When I was growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, my weekend kicked off in the best way ever, every single week. ABC had their T.G.I.F line up of shows that included, at different points, Full House, Boy Meets World, Sabrina: The Teenage Witch, Family Matters, and Perfect Strangers. Now, it might seem dramatic to say that I lived for these Friday nights…but I lived for these Friday nights. I loved the ritual of it all. My Dad would bring home dinner from my favorite Chinese restaurant, we’d all eat, I might read some Baby-Sitters Club, and then I’d curl up for some T.G.I.F. goodness. I loved the ritual of it so much that I got seriously, almost violently, annoyed when my younger brother wanted to watch with me. Okay, I didn’t actually get violent, but I thought about it. Then, I thought about what Danny Tanner would say.
Recently, the shows have seemed to undergo a resurgence in re-runs being shown on cable. I swear, it seemed there were years and years that went by where I could not find a single channel that would feed my love for Ben Savage. Where was my Uncle Jesse fix? If I didn’t find a way to catch me some Salem Saberhagen action, I wasn’t going to know what to do with myself! However, they suddenly started coming around again! There was Sabrina talking to a black cat just like mine and trying to deal with being a teenager…and a witch! There was Topanga, who was a role model for us all with her brains that were Yale-worthy and hair that I still can’t get no matter what I do. Oh, and the sweetest boyfriend ever (side note: Ben Savage once Tweeted me back, so I’m practically his girlfriend now). At any rate, life was good again because I could fall asleep to the sounds of “How rude!”
That’s the thing: I find myself watching these shows at night and spending Saturday afternoons watching them while getting ready to go to brunch at the age of 31 because I still want to watch them! There’s something about the wholesome goodness of it that is so satisfying, even after all these years. It seems like no matter how messed up the world around me gets, I can go back to these shows and smile again. Problems will be solved in 22 minutes (or 44 if it was a “to be continued” episode). Cory and Topanga might break up, but they’d get back together a handful of episodes later. Libby might taunt Sabrina, but then she’d be turned into a puzzle. Balki would annoy Larry, but they’d still end up doing the dance of joy. Oh, and it would all be done to a totally cheesy laugh track, too. In other words, in the end, it was all good. And it still is.
By Caitlin Kurvink
Feature image via.