Coming Up 90s: Five Shows that Helped Raise a Generation
by Krystin Pipkin (@Krystin_Makari)
Girl Meets World, the long rumored sequel series to Boy Meets World, was finally green-lit with Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel on board. Oh, happy day! The Corey and Topanga we all know and love are back, raising their thirteen-year-old daughter Riley, played by newcomer Rowan Blanchard. There is no official word on whether Rider Strong (Shawn Hunter…swoon!) or Will Friedle (Eric Matthews) will be a part of the show or not. However, original creator Michael Jacobs said that all of the BMW cast members are invited to join the cast.
I don’t want to get my hopes up, but how can I not get excited? Boy Meets World helped shape my childhood! These people are family! And I want to have faith in the future of family television. There used to be so many fantastic shows growing up. There are many to choose from, but here are five of my favorite shows that helped to raise the ’80s and ’90s generation.
BOY MEETS WORLD
What we loved: We experienced a young, budding bromance grow into an unbreakable bond between Cory and Shawn. We envied Cory and Topanga’s childhood love and watched it endure junior high drama, high school woes, and college terrors. We were there for every tear and break-up that eventually led to a wedding. We were taught sound wisdom and advice from Mr. Fee-hee-heeeee-nay! And we watched Eric Matthews go from relatively normal to borderline insane. He was a loose cannon, but he was our loose cannon. And he married a moose. Oh, and Shawn’s sexy half-brother Jack. Ya, ‘Nuff said.
What we learned: Growing up is full of both joy and disappointments, but the love of crazy friends and family is what makes us strong!
THE WONDER YEARS
What we loved: Speaking of Ben Savage, his brother Fred was in the hugely successful Wonder Years. Raw and realistic, it wasn’t a sitcom like Boy Meets World, but had a unique quality in its double nostalgia. Set in the late ’60s/early ’70s, it showed us what seemed a simpler time for our country than it is today. We experienced how our parents grew up, and related to the issues of “coming of age” we experience as we grow up. We grew a connection to Kevin. We fought for him to be with Winnie! We struggled with friends and family as he did, realized that we gain and lose friends along the way, and learn about ourselves.
What we learned: I think Kevin says it nicely: “All our young lives we search for someone to love, someone who makes us complete. We choose partners and change partners. We dance to a song of heartbreak and hope, all the while wondering if somewhere, somehow, there’s someone perfect, who might be searching for us.”
THE COSBY SHOW
What we loved: The Huxtable family was one of the funniest and most relatable families ever to be on television. Cliff and Claire are my definition of perfection. Their children Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy were all so uniquely different which is how most kids truly are. The lessons taught each week were applicable to everyone who watched. Sometimes, your sister marries that boy no one really gets…or likes. Maybe you feel like the odd-sibling out and don’t feel as smart or as talented as your family. Sometimes, your sister goes away and comes back married to a recently divorced man with an extremely hilarious and adorable kid. INSTA-family! And sometimes, your dad has hideously amazing sweaters.
What we learned: We all want to be a Huxtable. If you don’t feel this way, you haven’t watched this: http://youtu.be/OtJICX0XMIg
What we loved: What could be wrong about Bob Saget, John Stamos, and Dave Coulier raising a family? NOTHING. It was an awesome three-part harmony. Just like their singing. Even more awesome were DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle Tanner. I’d be lying if I said I never wanted to be a Tanner. Mostly because of Uncle Jesse, and DJ’s high school boyfriend, Steve. Sigh. Steve… And even though Michelle got most of everyone’s attention, I really related to Stephanie. She was the funny and sarcastic one who said what we were all thinking. As they grew up together as a family, we too, grew up with them. Even shed a few tears and saw grown men shed a few tears. And although Kimmy Gibbler was crazy, we waited to see what she would do next as she kept Danny in check.
What we learned: Sometimes, it takes three men and Becky to raise a family. It may not be traditional, and they may sing a lot, but it’s a pretty fantastic.
THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR
What we loved: Not all of us were born and raised in west Philadelphia, but no matter where we were from, we all kind of wanted to be the prince of Bel-Air. Being uprooted and shipped off by your mom to move in with her sister and family can’t be an easy adjustment. Not only was the city alien to him, but he felt like an alien to his family. We felt the resistance between Will and his Uncle Phil, but he was the father figure Will needed and it was exciting to watch them interact. And let’s not forget our favorite, lovable cousin Carlton. Cue Tom Jones music. Complete opposites, Will and Carlton still found common ground, but their differences were cause for great entertainment. Hilary’s pretentious attitude and Ashley’s rebelliousness were endearing. And of course Geoffery, the cynical butler, was the man!
What we learned: Even though he didn’t initially fit in, in the end, Will stayed in California. Looked at his kingdom, he was finally there, sitting on his throne as the Prince of Bel-Air.