In the past ten years, TV shows have exploded. It used to be three or maybe four watch-worthy TV series per year, now it is about three to five every new month – and most of them you can watch in one go. But back when I was young, before streaming and before social media there were a some incredibly good series that taught me a few things worth remembering. Especially now when so many TV series just became exchangeable.
1 REAL LIFE VERY RARELY IS GLAMOROUS
Angela Chase was my idol back when I was a teenage girl. I remember watching My so-called life (1994) and just feeling like this is real, this could be my life (I actually wrote about that TV show before)Angela had naturally blond hair that she dyed red, there is a whole episode in which she keeps staring at a pimple on her chin that just keeps growing, the boy she likes doesn’t even know her name, and she wishes she could just be a little bit cool. This series had no perfect barbies, Angela was no super-nerd, and there was no sappy happy end. To this day, I have not seen a TV series that felt so relatable and real as this one. Also, it is the reason why I will love Jared Leto forever.
“Sometimes someone says something really small and it just fits right into this empty place in your heart.”Angela Chase
2 NEVER GIVE UP FIGHTING (ALSO VAMPIRES DON’T SPARKLE)
In my opinion, there is only one real vampire series – and it is Buffy the vampire slayer (1997 – 2003). It was long before Twilight gave us sparkly vampires and cringe-worthy dialogue, and before everyone had superpowers. Buffy might have had a silly name and looked like a barbie, but she was tough, she knew how to throw a punch and she showed me that you can survive just about anything – first love gone bad, bad teachers, even the apocalypse. She taught me, that no matter how bad things get, you can never give up. You just have to keep on fighting until the last demon is dead.
No weapons… no friends… no hope. Take all that away and what’s left? Me.
3 SARCASM IS ESSENTIAL FOR SURVIVAL
If you start analyzing the world too much, you will realize, that the world actually doesn’t give a crap about you. Especially if you are a teenage girl. Everything revolves around popularity, attention, clothes and of course dating. If you can’t or won’t comply the only solution is sarcasm. Daria (1997-2002) has realized that there are too many idiots in this world and that you simply cannot kill all of them. So, the only solution is: Sarcasm. Essential for surviving in a world full of airheads and idiots.
Sometimes your shallowness is so thorough it’s almost like depth.Daria
4 YOUR QUIRKS ARE WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE
Ally McBeal (1997-2002) is one of those series, that I actually appreciate now a lot more than I did back when I was 16. Mainly because now that I am about the same age as Ally was in the series, I can relate to it a lot more. Ally and John still were my favorite characters because of how quirky they were. They both were witty and confident but still insecure and sometimes even insane. I often feel like that as well when I am at work – like this persona I put on, hoping no one will see the chaotic mess that lies beneath. Also Ally McBeal made me fall in love with Robert Downey Jr. long before he was Iron Man.
The world is no longer a romantic place; some of its people still are however, and therein lies the promise. Don’t let the world win.John Cage
5 REAL FRIENDS STAY WITH YOU – NO MATTER HOW CRAZY LIFE GETS
To be honest, me and Friends (1994-2004) we needed a little time, mostly because when I saw it first it was in German. Before Netflix or internet-streaming, you could only watch English series dubbed in Germany – and well, Friends in German was pretty awful. Because of this, my love for Friends actually started the year the series ended: 2004. That’s when I lived in Ireland and got to see the series in the original version and realized: “Damn, this is funny”.
Yes, it is sometimes over the top and yes, not really realistic, but damn, I love crazy Phoebe and slightly slow Joe. I love Chandler and Monica and their crazy relationship, and ugly naked guy and even the Ross and Rachel-saga. Because they are all a little crazy and nothing resonates with me more than slightly crazy friends.
Joe doesn’t share food!Joe Tribbiani