The 90s Were Definitely “All That!”
Classic Nickelodeon shows finally return to TV and online!
Tell it on the mountain! Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition! That golden era between 1989 and 1998 when the shows were clever, hilarious and borderline X-Rated, has returned to the hallowed halls of Nickelodeon. That’s right, dreamers and friends! All ye furious and faithful, our voices have been heard, protests taken into consideration, Facebook groups collected and sifted through, and finally, after 20 years, 90s Nick is gracing the airwaves, giving us nostalgia-happy freaks our past back.
I don’t have to impress upon the dear devoted reader how much 90s Nick has framed my childhood. I’m sure you’re in the same rickety tree clubhouse. We know the theme songs, laugh at every punch line. We were all honorary campers at Camp Anawanna, space cadets on the Christa. We were awed by Clarissa’s pique on wit and uncanny fashion sense, even more stunned at how inept kids (especially the girls, sorry ladies) were at putting together that damned three-piece silver monkey. All the things we loved about Nickelodeon back in its heyday have returned –including the bumps, the Rugrats Rap, Stick Stickly, and that bright, welcoming orange couch.
Though not exactly bringing back the good ol’ days in the most ostentatious fashion (airing a four hour block of 90s Nick on one of the channel’s less appealing offshoots, Teen Nick, weekdays from midnight to 4am when most of the Y generation has to wake up three hours later to trudge on to the 9 to 5), it does warm my heart to see that the biggest fan base that Nick has ever had has stuck with the channel through its nonsense for the past decade and a half waiting for the off-chance that the big wigs would come to their senses and give us something we can relate to. It isn’t that the likes of Family Guy and Superjail haven’t enraptured (or at the very least thoroughly entertained) the now 20-something population of 80s babies. However, there’s nothing like taking a walk down to the Honker Burger and listening to the latest Beets record, or getting caught up in another genius plot that some gummy six-month old cooked up with his mischievous gang of friends (the eldest of which is two).
Obviously, the innocence and freedom of those days sticks with us and leaves us begging for more at every corner. Having returned to shows like Kenan & Kel and Doug after 15 years, I still get that giggly feeling inside when listening to the corny jokes and revel even more at how mature the material was, even for shows starring middle and high schoolers. What’s more endearing is how simple everything was. The 90s epitomized the old adage “anything goes” — from the music to the fashion, to the television we watched. It was simple because you didn’t have to explain anything or dumb it down for those uninitiated, you just understood where everyone was coming from. You knew that no matter what the concept, it would be something that would catch fire for at least a year and provide a good 12 to 24 episodes of something epic… and I do mean EPIC. No matter how large the budget (as in The Secret World of Alex Mack) or small the budget (as in Space Cases, which borrowed props and sets from Are you Afraid of the Dark?) each show had its own unique brand of beauty that kept us coming back for more.
We of the faithful 90s contingent have never lost our sense of loyalty to Nickelodeon. Quite the contrary we’ve been waiting for such a moment as this, a moment in which we could get that tingly sensation after a long day. You know the one– anticipation, excitement, the moment when we leap onto our couches, futons, and rocking Laz-E Boys waiting for that gaudy orange couch to be plastered on our television screens. With more perspective and a great deal of maturity separating us now from 1992, we come back to 90s Nick with a sense of pride and respect. Even if some of the gags have lost their lustre, the overwhelming happiness and warm sensation of content that washed over us then has never left.
I know I’ll be right there soaking up the nostalgia and praying for a more reasonable viewing slot. Though I know it’s a long shot, I’m hoping they’ll bring back my favourite Nick show, The Roundhouse, but they’ll probably opt for the more “mainstream” shows (all of which I adore) including All That!, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Doug, Aaahhh! Real Monsters, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and Double Dare. If you’ve the opportunity to do so, take it upon yourself to stay awake for a few extra hours and soak it all in. You’re sure to feel validated, no matter your role in the “Bring Back the 90s” Revolution.