Although summer TV has gotten better over the years – thank you, cable – I tend to turn to some of my favorites when the temps heat up and the regular TV schedule winds down. And this summer is no different. Once again I find myself setting my DVR for shows I watched growing up: Friends, Saved by the Bell, Gilmore Girls, and even the original Beverly Hills, 90210. I’ve seen the same episodes over and over again, yet they never get old. Remember the Friends episode when Joey puts on ALL of Chandler’s clothes? Still funny. What about the episode of 90210 when Donna almost doesn’t graduate? Still classic.
For many years NBC owned Thursday nights with their hilarious sitcom line-up of Must See TV. With shows like Cheers, Night Court and The Cosby Show, and later Seinfeld, Will & Grace and Frasier, NBC drew in millions of people week after week. This list is hard to compete with, but one of the all-time bests was Friends. Monica was uptight, Ross was a science nerd, Phoebe was an oddball, Chandler was sarcastic, Joey was dumb, Rachel was spoiled, but every single episode to this day still makes me laugh out loud.
Here are a few of my favorite moments:
- Ross and Rachel FINALLY get together – that kiss inside Central Perk!
- Monica, Joey and Chandler have to explain what happened on the beach… with the jellyfish…
- Phoebe awkwardly hits on Chandler until he cracks about his relationship with Monica
- Ross’s leather pants
- The holiday armadillo
And the list goes on and on. I’m sure you’ve even got other great moments popping into your head right now! Am I right?
Saved By The Bell
Zack Morris? A.C. Slater? Who could resist! Saved by the Bell is probably pretty high up on the list of cheesiest shows ever made (“I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so… scared!” – Jessie Spano) – but I love it. And most people I know love it. From Zack’s scheming ways to the constant fights over Kelly to Screech’s obsession with Lisa, it never got old.
Thanks to my interns and this show, I felt pretty old recently. Let me just say, I realize 25 is not old, but it’s all relative. Anyway, I remember a time when Saved by the Bell episodes were brand new on Saturday mornings. My interns on the other hand watch the show as they get ready for work… and the episodes are all brand new to them now. See, they were too young to know this show existed until not too long ago. I assumed everyone watched, and then I realized in the early 90s when I was 7-years old, the interns were barely walking.
Saved by the Bell eventually spun off a number of TV shows including the college years and different variations of the new class, as well as TV movies like Wedding in Las Vegas, but nothing could compare to the original days at Bayside High.
I was a little late to catch on to the Gilmore Girls craze, but once I discovered this show, I was hooked. Sophomore year of college my roommate and I happened to catch an episode on The WB. From that night on we would have marathon evenings crowded around her laptop, watching four, five, six episodes online at a time.
Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel were fantastic as Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Their dynamic as mother and daughter was something not often seen on TV, but beyond that they were best friends. It was their relationship, in addition to outstanding writing, that made the show what it was. And who can forget the quirky neighbors that made Stars Hollow a place I wanted to visit week after week: Miss Patty and Babette the town gossips, Taylor the obnoxious town Selectman, Lane the punk-rock best friend, and Luke the bitter diner owner who I always pulled for. As outrageous as Richard and Emily were, even they were lovable in their own way.
One of my favorite things about Gilmore Girls, besides the characters, was all of the pop culture references. If you weren’t up-to-speed on what was going on outside the TV show, then you missed the joke… and half the fun.
Beverly Hills, 90210
Looking back, I know I was way too young to be watching Beverly Hills, 90210. Back in the early 90s, I was in elementary school, while Brandon, Brenda and the gang were wandering the halls of West Bev. And what do high schoolers deal with and talk about? Drugs, alcohol, and sex of course… things I knew nothing about at, I don’t know, 8-years-old. Blame my mom.
But I watched the characters go from teenagers to college students to real adults. Some of the stories were outrageous and some of the characters were awful – Emily Valentine, anyone? – but I stuck with the show for 10 long years.
I did a little research (thank you, IMDB) and wanted to share some fun facts:
- Dylan McKay was originally only supposed to be in a couple episodes
- Jim Walsh is ranked #41 on TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time”
- Potomac, MD was the inspiration for the show and also creator Darren Star’s hometown
- Gabrielle Carteris was 29 years old when the series began, playing a 15-year old
90210 may be back on The CW, but the new show and cast will never come close to the original. Annie and Dixon Wilson are no Brandon and Brenda Walsh.
Now you know some of my favorites. What shows can you watch repeatedly that never get old?