NathaNostalgia: The Television of My Youth

I’m Nathan, and this is how I roll. (Is that opening getting annoying? Should I just skip it from now on? I thought it would be a cute gimmick, but I worry it’s overkill.)

You know those shows you watched when you were a kid that you watch now and think, “Why do I like this?” Yet, at the same time, you can watch them now and, while you can’t appreciate them the way they’re meant to be, you can still watch them and enjoy them because they remind you of when you were a kid, right?

We all have them. There are things I watched when I was young that I still see as great and timeless – “Seinfeld,” for example, though I probably shouldn’t have been watching it when I was 9 years old. Then there are shows that I see now and think, “I can’t believe I ever enjoyed this at any age” – things like “Superboy,” a late ‘80s live-action TV series based on the comics.

But then there are those shows that we watched in our youth that we still enjoy because we still get them in some way, we remember their appeal, and they transport us back to those times.

For me, it’s shows like the original “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers,” “Reading Rainbow,” “Wishbone,” and “Saved by the Bell” (which, yes, I think is remarkably stupid now but I still get a warm feeling when it’s on).

I remember “Ghostwriter” quite fondly. It was the first serialized show I ever tuned into. I couldn’t wait to see what adventures Jamal, Lenni, Alex, Gaby, Tina, Rob, and Hector were going to get into. I wish so much that I could still find it on somewhere, on some kids’ channel.

Then, in my early teen years, I was a Disney Channel kid, back when Disney Channel was really good. I don’t know. Maybe I’ve just outgrown it, but their new shows and movies seem like they’re made for a completely different audience than they used to be. I’m talking about the old-school shows like “Even Stevens,” “The Famous Jett Jackson,” “So Weird” (awesome theme song), and “Lizzie McGuire.” You know, the stuff that came before psychic girls, mischievous twins, secret superstars, time travelers, and wizards, and especially before the horrid laugh tracks.

And does anyone remember DC’s reality series “Bug Juice”? I had no desire whatsoever to go to summer camp (I am most definitely not one with nature), but when I was just a friendless, lonely child, “Bug Juice” was a chance to see kids my age having fun, making friends, gaining some independence. I also loved “Totally Circus,” another reality series chronicling a traveling summer children’s circus.

This is also when Disney Channel made the best original movies – like “Halloweentown,” “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century,” “Smart House,” “Johnny Tsunami,” and “Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire.” Nothing against “High School Musical,” but that’s just not my cup of tea.

These are things I can watch today and still get totally into. I escape to a simpler time. Because no matter how unhappy I was during those years (and I was, indeed, extremely unhappy), it was still an easier, better period in my life. I just couldn’t see it then. And when I get a rare look at one of these shows now (which mostly comes fromYouTube, at this point, since few of these air anywhere anymore), I remember those years the way I should have seen them then. And I smile.

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3 responses to “NathaNostalgia: The Television of My Youth

  • Briana

    I thought that I was the only person who remembered Bug Juice! I love it. I wanted to go to camp so bad after watching it, even though I’m on the same page as you are about nature.

    Remember the Zoogs (I think this was what they were called) the cartoon aliens that hosted Disney Channel. What was their point? I watched Brink like two weeks ago. ❤ Have you ever heard of/seen Wish Upon a Star? Katherine Heigl's in it, before she turned into a bitch .

    • Nathan

      Oh, that’s right! It was Zoog Disney! I totally forgot about that. I think the Zoogs were just supposed to serve as “hosts.”

      I think I saw bits and pieces of “Wish Upon a Star,” but I’ve never seen the whole thing. I was, however, an avid “Roswell” fan, which was also before her bitchiness kicked in.

  • Kaitlyn in Bookland

    I watched Bug Juice as well and I was a big Zenon fan.

    I swear, Are You Afraid of the Dark? was one of my all time favorite shows–old school SNICK. It was the best.

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