I’ve been known to have unpopular opinions when it comes to pop culture and this is not a new phenomenon.
I was the youngest child and my mother went back to work once I started school. When I was older, she took a different job with longer hours, so beginning in 8th grade, my house was empty after school.
Until I received my license, I’d take the bus home and would usually hang out at my house alone after school. Most times, I would watch Juice or Young Guns II for the 50th time because weekday afternoon TV was a wasteland of old sitcoms that would be rerun in syndication until the end of time.
I couldn’t stand the corny jokes followed by a loud laugh track. I was bored by the wacky misunderstandings or faux major problems that were all somehow solved in twenty-two minutes. Where The Wonder Years would dig deep and stir strong emotions, other shows would only superficially grace the surface, paying lip service to heartfelt issues, but only as a plot device.
There are a multitude of shows that could have been included, but below are the three shows that insulted me the most (Saved by the Bell barely missed the cut):
1. Full House
When Fuller House debuted in February, there was a faction of people complaining that it was corny and overwrought and another faction claiming that it only felt that way because they were now older and that Full House was the same way if seen for the first time today. I agree, but I didn’t need twenty years of maturity and a reboot to convince me. I knew back then that it was terrible.
None of which prevented me from having a Candace Cameron poster hanging up in my closet, however.
2. Boy Meets World
I have a myriad of problems with Boy Meets World and not even Topanga could make up for all of them, but the most egregious is that the Matthews family supposedly lives in Philadelphia (not even the suburbs) in this home:
Yet, if you actually live in a house within the city of Philadelphia – as I did for a decade – it most likely looks like this:
Notice the subtle differences like the lack of grass and personal space? (The actual house is located in Studio City.) This entire show is based upon a false premise.
3. Charles in Charge
What kind of family hires a college student to take care of their children? What kind of college student wants to take care of children? Charles in Charge was the biggest offender of lazy writing and tired sitcom tropes – the goofy best friend, the beautiful girl next door, the wise grandfather – and I’ve never been more honest than when I tell you that I was never able to make it through five minutes of this horrendous show.
Thankfully, Scott Baio redeemed himself as Bob Loblaw.
It does not have the problems of the first three shows on this list and I tried to love Animaniacs. I really did. I absolutely loved Tiny Toon Adventures and enjoyed Pinky and the Brain, but I just couldn’t get into the escapades of Yakko, Wakko, and Dot. When we would talk about those shows in school, I’d try to keep it focused on Tiny Toons, but my friends and classmates would focus on Animaniacs. I don’t know if it were the skits or the voices or what, but it just never did it for me.
And it should have! Look at this:
That’s funny. And that’s on a kids show! I would’ve enjoyed that joke at 13, not to mention 23 and 33, but I could never hang in with the show that long. Whatever it was – the look, the presentation, the self-awareness – I just couldn’t connect with it.
Just another example of my non-mainstream tastes, I guess.
Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, Medium, The Cauldron, and many more. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.