hits, Full House, (which sadly was pulled off the air without a proper good bye). In case one non-conventional family wasn’t enough, we had another that lived in Wisconsin; Step-by-Step was our very own version of the Brady Bunch. Sticking with the family theme, who could forget the Winslows’ and their obnoxious neighbor who wore his pants above his waist with suspenders (don’t lie, you loved Urkel and thought Stefan was smoking HOT) from Family Matters? And then we had my personal favorite, Boy Meets World, where Cory and Topanga were hopelessly in love, Mr. Feeny was the teacher we always wanted, Eric was hopeless, and I was madly in love with bad boy Shawn.
As shows of this caliber are not likely to be repeated again, there is not much left to say other than, “class dismissed.”