Oh, sweet Nineties! I remember you fondly as the years of my childhood, when stonewash jeans and baggy t-shirts were cool and Jon Bon Jovi’s haircut made the news.
Grunge rocked, Madonna dated Vanilla Ice and Gen X angst was everywhere. But you were also the decade that brought us some pretty amazing television shows. Here are 14 of my most memorable:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
An iconic show for a whole generation, Buffy transcended the sci-fi genre and gained a huge following. The show was a real epic, full of creative storytelling, action and humour and introduced a fantastic heroine.
Never mind the Nineties, Roswell is one of my all-time favourite TV shows! I still watch the DVDs back and it hasn’t dated as much as you might expect. Overshadowed by the more popular shows like Buffy, Roswell featured one of the most passionate and engaging teen relationships ever between Max Evans and Liz Parker, plus aliens, action and adventure a-plenty.
When Dawson and co. first appeared on our screens, they were heralded as intelligent and savvy characters who spoke like real teenagers. Not really, but that didn’t stop us becoming obsessed by the various love triangles and angst-laden drama that ensued. Unfortunately, I lost interest in my mid-teens so I never did see the last few series. But I would have chosen Pacey too. Obviously.
Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Are there any Nineties kids who can’t spontaneously break out the Prince of Bel Air rap whenever they see Will Smith? Altogether now – “Innnnn West Philadelphia born and raised…”
One of my guilty pleasures, I don’t remember much about this now other than it was about a bunch of California kids setting up a band and dealing with the usual high school drama. There may have been a cheeky crush involved somewhere along the line too…
Saved by the Bell
Zack, Kelly, Screech and the gang gave us one of the most popular kids’ shows of the decade and audiences followed their characters for years, even after high school in the college based spin-off.
Sweet Valley High
Based on the books (which I loved – guilty!), Sweet Valley High followed all-American blonde twins, Liz and Jessica Wakefield, through school, boyfriends and endless teenage drama.
My So-Called Life
Another underrated but brilliant drama aimed at teenagers that dealt with some serious issues and had a huge cult following, mostly due to an early starring role for Jared Leto. Unfortunately the show was cancelled after only one series and teenage girls everywhere wept at the loss of beautiful but rebellious Jordan Catalano.
I was pretty young when The X-Files started so I wasn’t allowed to watch it until a couple of series had passed and even then there were some really scary episodes. Man squeezing through drainpipes and mutant incest anyone? Some of the effects have suffered with time, but I’d love to watch this back from the beginning and really follow the confusing storyline.
A cartoon for the cool kids, Daria was a smart, edgy outsider who offered cutting observations on life during high school.
Round the Twist
This Australian show was about a family who moved into a haunted lighthouse where weirdness was an everyday occurrence. To be honest, this often used to make me baulk as some pretty disgusting stuff happened – typical kids show really!
Okay, maybe this one counts more as an Eighties show, but it was my favourite childhood cartoon. I remember it having moments of surprising emotional depth and darkness, plus the theme tune was amazing!
Through the Dragon’s Eye
We watched this particular show at school when I was about five or six and I remember being absolutely TERRIFIED by the bad guy/monster, Charn. I looked it up on YouTube recently and this is what I was so afraid of…yeah…
The New Adventures of Superman
My childhood Saturday night television highlight, this show brought us Superman with plenty of cheese and a huge dollop of romance, before the later incarnations got too serious.
The Secret World of Alex Mack
After an unfortunate run in with a chemical tanker, teenager Alex Mack develops strange powers that she has to hide from her parents and the kids at school if she wants to avoid the attentions of the boss of the nearby chemical plant.
So, which shows did you love during the Nineties? If I’ve missed your favourite, let me know all about it in the comments.
P.S. The above photo may reveal a little too much about my DVD/CD/book collection. Please don’t judge me.