By Susan Kamyab
Like most kids in any decade, Fridays were always the days I felt most anxious to be let free from school. But growing up in the 90’s, the anticipation wasn’t from the thoughts of finally sleeping in the next morning or going outside to play with friends. No, instead every Friday I eagerly awaited getting home, sitting in front of the TV, and watching new episodes of ABC’s Friday night line-up! Also known as TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Funny). In honor of the upcoming Boy Meets World spin-off, Girl Meets World, I have decided to look back, and recognize my top 5 shows that aired on the popular program.
5. Full House (1987-1995)
This was an extremely campy show about a single dad who recruits his best friend and brother-in-law to help raise his 3 daughters. Even though it wasn’t always the best writing and unfunny jokes were supported by laugh tracks, they still attempted to tackle some tough issues like, DJ’s eating disorder and the usual peer pressures of smoking/drinking. But with such a star studded cast, including the Olsen twins’ first break out roles, it was impossible not to fall in love with all these characters.
4. Family Matters (1989-1998)
Steve Urkel is probably one of the most annoying characters to this date. His “Did I do that?” catchphrase still makes me cringe. Despite all this, the writers somehow managed to have us root for him. A part of us always wanted him with Laura, and we desperately wanted the Winslows to accept him as a second son. And with the father’s occupation as cop, Family Matters allowed audiences to see a different type drama and sometimes the most suspenseful episodes out of the line-up.
3. Step By Step (1991-1998)
Here’s a story of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls…oh wait, I mean two lovely girls and brainy son. So maybe Step by Step didn’t follow The Brady Bunch’s exact formula with their kids, but it was basically the modern version of the show. Surprisingly enough, that decade made for a much more entertaining family. Realistically, it wouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows when two single parents marry and want their teenage children to treat each other like family. Needless to say, there would be a significant amount of fighting, which this sitcom was not afraid to show. We got to enjoy watching these kids go from hating each other, to gradually caring for one another other as siblings.
2. Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996-2003)
It’s crazy to think that a show about a teen witch would become one of the longest lasting series on TGIF. So long in fact, that it moved Sabrina’s adult years to The WB. But the show was truly its best when it was on ABC. I think what made Sabrina a hit, was the fact that Melissa Joan Hart was so relatable. She was a “normal” girl trying to fit in. She had all the same problems any teenager would deal with in high school: A mean girl, tough teachers, a secret crush, etc. It was just fun watching her solve those problems with magic. I guess we could all live vicariously through her and only wish we had those powers.
1. Boy Meets World (1993-2000)
Boy Meets World isn’t in first place because its new spin-off. In fact the, only reason anyone is watching that potential disaster is because we all want to see Cory and Topanga as parents. That and we also hope to see all the other original cast members make guest appearances. Boy Meets World easily takes the top spot because it was and still is a GREAT show. The acting was solid, the writing was smart, and it was genuinely funny. To this day you can still laugh when you hear Eric say “Feeny? Fa-fa-fa-fa-feeny!” Growing up to a sitcom like this one, I can truthfully say it had an impact on my childhood. They hit issues that most family kid shows wouldn’t even mention today: Divorce, death, abuse, true love, and so much more. We can only hope that the Girl Meets World, set to air June 27th, will at least try to touch on some honest age appropriate topics. So basically nothing like what Disney channel has been producing. And please don’t give Cory Matthew’s daughter a recording contract!
Honorable Mentions: Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, Dinosaurs, Two of a Kind