During the late 90’s and early 00’s I was a teen and that was when my obsession with all things TV, film and music started. Services like Netflix, Prime Video or NowTV didn’t exist, but we did have Blockbuster Video and Sky TV. If the highlight of your week wasn’t going to Blockbuster and picking films for the weekend then you haven’t lived. I actually worked in my local store once I turned 18, for 5 years. My love of film definitely grew then!
I remember watching TV from a young age, my screen time was definitely not limited in the 80’s or 90’s! Some of the first TV shows I remember watching religiously were Neighbours and Home and Away. I then moved onto shows like Saved by the Bell, Sweet Valley High, Sabrina the teenage witch and Clarissa Explains It All. My first ‘grown up’ show that I loved was The X-Files, now looking back at when this started I definitely shouldn’t have watched it from the start but I’m pretty sure I did!
” I just like how he’s always leaning. Against stuff. He leans great.” Angela Chase, My So-Called Life
My So-Called Life came out in 1994, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t watching this when I was just 11. I can’t remember when I first saw it but it was probably a couple of years after it was on. It dealt with some really serious issues such as child abuse, homophobia, teenage drinking, drugs and homelessness. Whilst most shows would do single episodes based on a topic, My So-Called Life had them running throughout the whole series.
This show is also responsible for the first time I ever tried to dye my very dark brown/almost black hair. In the very first episode Angela is told her hair is keeping her back so she dyes it red. So I tried to do the same *cringe* Obviously it didn’t do anything, apart from turn our bath bright red. I just got a wash in wash out mousse thing but just a few years later I discovered bleach and the rest is history.
Even now, some 25 years later teens are still struggling with the same issues. Also now that I am a parent I can get a whole new perspective on things. If you haven’t seen this show before it is definitely worth trying to find. It’s never been on any streaming sites, but I did manage to buy it on DVD once so it’s available.
“Even Grown Up, We Are All 15 At Heart”
The OC will always be in my list of favourite TV shows. I’m pretty sure there is a quote for any occasion. Following the lives of a group of kids growing up in Orange County it also dealt with some pretty serious issues. Mental health, suicide, drinking, violence, there might be a bit of a theme in my TV viewing.
This was another show that I didn’t actually watch when it was on TV, but when I used to work in Blockbuster someone traded in the whole 4 seasons. They were cheap and I liked the look of them so I decided to buy them.
Gilmore Girls was definitely a show I arrived very late to but it has become my go-to watch every Autumn/Winter. It feels like the perfect show to watch when it’s rainy and cold outside. Set in the town of Stars Hollow it tells the lives of a single mother and her daughter. The relationships with each other, boys, friends and family. I’m definitely team Jess, and at first I thought Lorelai was a cool mum but the more I watch it the more annoying I find her.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was my obsession during secondary school. I loved it, and it’s definitely were my love of all things witchy, vampy and occult started. I recently discovered all 7 seasons are on Prime and I made it my mission during lockdown to watch it all.
ER might seem like a bit of an odd choice given the others are all aimed at teens but I absolutely loved it. Based around the emergency department of a hospital in Chicago. ER ran for 15 seasons from 1994 until 2009. It followed the daily life of an emergency room, and the staff in it. The series focused on issues such as HIV and AIDS, organ transplants, mental illness, racism, human trafficking, euthanasia, poverty and gay rights. All 15 seasons are currently available on All4 to watch.