Jordan: “why are you like this?”
Angela: “like what?”
Jordan: “like how you are!”
Angela: “how am I?”
*end scene*I mean…wow. Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003) Enjoying the opposite end of teen drama success was Dawson (James Van Der Beek), Joey (Katie Holmes), Pacey (Joshua Jackson) and Jen (Michelle Williams) and their endless, tortured dialogue throughout 6 seasons of the WB’s Dawson’s Creek. Created by Kevin Williamson, the show revolves around the close-knit friendship of four pretty people, and their parents, grandmas, hot teachers and gay best friends. But that’s not to suggest the series didn’t broach some seriously real topics, so much so that even before the premier of its pilot episode critics and financial partners voiced concern over the show’s racy content. Despite these prudish naysayers the show went onto enjoy a successful run and was nominated for twenty-three awards even receiving a SHINE (Sexual Health IN Entertainment) Award and a GLADD Media Award for Outstanding TV Drama Series. Some of our favorite moments include, the ‘Detention’ episode, better known to fans as ‘the Breakfast Club episode’, which finds the fab four, plus Abby (Monica Keena), locked up together in the school library for detention. Made in the vein of the 1985 John Huge’s classic film, the episode sees Joey make an emotional speech about her dislike of Jen while wearing what this writer thought at the time was a very pretty yellow sweater. And let us not forget the cry that inspired a million memes or the cheese-slathered, but oh so satisfying series finale. Seriously, we don’t wanna wait for our lives to be over before seeing this one redone. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996) The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air debuted on NBC in 1990 and featured a young Will Smith as a kid who got into a schoolyard scuffle and was taxied off to live with his wealthy relatives in Bel Air, Los Angeles. Personally, I always wondered how much that taxi cost him?! The series made us laugh, sure, but it was not without its heavy moments and life lessons, like the time Will accidently gets Carlton high on speed. The show was also very capable of making fun of itself, like when the original actress that played the character of the mom or Vivian Banks was suddenly swapped out in season 4 with another actress. Smith’s unwelcome best friend (and real-life rap collaborator) Jazz, comments, “You know Miss Banks, since you had that baby, there’s somethin’ different about you.” Will responds by breaking the forth wall and giving a coy glance toward the camera. Now that’s the kind of forward-thinking comedy we’d like to see on primetime again. And, we know the original Fresh Prince would be up for helping out with that iconic theme song again! Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000) Another brilliant series that didn’t really get its day in the sun was Freaks and Geeks. This show also only had one season and mirrors its MSCL predecessor in what it managed to accomplish in such a short time period. The series launched the careers of Judd Apatow, who directed and wrote several episodes, and the now mega stars: James Franco, Seth Rogan and Jason Segal. Freaks and Geeks also dealt with some serious subject matter while managing to make us cringe-laugh at its many awkward moments. Though set in the 80’s and made in the 90s the trials and tribulations of its high-school-aged cast are timeless. Centering around the Weir family, mainly Lindsay (Linda Cardellini) and Sam (John Francis Daley), the series gave us a glimpse of teen drama from the viewpoint of the outsiders. While vampires and werewolves dominate our current teen drama schedule we yearn for the simpler times of unrequited love, puberty and the struggle for identity. And, lest we forget, perhaps one of the sweetest moments in television history, from the episode, “Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers”: Bill (Martin Starr) eating his grilled cheese and brownie while laughing hysterically at Garry Shandling’s stand-up, all while The Who’s ‘I’m One’ perfectly complements the moment. All right, yes, that would be pretty tough to redo. Roseanne (1988-1997) And last, but certainly not least is Roseanne; the show that introduced us to “boil-a-bag” dinners and the endless acerbic wit of Rosanne Barr. Unique for its time, the series followed the lives of blue-collar heroes, the Conners, as they struggled to make ends meet, raise three kids and maintain a happy relationship. What was never a struggle, however, was the consistently hilarious dialogue, particularly between Roseanne and her goofy but loveable sister, Jackie. Perhaps the most successful show on this list in terms of ratings, Rosanne never failed to please…okay, except perhaps with its series finale. In fact the failure of the finale could make a great argument at our next ‘90s remakes pitch’ for which we have an important meeting with no one! While we recognize there is a time and place for everything, even family sitcoms and teen dramas, its nice to reflect back and recognize the strength of some of these classic series. And, to dream a little, just like Angela, Dawson, Will, Lindsay and Rosanne did, and hope that one of these might be properly revisited and give a whole new generation something to be psyched about.