A Childhood Well Spent

Now, I was a big of fan of the Animaniacs, Sailor Moon, and The Secret World of Alex Mac as the next person, but I feel like I got an extra amount of culture in my childhood. Maybe I'm just getting that vibe because I go to an LDS school where most people weren't raised with cable TV and plenty of free time. So, the spirit of procrastination of studies, I've delineated a random selection of some of my favorite things I remember from my childhood:

Music Videos:
I remember watching TV during the half-day school days of kindergarten and preschool. The one I remember the most vividly is Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance" complete with necrophilia.

Although I also loved Prodigy's "Breathe." Such a great/creepy song to grow up to:

Pepper Ann:
This show came out about the same time as Recess, but didn't get as much credit for being hilarious. Probably because half the jokes didn't make sense to 10-year-olds. My favorite episodes include
  • One where the opening conversation is about whether or not Paul from The Wonder Years is Marylin Manson.
  • Pepper Ann's mother becomes a successful comedian with her "You Might Be A Single Working Mother..." bit (this was during the hey-day of Jeff Foxworthy).
  • Pepper Ann's sister Moose wants the new town statue to be of Patrick Swayze and wears a "Crayze about Swayze" shirt while collecting signatures. The Evel Knievel nomination wins out.
I hope this show makes it to DVD someday.

I watched this show concurrent to Pepper Ann. I miss after-school cartoons. At one point in my life I earned the nickname Daria, not really for my misanthropy as much as my monotone. Thinking about this show makes me lament the loss of MTV's good programming and how much I hate it now and how much I wish they would release the series on DVD already. Seriously. Anyway, I would recommend this show to any "tweener." It gets you over high school drama before you get there, successfully guiding you to real life.
Anyway, the show is so good, the French love it too:

Real World Seattle:
This was one of the last seasons that the cast had souls. I actually liked the people on the show because (they actually had to do a job (work at an alternative station in '90s Seattle?? Awesome), and they seemed like they wanted to do something with their lives other than be drunken whores*. Plus, I felt really bad about the Irene situation. That was real.

As a note, there weren't any good clips of this to show. But trust me, it was one of the better seasons.

Earth 2:
I was raised to be into Sci-fi/fantasy, although with grain of salt (see below). Star Wars, Sliders, The X-Files, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer all contributed to my love. The most obscure show (that I believe was on either right before or right after Lois & Clark) that my family watched was Earth 2. Off the cuff, I remember a curly-haired man and Tim Curry (who ended up being the villain on the new Earth, maybe?) inhabiting a new Earth--with any luck because old earth was overpopulated/polluted/war-torn. I love the concept of space travel and hibernation and this show had plenty in its one season. Mostly, I use Earth 2 to show the sheer amount of television watching I did as a child.
Looking on YouTube, I found some unfortunate fan videos. I'll spare you and instead show you the intro en espanol (Tierra dos):

Mystery Science Theater 3000:
This show really just enables anyone who thinks they're funny to comment on movies. This show contributes to my love to snark at anything; my only wish is that I'm actually funny. Plus, the amount of pop culture dropped in all the jokes makes it even more educational. Here's a great example:

Well, this is just a taste of my childhood. There are so many more examples to choose from, but these are some of the more original. I can only hope my children will be as lucky as I was.

*I refer you to How I Met Your Mother and Marshall's rant from Season 3 Episode 7: "Ted, how many times have I told you to put the lid back on the peanut butter jar?! It's this inconsiderate, immature jackassry that makes me feel like I'm living in The Real World House! And not the early days when they all had jobs and social consciences, I'm talking about Hawaii, and after! I can't take it anymore! Ted, Lily and I are married now! It's time! We're getting our own place!"


  1. I wasn't introduced to Daria until a year or two ago when Lina and Kjerstin informed me that they'd discovered my animated alter ego. I watched a few episodes, and they were right. I hope the show makes it to DVD.

  2. I was called Daria by some guy in my precal class back in the day. Apparently that was the only point of reference he had for massive amounts of sarcasm. But seriously, I could NOT handle the posters up in that classroom. I'm talking about GARFIELD posters. INSPIRATIONAL ONES. I took it as a compliment.

    Also: Favorite Pepperanns:
    -When Milo tranfers to the Semi-Zen school and has to rake his tiny rock garden all day
    -When Pepperann's mom decides she needs "support"

    PS: Thanks for reminding me of Earth 2. Those underground Terrian things were creepy. I could've sworn that the guy who plays the doctor on "Christy" was also on this show. IMDB says no. Damn.

  3. This post makes me feel old.

    When I was a kid, the Tom Petty video that always freaked me out was "Don't Come Around Here No More" with the whole Alice in Wonderland theme. I hated the ending where they sliced her up! When you're six, that's just terrible to see.

    And now I have that "Oh my my, oh hell yes. You've got to put on that party dress." (or however it goes) chorus stuck in my head. Thanks.

  4. I pretty sure that the Pepper Ann sister was trying to get the town to make an Evel Knievel statue and her dumb ass friend wanted patrick swayze as the town statue and patrick swayze nomination wins out