I don’t know about you–but lately I’ve been feeling pretty nostalgic about the ’90s. Sure, there was its fair share of fashion faux pas: rice necklaces and pagers worn on the side of our pants luckily didn’t last long. But, there was one thing that the ’90s was great at and that was television. Let’s take a look at eight of the shows that we loved to rush home to watch after a long day of listening to teachers drone on about algebra and boring rhetoric:
- Brotherly Love (1995-97), NBC/The WB
I had the biggest crush on Matthew Lawrence–he was literally my dream guy growing up so anything that had his name attached to, you would definitely find me watching. Brotherly Love took place after oldest brother Joe Roman (Joey Lawrence) returns to Philadelphia to collect his late father’s estate and a car customizing business. His initial reunion with his half-brothers is a bit rocky and as there mother, Claire tries to keep the struggling business afloat also tries to deal with Joe trying to be the man of the house.
It’s a great show that definitely discusses some moral conflicts and every day dilemmas and fifteen-year-old Matt is often tormented by his own teen crises and harbors a lot of resentment toward his older brother for leaving. The one character that holds them together like glue is Andy, the seven-year-old youngest brother with a wild imagination.
Joe eventually warms up to the idea of living in this crazy, chaotic family to help Claire run the business and take care of his brothers. Eventually, the feisty Lou enters the picture and a romantic interest for Joe. They try to maintain a working relationship despite romantic tensions. Joe learns to accept his role as part of a family–including all the responsibilities, joys and heartaches. Let’s be honest anything that has the three Lawrence brothers in it at the same time is destined for greatness–although the show didn’t last long, it will never be forgotten.
2. Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1990-2000) Nickelodeon
This show ran for 10 years–and is it any wonder because I know it haunted my nightmares for many years after that.
The series was about a group of teenagers known as “The Midnight Society,” and ever week they’d meet up at a creepy secret location in the woods–this was before the curfew laws were put in place and life was fun. Each week the members would begin by telling a story around a campfire.
Every story had some weird paranormal phenomena: demons, ghosts, magic, curses, aliens, witches and basically anything else you could imagine would be a theme in the show… and they made sure to film it in creepy setting like abandoned houses and mysterious forests. We were sad to see it go, but maybe we secretly were happy to not have to be scared by creepy clowns and other frightening figures after school each day.
3. Darkwing Duck (1991-92) Disney
I would re-watch these episodes over and over, and I could probably quote every line of every episode by the time I was 10–I’m pretty sure I just lived off of reruns of the show, but I really didn’t know the difference.
Darkwing Duck, to my sad realization only ran 3 seasons but it was pretty popular amongst my group of friends in my younger years. I remember when the first one of us got the LCD Darkwing Duck game that came in 1992, and we were so excited–it was of course a hand me down from her older brother, but who cares?! It was us playing Darkwing Duck and life was much simpler then.
Darkwing Duck was the main character of the show, a bumbling superhero constantly finding himself causing more trouble then helping the citizens of St. Canard, the people plagued by the most bizarre criminals. There protector of course is the fearless Darkwing Duck. He helps fight crime with his pilot sidekick, Launchpad McQuack and his adopted daughter, Gosalyn. It’s one of those shows that no matter how many times you watch it–it just never gets old.
4. Legends of the Hidden Temple (1993-95) Nickelodeon
This was my one chance to be a real life Indiana Jones, and I knew it. I, like many other American children from the ’90s had hopes and dreams to one day be part of a team on Legends of the Hidden Temple. It was an action-adventure game centered around a mysterious and enchanting temple that was supposed to be filled with lost treasure protected by mysterious Mayan temple guards.
The game was made up of six teams, where one boy and one girl competed to retrieve one of the historical artifacts in the temple. They were expected to do crazy stunts to gain points and answer history, geography and mythology questions to test their wits against one another. I probably learned more about these subjects from this show then I ever learned from school
Legends of the Hidden Temple was one of the best game shows of our time, other then Figure It Out of course.
5. Dexter’s Laboratory (1996-2003) Cartoon Network
Maybe, I secretly wished I was Dee-Dee so I could have some mad ballet skills and all the access I could ever want to Dexter’s Lab but those were just my childhood ambitions so don’t judge me. I really did want to live in Dexter’s Lab for a good portion of my childhood.
Dexter’s Laboratory was a sci-fi cartoon that followed Dexter, boy-genius inventor that had a secret laboratory hidden in the basement of his house. He’s constantly battling his sister Dee Dee to keep her out of the lab, but can you blame her for her interest? His parents never suspected a thing happening and that was probably the most interesting part of the entire show–there were probably massive explosions in constant fumes happening and they never knew?
This show quickly became one of the most popular shows on the Network and stayed at the top of the rankings for most of its run time. I still find myself watching old episodes and laughing just as much as I did when I was seven.
All of these shows have something in common–they bring a feeling of childhood nostalgia to us. I had a hard time choosing my favorites, and I know there were so many other great shows from this decade. What were some shows that you loved to come home to after school?