Did you grow up in the 90’s like The Whore? Then you grew up in a renaissance, of sorts, for television! On this list, we didn’t include such stalwarts as The Sopranos or Friends. I didn’t start watching them until I was older. What we’ve done with this list is picked those shows that really hit your heart AND nostalgia bone.
First, a warning: Saved By The Bell, possibly the greatest show ever, is not included on this list as it started in 1988. Please don’t send us death threats.
Read the list after the jump!
10. Clarissa Explains It All
Oh the days of Clarissa Darling and her awful, Republican, little brother Ferguson. Each episode was a fun, light trip through a day in the life of Clarissa. Who can forget the time Aunt Mathalda comes to visit from Canada and Clarissa and Ferguson try convincing her the house is haunted in order to get her to leave? How could you not love the ancient seeming computer she had, which seemed like cutting edge technology at the time? How could you not love the fact that she would break the fourth wall to let you know just what is on her mind?
9. Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
Another SNICK show! This horror anthology show was terrifying to me in my youth. Every week, at a secret location in the woods, the “Midnight Society” would meet and one member would tell a story. These stories ranged from paranormal phenomenon to witches, goblins and aliens. To this day, the intro still freaks me out. There were plenty of nights that The Whore crept into Momma & Poppa Whores’ room to sleep on the floor after this show.
8. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
Growing up, the Indiana Jones movies were three of my favorite movies. Even at that tender age, I was a huge George Lucas fan. When The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles hit television, I was hopelessly addicted. What I didn’t know at the time, was that I was also getting a lesson in history. The sweeping, world travelling stories also gave us a sense of the world that, at that age, I hadn’t experienced yet.
This was a Jim Henson creation that ran on ABC from 1991 – 1994. It was your normal 1990’s sitcom – except they replaced humans with dinosaurs. It ran a hysterical 4 years and dealt with the Sinclair family and their ups and downs. Who could forget Baby Sinclair and all of his antics? Truly a classic! The clip above perfectly conveys the adult humor of the show. Even better, the show is just as good today as it was almost 20 years ago.
6. Step By Step
The song is STILL stuck in my head! Step By Step was the 90’s answer to The Brady Bunch. Frank, a divorced contractor, and father of 3, impulsively marries Carol, a beautician with 3 children of her own. The series followed the family as they dealt with their lives coming together & in “very special episodes” – coming apart. I’m still wondering where Brendan disappeared to after Season 6? Was he abducted by aliens? It is also quite strange to think that Cody is now 42 years old.
5. Saved By The Bell: The College Years
Ahhh, one of the spin-offs of the greatest show in television history: Saved By The Bell. While “The New Class” was scampering through Bayside High with seemingly random cast changes mid-season, the original Bayside gang hauled off to college. The Max was long gone. There was no trace of Tori Scott (I still don’t understand why Jessie Spano & Kelly Kapowski just disappeared midway through the final season of SBTB with no explanation- maybe they were abducted by the same aliens that stole Brendan away). This was a new chapter for half of the Bayside gang. Zack, Slater and Screech all attend the same college, and are up to much of the same antics they were in high school. Instead of Mr. Belding, we had Mike Rogers, a 40 something year old dorm advisor. A little creepy eh? Kelly was gone, but then came back mid-way through. Lisa was gone, but then came back for one episode. Jessie Spano was
off stripping in Showgirls apparently studying at Brown University. It had it’s own magic, but never quite reached the heights of the original. The song wasn’t as catchy either.
4. Boy Meets World
Oh Mr. Feeny and your infinite wisdom. If only life were as simple as the life that Corey Matthews lived. Fights with his on & off & on & on & on & off girlfriend Topanga. Fights with his best friend, Eric. Fights with his big brother, his little sister and his parents. Yet, somehow, at the end of that 30 minute span, everything and everyone was OK. And once again- all was right with the Matthews world – & ours too.
3. California DreamsCalifornia Dreams was a sort of sister show to Saved By The Bell. Originally focusing on the relationship of a high school aged brother and sister with their family, the focus soon became the band that they start. By the 2nd season, the family was practically written off the show, and the California Dreams were the full focus. We follow this group through their entire high school career, up to and including the touching series finale. I still sing this song randomly – then my mom yells at me to keep it down because she’s sleeping 🙁
2. Fresh Prince Of Bel Air
Probably THE catchiest television theme song of all time!
Take that Friends! Everyone that was under the age of 40 in the 1990’s knows this show. Will is sent by his mother from Philadelphia to live with his wealthy relatives in Bel Air California. Hilarity ensues as his street style clashes with the Banks family upper crust ways. Plus, any show that produces The Carlton Dance, deserves it’s spot on the Top 10.
“The Carlton Dance”
1. Home Improvement
Ahh, the Taylor family. Everyone’s favorite lovable lug of a father, Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor works as the host of a home improvement show, while juggling the family that looks up to him. Who couldn’t relate with the father figure that has well meaning ways, but often disastrous results? This was also the show that introduced the world to Pamela Anderson, who left after two seasons of the “Tool Time Girl” to star on bigger and better things (eg. Baywatch). To this day Home Improvement can be founding running in syndication and will forever live on in our hearts – & on DVD.