30 Days of TV – Day 13
Day 13 – Favorite childhood show
I thought this one would be easy. But I really can’t choose just one. I’m inclined to say Punky Brewster. I loved that show. I believe she had a hand in shaping who I was as a child – my clothes were bright and fun, my hair was usually crimped. I was always smiling. But I had other shows that shaped me, too. I remember watching Power Rangers on a regular basis. I adored the Pink Ranger – and Amy Jo Johnson, but that’s a story for a different day – and envied her badassery.
I remember watching Nickelodeon on Saturday nights. It had some fun name. OH – thank you Google – it was SNICK! I’m almost embarrassed for not remembering that. I would be embarrassed that I watched SNCK at all, but considering it ended the year I graduated 8th grade, I’m going to go ahead and say that I was making a better use of my Saturday nights than some of my peers.
First of all they played Rugrats. RUGRATS! On Saturday night. Which meant it was totally cool and okay for you to watch this cartoon about infants at 10-13 years old. Totally.
To make you feel cooler, they had All That. In retrospect, it was a kids version of SNL, but since I wasn’t allowed to watch MTV at that age, it was just the coolest thing on television. It was actors…acting in skits…but also being actors behind the scenes in skits…as skits. It blew my mind. Also, it was hilarious. I went to the All That concert once year at Foxwoods Stadium and it rocked my world.
As the night went on, you knew you were in an exclusive group. If you were allowed to stay up this late, it meant you were ready. You were old enough to experience…Are You Afraid Of The Dark. Though probably not watched as often as The Secret World of Alex Mac or Hey Dude, this was probably my favorite show from my childhood. As I’ve mentioned before, when I was little, I loved things that scared me in a sick and twisted way. I don’t remember many episodes of this show in detail – though I do know I saw almost every one, if not every single one – but two stick out as clear as any other memories.
One was about a girl who was visiting her cousin for the summer and was dared to stay in the supposedly haunted house next door overnight. Within ten minutes of being in there with her flashlight, the words “HELP ME” were scratched onto the wall by an unseen source…backwards. Eventually, we find out that a creepy little girl ghost in a nightgown was trapped in the mirror. She exchanges places with the girl’s cousin and is finally able to write “HELP ME” rightways, in case the girl couldn’t read it backwards.
I’m sure she got her help in the end, but holy crap was I freaked the fuck out.
The second one is one that still sometimes makes an appearance in my weirdest of dreams. Another girl visiting another relative, but this time the girl’s cousin had gone missing. I don’t think anyone was particularly concerned about it, I’m not sure. The girl goes exploring in the house and finds the attic. She opens what looks like would be a door to a porch and almost plummets to her death, as where there should be a porch is just nothingness. She could have stepped out and landed on the front lawn. Scary.
Anyway, in this attic she also finds a little dollhouse that is a seemingly perfect replica of the house she is in right now. One thing leads to another and she finds herself all doll-sized and IN the dollhouse, where she finds her missing cousin. She’s in pretty bad shape, having mostly turned to china and thus finding it difficult to move or speak. The main girl runs around like a rat in a cage before having a brilliant idea, motivated by the fact that the back of her hand is already starting to turn white. Along the way, there’s a part where there’s a wall where a door should be and that’s one of the parts that has become a recurring nightmare. Lack of doors where they should be, where they had been before. Terrifying. Eventually the girl dragged her stiff cousin up to the mini-attic and they leap out of the dollhouse attic door and back into reality.
The happy ever after is so not the point of Are You Afraid of the Dark. In fact, I think they all ended with some sort of gloomy air of mystery.
So there you have it, my childhood viewing schedule in a nutshell. More or less. Probably less. I’m sure there’s a ton more.
But I answered the question, okay?! And it wasn’t too painful. It’s moment like this I think I can make it through the next 17 questions no problem.
Then I realize that I still have SEVENTEEN GODDAMNED QUESTIONS LEFT and I pitch a fit.