As I’ve gotten older and my tastes have changed, TV shows of all variety have held the exclusive title of my Favorite Program. From cartoons to live action, from children’s to adult programming, at every point in my life there was one show or another at the center of it. Today I am going to talk about a few that really stick out in my mind. In an effort to curb repetition, I’ll be skipping over a few I’ve talked about before (i.e. Pokemon and Supernatural). Fortunately, that doesn’t exclude much. And, in as-accurate-as-I-can-get chronological order, here they are:
- SpongeBob SquarePants: In the fourth grade, we filled out an About Me sheet at the beginning of the year and another at the end. It was supposed to serve as a way to introduce ourselves and see how we’d grown and changed over the course of the school year. One of the questions was about your favorite TV show. At the beginning of the year, mine was SpongeBob. Hell, I even had a SpongeBob backpack (that I got sick of as the year went on). The show was funny (and remains so— at least the SpongeBob I grew up with) and already iconic. I quoted it all the time. I used to be able to recite the entirety of the episode “The Graveyard Shift” word-for-word. I appreciate different things about the cartoon now, but back then it was the king of Nickelodeon and my soul.
- As Told by Ginger: At the end of fourth grade, as I filled in my new About Me sheet, my favorite TV show had changed. Now it was the underrated cartoon about middle-schooler Ginger Foutley, as she navigates puberty, crushes, and friendship. For a young preteen, this show was everything I needed. I related so much to Ginger and her coming-of-age story. There were so many interesting characters and plotlines that weren’t overly cliché. The show was incredibly topical for a kids’ program, even attacking the old adage “boys will be boys” way before the most recent wave of feminism. Other things I enjoyed were Ginger’s relationship with her mother, the fact that popular girl Courtney was nice and befriended Ginger, and the lessons. I’ll probably rewatch this show eventually, especially since I never saw the high school episodes.
- Drake & Josh: Oddly, this didn’t become my favorite show until I was in the tenth grade. By then it was either over or almost over (I can’t remember which). But it was funny and ridiculous, and I loved the brothers’ antics. I liked the normal, relatable storylines and the wacky, outrageous ones. I loved Megan, who was borderline evil, and the oddly well-matched parents. I loved the amazing side characters too, like Helen and Crazy Steve. Even though Drake Bell and Josh Peck grew up to be problematic, this hilarious show will always have a special place in my heart. The Christmas movie doesn’t exist though. I don’t know her.
- Boy Meets World: Although I did occasionally watch this show as a kid, I didn’t really get into it until late 2012/early 2013. I immediately fell in love with it. It was funny, but also heartfelt and genuine. I felt for Shawn and adored Topanga. And I loved watching Cory’s journey. I loved Eric and Jack too (although Eric’s character was destroyed in season seven and stayed destroyed in the recent spin-off Girl Meets World). There were important lessons (via the great Mr. Feeney) and some iconic scenes. Even though I watched it like five times during the era I was super into it, I think I need to watch it again soon.
- Glee: I fucking hated Glee. As a fan who watched all six seasons, I can say this. It was excellent, but it was also awful. Much of this is due to some nonsensical storylines of the later seasons and the ones that got abandoned. But it was such a cool, unique concept. I loved hearing the covers every week. I loved how it was both funny and dramatic. And, even though I never, ever want it to come back, I miss it. Sometimes I hear a song and think “They would’ve done a great cover of that on Glee.” While some shows have tried to capitalize on the success of this clusterfuck of a show, there will never be another Glee.
- Criminal Minds: When I was in twelfth grade, I watched a marathon of this show for the first time. That night I couldn’t sleep because I was afraid of serial killers (just in general— that is the nature of anxiety, after all). Regardless, I kept watching it. I got really into it. I went back and started the show from the beginning, taking in case after horrific case. I eventually got over the fear (at least, of the show) and it became a fast favorite. While I loved the characters (namely, Reid, Prentiss, Morgan, and Garcia), I loved the mysteries even more. I loved watching each case unfold. I’m currently behind on the show, but hope to catch up very soon.
- The Soup: This is one show whose cancelation I will never be over. This clip show, hosted by Joel McHale, took dumb moments from TV and eviscerated them. It was hysterical. I looked forward to it every week. It’s been canceled for about a year or two now, and I’m still devastated. Sometimes when I see something stupid on TV I still catch myself thinking, “I can’t wait to see what they say about this on The Soup!” And then I remember. It was E!’s only good program and they tossed it. And for me, that bitterness will never truly go away.
What are some shows that used to be your favorite? Do you still watch them? If not, how come? Tell me about them in the comments!