Earlier today, my Wikipedia-surfing led me to this page listing 1990's Nickelodeon shows. I grew up in the 1990's, and like many people my age I watched Nickelodeon almost constantly. I'm in a nostalgic mood right now from writing about Green Day's Nimrod earlier, so I thought I'd write about some of the shows I miss watching every week. This post solely contains the live-action shows I watched. I may write about the cartoons and game shows in a later post.
The Adventures of Pete & Pete - If you don't already know this show about brother Pete and Pete Wrigley then I just don't know what to tell you. This show was hysterical, amazing and groundbreaking. This is the benchmark for any live-action Nickelodeon show to follow. The show launched the career of Michelle Trachtenburg and featured a long list of celebrity cameos. I'm holding back on saying too much because I could go on and on about the show. The soundtrack is available for sale, featuring the theme song, "Hey Sandy," as well as other songs performed by Polaris (which was actually 3 of the 4 members of Miracle Legion). I recommend picking it up even if you didn't watch the show. Then pick up some Miracle Legion and frontman Mark Mulcahy's solo work.
The Secret World Of Alex Mack - Secret World followed the adventures of a teenage girl who is accidentally covered in an experimental chemical from a local company. Upon returning home, she discovers that the chemical has given her special powers, specifically telekinesis, the ability to shoot electricity from her fingers and the ability to turn into a puddle that can move around. Helped by her best friend and her sister, Alex has to hide from the company as they constantly search for her. This show is possibly the first sci-fi I ever watched, and Larissa Oleynik, who stared as the title character, was my first celebrity crush.
Space Cases - A group of slackers in a space academy accidentally take off on a space ship, accompanied by their teacher, a former captain and a robot. If Secret World is the first sci-fi I watched, Space Cases is most likely the second. Jewel Staite, who played one of the students until her character was replaced at the end of season 1 (by a girl from another dimension that only she could talk to, who all the other characters assumed was an "invisible friend), was later cast by Joss Whedon as Kaylee, the mechanic on the space ship Serenity on the TV show Firefly and its spin-off movie Serenity.
Salute Your Shorts - A sitcom about a group of campers at a summer camp called Camp Anawanna. I remember going to boy scout camp and being very disappointed that my camp experience was nothing like the show. Years later, I worked at a camp for a few summers. After that experience, I can't help but feel offended that the only supervision ever shown was occasional interaction with the camp's head counselor, "Ug" Lee. There were two episodes that I remember the most. One involved a wimpy camper nicknamed Sponge trying to gain weight so he could compete in a wrestling tournament, while a larger camper nicknamed Donkeylips tries to lose weight for the same purpose. The other involves two campers faking an illness to get out of swimming, then scheming to get into a freezer full of ice cream.
Hey Dude - A sitcom about a group of teens working at a dude ranch in the wild west. I sadly remember very little about the show aside from how much I loved it back then. I do remember a Native American guy and one of the teens went on to play the role of Josh on the TV spin-off of Clueless, taking over the role from Paul Rudd. One of the other teens was played by Christine Taylor, who went on to a successful film career (and also married Ben Stiller).
Roundhouse - A sketch comedy show that predates Nickelodeon's more well-known sketch show, All That. Again, it's too long ago for me to remember much about it aside from loving it. I do remember that one of the actors always moved around on a motorized recliner, and I always wondered if it was just for the show or if he used a wheelchair beyond the show. I also remember a sketch that was an advertisement for dehydrated drinking water. I was surprised that there was a Wikipedia entry for this show, as I have yet to meet anyone other than me or my sisters that remember it.