A Trip Down Memory Lane, Right on our Screens

Singer-songwriter Bonnie McKee said it best in her single, ‘American Girl’: “I was raised by a television.”


Becca Youngers

The nostalgia of childhood TV shows, is there anything better?

Becca Youngers, Editor in-chief

If there’s one thing that has defined the most recent generations of American teenagers, it is the evolution and impact of children’s TV shows. Many who grew up in the 90s and 2000s can remember anxiously waiting for a new episode of their favorite show to air, their eyes glued to their TVs for the entire half hour to hour of seemingly brilliant entertainment. 


As they grew up, so did the culture around watching TV. The rush and panic to make sure someone was present or could at least record their essential shows washed away with the introduction of streaming services. Cable became an unneeded expense for some, and others didn’t see the need for hundreds of channels they had no interest in. 


Going into high school, many teenagers found that the time they could once easily set aside to binge watch on any weekday was now filled with homework, extra curriculars, work, and a need to simply just rest. Many teenagers, similar to Ava Roemen (11), began to miss the free feeling of their childhood.


“Everything has changed from when I was younger, and sometimes I just want to go back in time to take some of the stress away,” Roemen said. 


Many teenagers began to grow up, and with growing up comes changed interests in everything, TV being no exception. As their favorite Disney and Nickelodeon shows were long gone, many of the new shows introduced by big producers seemed immature and flat-out unappealing.


As streaming services have continued to improve impressively, they have made more efforts to draw in teenagers and adults by providing some of their favorite childhood shows. When news breaks that a childhood favorite is coming back on a big platform such as “iCarly” coming back this February on Netflix, almost everyone is overjoyed.


“I know that a lot of people my age really enjoyed the shows that they grew up on, and now that streaming services are bringing them back, it makes more people interested in the services,” Roemen said. “Also, I think it is really good for people to take a step back and reminisce on their childhood.”


In a world where, as of recently, there hasn’t been a lot of universal comfort, the reappearance of childhood shows in the lives of teenagers has brought much-needed reassurance. Kate Easter (11) has found that her childhood shows are a great form of comfort as well as nostalgia.


“These shows bring back so many memories of my childhood, and it’s extra special since there weren’t easy ways to rewatch them until more recently,” Easter said.


So, what is so special about these childhood shows? Simple, it’s the nostalgia of it all. Rewatching certain episodes and seeing specific scenes can provoke many emotions and memories in teenagers. 


“When I watch these shows, I remember watching them with my siblings and having to record them on the TV. They also remind me of the crossover episodes, which were always the best,” Roemen said.


“There’s so much that makes these childhood shows so special. I love when I catch a joke that flew over my head as a kid, the nostalgia of rewatching them, the early 2000s vibe that they all have, and so much more,” Easter said.  


Though the acting isn’t always superb, many find that when they rewatch childhood TV shows, they can always find something to resonate with. They might find a hidden joke that they didn’t understand in their adolescence. They might see a rather iconic outfit and be reminded of the legendary, daring elements that defined 2000s fashion. 


“When I rewatch these shows, I realize they’re not as good as I remembered, but I still love them. I’m able to recognize more of the mature humor in them now, and even though the acting may be bad, it makes it so much better realizing all of the things that went over my head as a kid,” Roemen said. 


Though many still are missing some of their coveted childhood shows on streaming services, the integration of just a few of the classics is more than enough to have sparked nostalgia in the generations that practically grew up on television. 


Easter said,It almost makes me feel like a kid again, watching them for the first time.”