There are soo many television programmes that I adored as a pre-teen and even as a teenager. I’ve always been a huge fan of children’s television, long before it all became a little bit less good. It makes me sad because before they stopped showing children’s television on CBBC and CITV I thought it was great. Perhaps part of realising it’s not so great is me growing up, but part of me honestly believes that children’s television just isn’t the same anymore.
Exhibit A: Kenan and Kell – who loves orange soda? K, k, k, kelllll loves orange soda. Is it true? Mm-hmm, I do, I do, I doo-oooo. What’s not to like? Actually, looking back, it drove me crazy. I hated the episode where they won the lottery and lost the ticket. But back then it was everything it needed to be. It was fun, it was funny and it was so wonderful. I even had my own orange soda thing. Who love ice pops? F, f, f, Fiona love ice pops. Is it true? Mm-hmm, I do, I do, I doo-ooo.
Exhibit B: Sister Sister – Tia and Tamara were perhaps two of the greatest sisters that ever lived. What genius that programme was. And you know what, it was a programme where race didn’t matter. Kenan and Kell and Sister Sister both had African-Americans are the helm and there wasn’t any issue what so ever. It seems there’s less programmes like that these days. It’s all about inclusion and multiculturalism and not so much about telling honest stories. And being able to see Tia and Tamara on Twitter now, talking about their current lives, such a great end to a fantastic time of my life.
Exhibit C: The Rugrats – if you were a pre-teen or a child or even a teenager during the Rugrats era, you will understand. I don’t know what the appeal was of talking cartoon babies but appeal it had. It makes me sad that a lot of children’s television is computer generated and full of CGIs because Rugrats, proper cartoons, that’s where it’s always been at for me.
Exhibit D: Arthur – speaking of cartoons, as a teenager I used to watch Arthur, even into adulthood. I loved Arthur, I loved that they never got older (a bit like the Simpsons). The only thing I hate is that they made a computer generated film…and it just wasn’t the same.
Exhibit E: As Told By Ginger – you may not have any idea what this programme was, but it was another cartoon. Only it wasn’t your average cartoon. It was a cartoon aimed at pre-teens. It told the story of Ginger Foutley and she wasn’t your average pre-teen either. Not the standard American pre-teens that were and still are spread across the television. She was smart and she was unpopular and she was really, really, quite like me. I’ll always remember the episode where they talked about the comfort zone (something which I’ve had a lot of love and admiration for) and in the theme tune it goes “someone once told me the grass was much greener on the other side, and I paid a visit, well it’s possible I missed it. It seemed different yet exactly the same. Til further notice, I’m in between. From where I’m standing, my grass is green.” I just found it such an inspiring cartoon, full of hope and maturity that wasn’t in a lot of other television. Sure it had comedy – Ginger’s friend singing “I’m a little seal girl living in the real world and it’s so hard to get by, cause seals can’t even cry” was terribly endearing (so says the popular girl during that episode) and was rather humorous but also extremely sad. I’ll always remember As Told By Ginger as the one programme from my childhood that changed me, that spoke to me, that made me want to be the person I was becoming. It wasn’t a bit of silly fun like Kenan and Kell, it wasn’t talking babies, it wasn’t talking aardvarks. It was real life, my version of life, captured in pictures.
If you want to even understand a glimpse of what As Told By Ginger was about, watch this clip, of a poem that Ginger wrote.
I wonder if I’ll be taking a trip down memory lane with the other girls’ blogs, or whether they’ll be sharing their favourite sing-a-longs, or perhaps something that someone has to say. Check them out, links on the right.