What was I saying about reboots? Get excited, because the time has come for another tribute to one of our most favorite decades, the 1990s. And lucky for you, this comes on the heels of some very good news for ’90s aficionados. That’s right! Two of the most beloved ’90s teen series, Charmed and Roswell, are being rebooted by The WB’s predecessor: The CW.
Not the patient type? Scroll down for a list of our favorite ’90s teen series, all of which are available to stream online asap!
Joss Whedon, bringer of all things Avengers, used to live in an imaginary little town called Sunnydale. This is a place where instead of screaming and running away from her monsters, the not-at-all-ditzy cheerleader runs straight for them and kicks their whiny poor-me butts clear across the cemetery. There’s so much more to Buffy, to be sure, but that’s basically the gist of it. And despite the (sometimes) cheesy effects, these stories still hold up today.
Buffy paved the way for a lot of really great genre shows like Charmed, a story of three sisters who just happen to be witches. Despite some cast shake-ups that could have given this show an early demise, Charmed managed to entertain for eight long seasons. (And will be coming back to TV soon!)
Premiering the fall of 1990, Beverly Hills 90210 epitomized early ‘90s preppy style and gave teens of that era icons like Luke Perry, Jason Priestley, and the always-volatile Shannen Doherty.
Hitting later in the decade, Dawson’s Creek was a coming-of-age tale about precocious teens living along the banks of a creek in a small Cape Cod town. The wardrobe was very L.L. Bean, the dialogue very S.A.T.-heavy, and the love triangles? Clearly epic. The cast got together for a gorgeous reunion photo shoot this past spring.
Roswell is another genre show that followed the well-worn path that Buffy trod. Instead of vampires, Roswell follows a group of aliens who are masquerading as regular everyday teens -falling in love, making out, writing in diaries, disrupting the lives of their unwitting friends and lovers, and etc. The theme song, by Dido, will forever be etched into many ’90s kids’ memories. In fact, I’m kind of hoping that they’ll at least tip a hat to the old theme in the reboot this coming fall.
There’s something that rings true about this unforgettable series that, unfortunately, only lasted one single season. This show was darker and more serious than what you’d expect from most teen shows and it is all the better for it.
Ringing in at the very end of the decade, Freaks and Geeks was another tragically short series that didn’t pull in enough ratings to make it past the first season but did end up becoming a cult classic. Starring the likes of Seth Rogen, Busy Phillips, Linda Cardellini, and James Franco – Freaks and Geeks is not only iconic, but a starmaker.
I’m sure you’re not surprised to see the re-appearance of Party of Five here, which was also featured on our Best of ’90s Dramas list. The story of the Salinger siblings carrying on after the sudden and tragic loss of their parents is deeply moving and not your average teen show fodder.
Daria was disaffected, jaded, a little bit rock and roll, a little bit weird, and a little bit badass. She was pre-Freaks and Geeks by a couple of years and spoke for a lot of girls who didn’t have representation on TV at that time, at least not as a lead character. So on behalf of all those girls: Thank you, Daria, for simply existing.
Honestly, this opening title sequence still gives me the heebie-jeebies. Are You Afraid of the Dark aired on Nickelodeon’s famous “SNICK” programming (Saturday Night Nickelodeon, shows that were geared toward the young teen crowd). Each episode is a tale told around the campfire by one member of The Midnight Society and follows teens dealing with various paranormal activity.