My good readers, I have mentioned at least once before that I’m a ’90s kid: born in 1988 and raised mostly on television from the 1990s and the early 2000s. What you are about to read is very similar to the many “Great TV Shows of the ’90s” articles you have read before, except that my intent is not to simply reminisce. No, my intent is to actually question—possibly plead with—the great entity known as Netflix on the whereabouts of some of the great shows that I’m sure many of us miss and would love to binge on. Don’t get me wrong; Netflix is great. It is a wonderful gift to someone like myself, that is, TV and film obsessed. But I feel there are shows out there that are not being represented and should be over some of the . . . less desirable shows currently taking up space on the streaming queue.
Why not start off with a bang? I’m not an idiot—I’m aware Netflix would have a lot of paperwork, fees, and licenses and whatever to go through, and all 20-plus seasons of The Simpsons is unrealistic. However, I am not asking for that. I’ve previously voiced my displeasure for the current product that is labelled The Simpsons, and I have no interest in asking Netflix to bring that version of the show to their streaming services. But there is no arguing that the first 10 or 12 seasons were something to be proud of; they were the best. So, if nothing else, can we look into it, Netflix?
King of the Hill
“Yep.” “Yep.” “Yup.” “Mmmhmmm.” I don’t care what anyone says about the last few seasons, King of the Hill was a smart show with a different sense of humor. I miss super-straight-laced Hank being foiled by paranoid Dale. Plus, characters like Boomhauer, Bobby, Bill, and Peggy all had their own unique quirks that made that show special. I realize that King of the Hill has in fact been on Netlfix before, but what drove it off I cannot fathom. All of Texas should be able to back me up on wanting this show back for our binging pleasure.
I grew up in a unique time. Generations before mine were given cartoons in the form of Bugs Bunny and the other Loony Tunes, as well as Hannah-Barbara creations like Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. My generation had these cartoons too, of course, but I firmly believe that we were gifted a great time in cartoons when given the plethora we were able to feast upon thanks to Nickelodeon’s Nicktoons. We had Rugrats, Doug, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Rocko’s Modern Life, The Angry Beavers, KaBlam!, and so many more. Some of these shows are still very much watchable and enjoyable for my generation: Rocko’s Modern Life alone needs to be seen through adult eyes to see how edgy it was. And now that we are having kids of our own, I don’t see any reason why our children wouldn’t enjoy these cartoons. I look at it as my parents probably did when we watched Bugs Bunny, like a Kodak moment maybe. All I’m saying is these cartoons cannot hurt today’s kids, and in a world with mindless kids cartoons like Dora the Explorer and Caillou, wouldn’t it be nice to watch cartoons with things like . . . a plot?!
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Sticking with Nickelodeon here; just bear with me. No one was more stoked as I was when Goosebumps showed up on Netflix, but where is this show? No offense to R. L. Stein, but in retrospect, Goosebumps is pretty cheesy. I remember Are You Afraid of the Dark as genuinely creepy! Perhaps this show is too scary for this generation of kids, but hey, I want to see it again, damn it! This would’ve made October all the sweeter had been available for Halloween viewing.
You know, with all these new Transformers movies and TV coming out in the last 10 years, I seem to be the only one going, “Uh anyone else remember that awesome Transformers show called Beast Wars?” Given that you’re reading a website called Twin Cities Geek, I assume many of you have at least heard of this show, but if not: Beast Wars was the next generation of Transformers, who disguised themselves as animals instead of vehicles. It was actually ahead of its time in its animation, using Pixar-esque CGI rather than the standard 2D animation. It was superior to the standard Transformers in plot and character development as well. Point being, with the million Transformers shows out there, why not show the best one on Netflix?
Let us leave the children’s shows for a moment and remember this show if we may. I can only go off of my memory, so forgive me if I offend anyone here, but I don’t remember there being a reason to watch the FX channel before this show. It was edgy, it was smart, and quite frankly, it was sexy. Many people may think, “Oh of course he likes that show! It was basically porn!” And I won’t lie, being a young teen and having access to this show was pretty cool. But I’m an adult now, and FX is a legit channel, and this may have been the show that made it so. If you don’t buy that, do you know of a little show called American Horror Story? Yeah, same creator. That’s right. Several years before Murder House, Ryan Murphy was chronicling the drama and tales of decadence of doctors Sean McNamara and Christian Troy. Plus, last time I checked, all seasons AHS up to Hotel were on Netflix. Curiouser and curiouser.
I won’t spend too much time on shows like Saturday Night Live or Chappelle’s Show because it feels almost too obvious. However, shows like Second City Television (SCTV) and The Kids in the Hall should be given consideration. Don’t know of these shows? Well, they may be a tad older than ’90s, but are you a fan of John Candy, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Catherine O’Hara, or Harold Ramis? You can thank SCTV. Are you a fan of Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, or Mark McKinney? Thank The Kids in the Hall. If you like SNL, you’d love these shows, and they deserve to be on Netflix.
Batman: The Animated Series
I’ll be honest: this whole article came from my anger that Netflix has not ever made this show available. As big of a TV nut as I am, I will admit that I have not, to this day, seen every episode of Batman: The Animated Series—but isn’t that why we watch Netflix? Do we not watch shows we love but also watch shows we may have missed as well? My biggest problem with this show not being available to stream is that both Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited are on Netflix, both shows that have Kevin Conroy’s Batman portrayal. To me, that’s infuriating, and I cannot sit idly by anymore. I tried bringing this up on Twitter, but it went nowhere other than a random British man completely agreeing with me that this show belongs on Netflix.
Netflix, I hope this article finds its way to you and you consider some things. Perhaps my readers will agree with me and put up the fight to get some truly missed TV back in our homes. Maybe they’ll think of shows that I didn’t—lord knows I left out many. But for now, I ask you this: please consider the shows I’ve brought up. We, the viewers, miss them.
Especially Batman! I mean, come on!