I had a different post planned for today, but all I can think about is the loss of Luke Perry. It sounds shallow, but for a lot of 90's kids, Beverly Hills 90210 was the first time we watched something that dealt with issues we could see ourselves dealing with. (read more)
It was also the era of (at least in my opinion) teenagers looking like teenagers.
Yes, I know that many of those "teenagers" in 90210 were in their 20's or 30's, but they looked like normal people. The women weren't super thin and dressed like models, the guys weren't buffed out, and they all wore clothes that covered more than they showed.
They were real, they were attainable. I looked at the people in that show and knew that, if I could just convince my mom to buy me a pair of Z. Cavarricis, I too could look just as posh as Brenda and Kelly.
I liked 90's shows. I felt like I could relate to them, and more than that, I felt like I wanted to relate to them.
Maybe kids feel that way about shows today. I guess we're all going to have that sweet spot.
Anyhow, in the spirit of things that shaped our teenage years, here are my top ten 90's tv shows, may they forever be available on our favorite video streaming sites.
THE WONDER YEARS
Yes, it dealt with things that could often be very depressing, and was probably meant more for consumption by my parent's crowd, but that didn't stop us from watching it, laughing at it, and maybe, just maybe, realizing that our parents childhoods were vastly different from our own.
SAVED BY THE BELL
Somehow these kids made high school seem like an endless day of fun, friends, and fantastic adventures. Friendship was forever, it included everyone, no matter how geeky or odd they were, and anything you fought about wasn't something that couldn't be solved in a 20 minute episode. This show definitely did not prepare me for real life. :)
THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR
I can't remember which came first, The Fresh Prince being a huge rap star (I wonder if I can even call it rap, since it's so VASTLY different than what rap is today) or him becoming the outcast kid from West Philadelphia (born and raised).
Either way, I looked forward to this show and would watch it, enthralled, every week, without fail. I couldn't even imagine being thrust into a life of such luxury, but man, it was awesome to watch.
Besides, a TV show that gave us "The Carlton" can't be anything but good.
If I had to name a heart throb that throbbed my heart before Luke Perry (or around the same time), it would be David Duchovny. And yet, when he and Scully finally kissed, I cheered just as loudly as everyone else.
I'm going to be honest, I watched the heck out of this show even though I didn't really understand a lot of the humor. I knew it was funny, I knew why I thought it was funny, but rewatching it as an adult made me realize, for a show about nothing, there was a whole lot of something going on.
I was definitely too young to understand what was going on in this show. It aired between my formidable 13th and 14th years. And yet, when I think of the 90's, all I really want to know is, "Who killed Laura Palmer?"
A few months ago I was determined that I was going to watch it, so I went about trying to find a streaming service that played it. While in pursuit of that service, I ran into a summary of the show.
After reading the summary, I don't actually want to watch it anymore, but still, this show was a HUGE part of my teenage years.
IN LIVING COLOR
Probably the only skit show I ever watched religiously, In Living Color made me want to be a Fly Girl, a comedian, and Homey The Clown.
Two snaps up, for sure.
You can't watch entire episodes on any streaming services (monthly fee) that I can find, but you can watch a bunch of different skits on Hulu.
Before she was Amy on The Big Bang Theory, she was Blossom; a quirky, funny girl with a crush worthy brother who had all of us saying, "Whoa!"
I mean, I could have been the only odd looking teenager out there, but I feel like, for a lot of us, Blossom helped us realize we didn't have to be "classically" beautiful to be absolutely awesome.
They were the oddest mixed family I'd ever seen, and I could never understand why two grown men would choose to live with a widowed father and his kids, but still, I loved this show.
"Cut It Out", you know you were watching, too.
BEVERLY HILLS 90210
This list wouldn't be complete without Beverly Hills 90210. I consider myself just slightly too young for the show when it first started airing since I was only 13, but still, if I could watch it without getting in trouble, I did.
We had this MASSIVE TV satellite attached to the garage of our house, it was probably seven feet in diameter, no kidding. It took an act of congress to find the channel you wanted, but I would search for hours to try and find an episode of 90210 on TV.
This show helped you feel like maybe, just maybe, you weren't the only one in the world who didn't fit in with the crowd, and that maybe, just maybe, things would be all right in the end.
Rest In Peace, Luke Perry. You touched a lot of lives.