Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lost Nickelodeon Gems

I spent a good bit of my childhood years with my eyes glued to Nickelodeon. I loved books, but my mom dropped me off at my grandmother's house a lot and I didn't have a way to transfer the books to a different location. So I watched TV instead. Or beat up my little cousin. But those are different stories for another day. Funnily enough, Nickelodeon used to be a legitimate entertainment source. Back in the days before Zoey 101, Spongebob Squarepants, or iCarly, Nick was pretty fucking cool. So I decided to put together a list of Nick's coolest (and sadly, forgotten) television shows. Rugrats isn't on this list, although it was the cutest and coolest cartoon and I watched it from its '91 inception to about '02, but it went on to get weighed down by new characters and corrupted by lame movies and spinoff series'. Anyway, this is the list. Feel free to add your own since it's been a minute since these shows have even been on.

1. The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo: This show was the shit. First, there was an Asian family on Nickelodeon and they had more depth than the fam from that Jackie Chan cartoon. Plus Mr. Miyagi was the grandfather and Shelby solved crimes! She was like the Asian Nancy Drew. She was...Shelby Woo!

2. All That: Do I need to explain how this show was cool? It was originally marketed as an "SNL for kids" and everything was super copasetic and hella funny until the cast started changing and Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Lori Beth Denberg, and Amanda Bynes left and then, um, Nick Cannon joined the show...but I'll always remember the "Cooking with Chocolate," "Ask Ashley," Repairman," and "Vital Information" skits. Did you know the theme song was sung by TLC? Back in the day, I had the soundtrack on cassette. Actually, let me go find that tape...

3. Are You Afraid of the Dark?: My mom actually wouldn't let me watch this show until I was seven because of the Y-7 logo that came up, but I used to sneak episodes in when she wasn't around. It scared the shit out of me, espesh the opening scenes when the Midnight Society would come and set up the story they were about to tell. I had mad nightmares from that shit though.

4. Clarissa Explains It All: One word: rad. Oh wait, three words: rad as fuck. Melissa Joan Hart was amazing as Clarissa and she always wore the coolest clothing (well for the mid 90s anyway) and I used to love when she would stop the scene and draw words and pictures. But I hated that Ferguson!

5. AAAHHH! Real Monsters!: If ever Nick dabbled in the dark and macabre, this show was it. It was about monsters who attended some kind of monster academy, taught by this super spastic, super flamboyant schoolteacher who wore chaps and boots, but as far as I can remember, no shirt. There was a smart girl, a red guy with an oddly high voice, and a short dude that held his eyeballs. It was quirky and creepy and yet still amazingly childlike.

6. Gullah Gullah Island: This show was on really early in the morning, but it was cool because it was fun education. I learned sharing was caring, honesty was the best policy, and how to tiedye a shirt at home. Plus it had a cool theme song and it was set on a fake island! Really, it was set on St Helena Island off the coast of SC.

7. Rocko's Modern Life: The shit. Obvi, the epitome of children's adult programming. It was full of sex jokes that didn't even make a little sense until I was older, but I loved Philbert the turtle and Heiffer the cow. Plus they lived in O-Town. The innuendos were limitless. My mom works at a company like Conglom-O, but Ed Bighead doesn't own it.

8. Taina: This show was on a little later, but I loved it. One of the few shows to feature a Latina lead, it was original and exciting and had attitude. Plus she went to a performing arts school and had wicked cool friends that got her into crazy shit. She paved the way for the craziness that ensues/d in That's So Raven, which sucks/ed btw.

Do you guys know of any I missed? Some up for honorable mention were Animorphs, The Secret World of Alex Mack, Hey Dude!, What Would You Do?, Double Dare, and Hey Arnold! Man, I will always love TV.



Rhea said...

I loved Keenan and Kel, Ren and Stimpy, Pete and Pete, Salute your shorts, Doug and Eurekas castle.

I wish I had cable because I think some of these shows still come on Noggin.

MACK said...

The Secret World of Alex Mack was the greatest show ever, for obvious reasons.

Chris said...

Dude...Doug was amazing; it was like an animated version of the Wonder Mr. Wizard...can't forget he came on mad early in the at 6 am.

Carsi said...

I loved salute your shorts, and remember Roundhouse, where they'd have dance routines and skits and stuff. Damn has me wishing it were '93 again. My 3rd grade teacher was Big Pete's aunt, he came to my school one day and I almost died =:)

Secretista said...

I love all the shows you just listed!