WORDS by Serene Hajjar

Ever turn on the TV in the afternoon and wish you were back in 1999, so that ‘Around the Twist’ would be on instead of some crappy little American teenyboppers trying to be Hannah Montana? I know I sure have.

It goes without saying that kids shows these days have absolutely nothing on the shows we had back in the good old 90’s (by 90’s I also mean early 2000s’). There was nothing better than coming home from a long day of finger-painting, times tables, spelling quizzes and all the other incredibly useless bullshit we did at school; to the feel good sound of ‘Arthurs’ theme song and ‘Hey Arnold’s’ beautifully shaped football head. We’ve compiled a list of all the shows we love and miss and would sure as hell still watch, if whomever chooses kid’s programmes these days would just wake the fuck up and stop torturing us with iCarly.

So to end this awesome list of old-school greatness, I would just like to say, to anyone who is too young to remember any of these shows, I’m sorry but your life is meaningless. The 90's early 2000’s was full of legendary shows that our childhoods would not have been the same without and my kids will be watching Around the Twist over Dora any day.

1. Around the Twist

This show was amazing, bizarre, and way-too-fucked up-for-TV, and it blew our tiny innocent minds with its slightly disturbing plots. Thinking back now, the writers were definitely smoking something. I’m sure it was the oddest experience of all our lives witnessing Pete give birth to a green, mutant, tree baby, through his mouth, may I add. To contribute to the weirdness peeing on this so-called magical tree is apparently what impregnated him. Come to think of it, I’m not quite sure how this shit was considered suitable for children. Here’s a clip of the birth giving scene. If you’ve never seen the show, well then I’m sorry but prepare your self for ultimate strangeness and possible mental scarring.


2. Angela Anaconda

Angela Anaconda; another weird yet wonderful show basically about this chick Angela Anaconda, her mates and all the weird ass shit they get up to. Angela’s aim in life is to sabotage the life of one extremely irritating classmate Nanette who she affectionately calls 'Ninny Poo'. If my memory serves me correctly one of her mates has blue hair, their skin complexions were creepily grey and to top it all off Angela’s voice was quite possibly the most irritating sound on this planet, but hey we loved it. In hindsight Angela was actually quite sadistic, torturing poor Ninny Poo at every turn. Here’s a link to the song ‘Ninny Poo’ by The ‘Banacondas’.


3. Lizzie McGuire

Who could forget Lizzie, this show was by far my favourite, hands down. Nowhere near as weird as the others, and slightly more relatable to our lives, Lizzie was definitely my idol. I remember feeling so sorry for Gordo (who we now know was stuck deep in the depths of the friendzone) and wishing that Lizzie would go for him instead of the stupidly stuck up Ethan. My favourite part of the show was Lizzie's little cartoon skits where she would basically talk to herself, as little cartoon Lizzie would act out whatever crazy shit was happening in Lizzie's brain at the time. I also want to point out that Hilary Duff is one of the few child stars that didn’t lose her mind, so props to you Mrs. Duff, we are proud. Here’s one of my favourite cartoon scenes, and an “Awww” moment of Gordo and Lizzie.


4. Hey Arnold

Now Hey Arnold was another weird ass little show, first and foremost Arnold’s head was definitely not shaped like the average humans beings, although watching it as kids it didn’t seem to bother us much. Regardless of his odd cranium we loved Arnold all the same. I especially remember disliking the rude and kinda scary Helga, up until she confessed her love for Arnold, then I just felt sorry for her and wanted to give her a hug. She even tells him she “loves his stupid football head” isn’t she sweet. I uploaded the moment to share the feels with you all.


5. DeGrassi High, The next Generation

Ah, De Grassi High, before we were old enough for the OC or Gossip Girl, De Grassi helped us transition into teen-hood. I remember feeling all grown up and mature watching this show and being so excited to be a teenager so I could have a flip phone (yeah a flip phone), a boyfriend, and flared jeans, oh how times have changed. De Grassi was definitely an exaggerated preview of what my teen years would be, minus all the kissing, the shootings, and Drake. Yes, that’s right, how could we forget, our beloved rapper was a teen star on De Grassi, and he says he started from the bottom… yeah, ok Drizzy. Here’s a cheesey little video of Jimmy (Drake) daydreaming he can walk again…

6. Arthur

Arthur, oh Arthur, this show would be guaranteed to make my day, everyday, no matter how sad I was. I mean how could you not love this show. Arthur, (who by the way, is an Aardvark, if anyone was still confused as to what the actual fuck he was supposed to be) is just your average pre-teen, aardvark, making his way through life with his best mate, Buster the rabbit. Interestingly, he also has a dog, who is his pet, not his friend, but his pet… yet his best friend is a rabbit… yeah doesn’t’ really make any sense to me either. Despite its confusion about which animals are pets and which are friends, this show was undoubtedly essential to our happiness as children. Here’s a link to the theme song in case you’re feeling down, and a funny little image that captures the bond that Arthur and Buster share (aw).

7. The Wild Thornberrys

Maybe not as popular as all the others but The Wild Thornberrys was awesome. Eliza, who could talk to animals, reminded me of myself, no I can’t talk to animals, I wish. While Debby, her older sister reminds me of a cartoon version of Queen bitch Regina George, yeah she also needed to get hit by a bus asap. Eliza and her family spend their lives in their caravan, exploring the world, discovering ancient civilizations, encountering wild animals and all kinds of other crazy ass shit. How could you not love Nigel Thornberrys' obscure moustache and accent, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who begged their parents for a pet monkey like Darwin. Funnily, I figured out that he’s meant to be named after Charles Darwin, you know, the dude who came up with evolution, yeah don’t worry 10 year old me didn’t pick up on that either. I’ve included a video that never fails to make me laugh every time. God bless you Mr. Thornberry.


8. Cat Dog

If you say you didn’t love cat dog, you’re a liar. This show was so messed up on so many levels that you just had to love it. I mean who even came up with the idea of a half dog half cat creature? If there’s one thing I’ve learnt writing this list, it’s that people who write kid’s shows have serious issues. Catdog’s theme song was extremely catchy and as I’m writing this, I have it stuck in my head which I’m not really happy about seeing as I only know three lines. There was always one question I asked myself watching this show. How on earth did they pee, or poo for that matter? God only knows. I’ve shared the theme song so you can also have the pleasure of having it stuck in your head, you are very welcome.


9. Girls stuff, boys stuff

Another show that made me so over excited to be a teenager and own a flip phone, a Walkman and other devices that would sadly be extinct by the time I was 14. I know, I know, I was born too late. This show despite being actually quite pointless and kinda badly made, was there to help me out in times of pre-pubescent struggles. It let me know that its okay, things get better, soon you can hang out with your friends at the mall, get a job at Burger King, go to parties, and be an awesome independent teenager. Sadly I realised too late, that we live in Australia so we don’t call them malls, parties when you’re 14 are awkward and terrible and we don't have Burger King either. There are heaps of episodes on You Tube in case you’re looking for something to help you procrastinate. Here’s one of my favourites.


10. The Rugrats

Last but definitely not least, the all time best, and you thought I was going to leave them out didn’t you? Never! The Rugrats are timeless; this show was just pure greatness, on every level. I mean who knew watching toddlers do stupid toddler things that would never actually happen in real life, would be so entertaining. I remember the day the movie came out was the happiest day of my 8 years of existence. Also another thing I’ve learnt writing this list, there’s always a mean, horrible, evil bitch ruining everyone’s day, and she’s always blonde, in this case its Angelica. No offence to you blondies but hey, if the shoe fits… (kidding kidding). Despite those creepy theories that came out about the true meaning behind this show, (don’t Google it unless you want to well and truly ruin your childhood), this show will remain legendary forever. I’m sorry to end on a sort of sad note but this moment always made me a little bit teary, Chucky was just too cute.

WORDS BY:  Serene Hajjar

When Serene is not fan-girling over Chris Brown and listening to old school RnB music, she’s studying for her Bachelor of Media. This small, bubbly, and loud girl loves reading Jodi Picoult novels and hitting the gym.