We See What We Choose
As I type this, "Kenan & Kel" is trending on Twitter. For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, it’s the name of a teen comedy TV show from the Nickelodeon network that aired in the mid-to-late ’90s. Apparently Nickelodeon (hereinafter referred to as “Nick” to save my fingers the wear and tear) recently started re-airing some of its mid-’90s favorites after midnight, including Kenan & Kel, Rugrats, Rocko’s Modern Life and All That, in what used to be the old Nick at Nite time slots. (Apparently Nick at Nite still exists, but most depressingly, it is currently dedicated to nothing but reruns of Friends. Man, I never thought I’d be nostalgic for Get Smart or Dick Van Dyke.)
I noticed that tonight’s trend has led to lots of people a decade younger than me waxing nostalgic on the merits of all their favorite Nick shows from the ’90s. “Remember Hey Arnold? RugRats? CatDog? RocketPower? Kenan & Kel? The Amanda Show?… when Nickelodeon made sense,” muses one Twitter user. “I want a Kenan & Kel, Smart Guy, Hey Arnold, Boy Meets World, and Fresh Prince marathon. We had way better shows!” says another.
It’s funny, because I remember saying the exact same shit…fourteen years ago when I was their age and these shows were actually on TV at the time. “You Can’t Do That on Television…Danger Mouse…Turkey Television…Out of Control…Pete & Pete…we had way better shows!” I groused like an old codger with pipe tobaccy in his mouth. “Why, in my day…!” (insert first-waving here)
I’ll admit, there is some overlap with the “classics” Nick is rerunning now and the stuff I grew up on, like Doug and Ren & Stimpy, two of the original “Nicktoons” when that was some kind of hip and cool thing amongst we happenin’ sixth graders. Otherwise, though, seeing the youngins complaining now about how much today’s crap sucks and how much their stuff ruled makes me realize that we all see what we choose to see. We all look back with rose-colored glasses at the era that’s closest to home for us and consider it the pinnacle. In another fourteen years there will be a crop of twenty-somethings moaning about how awesome it was to be able to watch Spongebob Squarepants or whatever Nick runs these days.
Nostalgia, after all, is a very personal thing.
Now where is my Hey Dude DVD boxed set.
Previously on April 17th
On this day in 1995:
- John Romero announced episode four, “Thy Flesh Consumed”, as an expansion to the original Doom, which I only remember because…
- …I mentioned it while recording the Wolfenstein Modified Sounds Extravaganza Volume III at 7:04 p.m.
When you record mundane details on tape, mundane details have a way of resurfacing years down the road.