The Silver Lining | Friday Five: TV shows I watched as a tween


I must thank Jessica Love for sending me this pic because it is so perfect for me! So in honor of this image, I thought I’d do a Friday Five of TV shows from my childhood that I really miss and want to watch again. I’ve professed my love for My So-Called Life, Buffy, and Veronica Mars loads of times here on this blog so I am not including them. Plus, I loved them as a teen, not a kid. I am also not including Saved By The Bell since reruns air every morning and though I love it, I am not currently jonesing for a repeat viewing since I can do that anytime I want.

So in no particular order…

1. Sailor Moon.

I am kind of regretting my decision to go to Halloween as a recently staked vampire (staked by Spike, of course. Because if I’m a vamp and I’m going to die, I want it to be by his hands) and not as Sailor Moon since I figured out my red rain boots would make the perfect Sailor Scout boots. I used to watch this show in junior high and when I mean watch, what I really mean is trade random people on the internet for Japanese versions of the episodes that hadn’t been dubbed or subtitled in the US yet. That pretty much meant I couldn’t understand a word of what I was watching but I did pick up some key Japanese phrases this way. If I remember correctly, Sailor Moon was on every day at noon and I had to old school tape it with a VCR. The thing I loved about it was the concept of friendship and loyalty. Serena/Sailor Moon may be a klutzy ditz but if any of her friends were in trouble, she stepped up to the plate and saved them, no matter what cost. She could kick bad guy ass, sometimes in a deus ex machina way, but whatever. She’s awesome. 

Though in retrospect, she was 14-years-old and dating a guy in college with his own apartment. That’s more than a little creepy, even though they were soul mates who ruled the world in the future. One thing I thought was interesting during my Buffy rewatch this summer was the similarities I found between Sailor Moon and that show. Both center around a kick-ass heroine and her group of loyal friends who each have their own butt-kicking abilities that differ from the protagonist. Each has a mysterious "sister" who shows up in later seasons that ends up not really being her sister. In Buffy, the sister is a personification of a timeless ball of energy that was made corporeal by monks using Buffy’s DNA to cause Buffy to protect it so a bad guy couldn’t use the energy to access a portal that would end the world. In Serena’s case, her sister was actually her daughter from the future sent back to her 14-year-old self for a similar form of protection. Both girls had much older boyfriends with their own apartments who often stepped in and saved the day when the prospect of losing to the bad guy became inevitable.

Also, I may or may not have spent my class periods in school drawing brand new Sailor Scouts.

2. Small Wonder.

Her name was Vicky. She was a robot. Oh man, my sister and I used to speak in Robot Voices and pretend we were Vicky. I don’t remember much about the show other than the obvious. One day the father brought home a robot he’d been working on at his job and now the family had to pretend she was their daughter/sister. She went to school with the human boy brother but "slept" in his closet at night and in the morning, he had to wind her back up to life. She often had malfunctions that would threaten exposure. I was very excited to find out that Netflix has the first season on DVD (something else that sparked this post since i signed up for Netflix two days ago) and so I will keep you posted on whether or not it lives up to my memories!

3. The Secret World of Alex Mack.

I actually recently watched the pilot again on YouTube and this one DID live up to my memories. Talk about high concept. Girl gets super powers during an accident and must hide her abilities from the company searching for her. While riding her bike, a tomboy girl collides with a truck carrying a secret scientific liquid that drenches her. The liquid gives her super powers, including changing her molecular cells to melt into a pile of silver goo. Her old sister experiments on her while she now has new tools to help her navigate the scary world of junior high. On top of that? The company that created the liquid will stop at nothing to find the kid that was covered and submit them to much harsher experiments than her sister does. Too bad they don’t know whether it was a boy or girl who got coated. I loved this show. I wanted superpowers. I wanted to turn into silver goo and sneak into places I didn’t have access to. Plus I remember there was a cute boy. There’s always a cute boy. 

4. Out Of This World.

Would you like to swing on a star? Carry moonbeams home in a jar? And be better off than you are? Or would you rather go to Earth? Or however the song goes. This is another show about a girl with super powers. I’m sensing a theme here. Evie is a half-human, half alien. Her father lives on his home planet and she communicates with him via a weird looking cube that lights up 80s-style. She has the ability to stop time by touching her fingers together ET-like or maybe it was pressing her palms together. I can’t remember exactly. Holy crap. I wanted to stop time, too! Stumped on a test? Stop time and study those exact questions! Stop time and spy on the boy you like! Stop time and change your outfit if you accidentally come into school wearing the same thing as your best friend! 

Also, this show was the first place I saw the Electric Slide. It deserves some kind of recognition just for that.

5. Clarissa Explains It All.

I’m breaking the trend of teen girls with super powers (even if those powers are simply being made of computer chips) for a contemporary entry into the list. Clarissa was an awesome protagonist. And who didn’t want a boy to climb through your window impulsively, even if he was only your best friend? I especially liked this show because my best friend from sleepaway camp’s home best friend was the real life younger sister of Ferguson on the show. Got that connection? So I always thought it was cool that I was so close to knowing someone famous. Haha. 

So what shows from your childhood do you miss?

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11 Responses

  1. You perfectly describe the Sailor Moon experience…the VCR taping because it was on at weird times, the hours of watching Japanese shows I barely understood…the friendship and loyalty! (Dade and I use “friendship and loyalty!” as somewhat of a catch phrase although it started with watching One Piece and one of us pointing out that being a pirate is all about friendship and loyalty!)

    And Small Wonder…I loved that show too.

    One show I always remembered, although it was only on briefly, was called Hi Honey I’m Home and it was basically like…a sitcom version of Pleasantville, with this black and white 50s family living near a modern family? There was such a lot of weird light-hearted fantasy/reality shows and movies in the 80s and 90s, I miss that… Out of This World sounds like something I would have totally watched too.

  2. Someone other than me has actually heard of OUT OF THIS WORLD?! *omgsquee* I loved that show as a kid! I used to pretend I had Evie’s powers, heh. (I’m pretty sure the palms-thing was to unfreeze time, while the fingers were used to freeze time. Aw, the randomness of superpowers. Gotta love it!)

  3. Jessica Love

    Yeah, that image is just too perfect for you. 🙂

    I didn’t watch Sailor Moon or Alex Mack, but I LOVED Small Wonder, Clarissa, and Out Of This World.

    There was an ep of Out Of This World with those singing twins that kept singing “Hey Buffalo breath, is that what they call you? When you shoot the breeze do your friends go PEWW”

    OH SNAP. It’s on YouTube. I love YouTube.

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