When I was growing up, there were Saturday morning cartoons to anticipate, after school shows that I'd run home to watch, and then some evening programs we'd watch as a family. There are so many that I really enjoyed, so it's hard to narrow them down to one single favorite; therefore, I will break it down to a few.
Saturday morning cartoon time was when I fell in love with Captain America. I really liked watching The Smurfs, too. Obviously, Smurfette was my favorite. I even got Smurf pajamas for Christmas one year.
He-man and the Masters of the Universe was my show after school. I remember hurrying home so I could be ready to watch it with a bowl of cereal in my lap. She-ra: The Princess of Power and Teela were characters I would pretend to become whenever my brothers were He-man, Battle Cat, Panthor, and/or Skeletor. On occasion, if my being a girl didn't break the rules, I felt really cool playing as Panthor. He was so tough!
As far as nighttime shows go, I can hardly even decide. We used to watch M*A*S*H, Cheers, and Mork and Mindy, and so many others. I remember my parents letting me stay up late to watch Johnny Carson and laughing along with them even when I didn't quite get the jokes because it was just so fun to be there with them getting to stay up late.
As a teen, I used to watch The Wonder Years faithfully, then 21 Jump Street, and Beverly Hills, 90210.
I'll never get over the funny nostalgia of The Wonder Years. I could identify with so much of the wit and pickles he'd get himself into. I remember wanting my life to be that simple because it wasn't. I wished for a friendship/romance like Winnie and Kevin's. There were a lot of lessons about how marriage, family, and friendships work, too. And there was always something about it that made me come back for more. I think it was how they let us hear inside Kevin's mind. His thoughts were so ridiculous sometimes, but it taught me that sometimes our thoughts are ridiculous, and that's okay so long as we figure it out. Plus, to be privy to how boys think was quite intriguing.
To idolize Johnny Depp and Richard Grieco was the reason I watched 21 Jump Street, plain and simple. I couldn't tell you anything about the storyline, but that's alright. They were absolute babes. I had a massive poster of Johnny Depp (as well as George Michael, but that's another story) hanging on my wall so as to see his face first and last thing every day. 90210 was something I began watching due to teen societal pressures, but then it intrigued me. It was interesting to see the drama played out and how it reflected my own teen life. Also, as with 21 Jump Street, I was busy falling in love with the main characters, Jason Priestley and Luke Perry. Babes, I tell you. Absolute babes.
There were other shows, but these were the ones that pushed me to pretend and adore and wish for the unattainable. Isn't that what growing up is all about?