Growing up, TV occupied a big part of my life.
Every week day, I would wake up early to watch Cheez TV (and eventually its successor Toasted TV) before school. In my eagerness, I’d sometimes get up too early and catch the end of Aerobics Oz Style, and then have to sit through a few minutes of some ladies working it in spandex. After I got home from school, I’d be back in front of the TV for ABC Kids and Rollercoaster. What even is homework? I don’t know her. Saturday mornings too revolved around the television with Saturday Disney being my program of choice. What a time.
Thinking about these childhood memories, I get hit with nostalgia. More specifically, I long for the time in my life when everything was so much more simple. I didn’t have to worry about uni assignments, work, the future; I could just waste away the hours watching my favourite shows without a care in the world.
I’d like to help you relive your own childhood memories. Here is a list of TV shows that you might remember.
This was every kid's fantasy. This show was basically about a kid whose video game characters come to life, including a guy who can shoot lighting, a giant rhino thing, a giant pig thing, and some lady with a spider on her head.
Albie was about a kid who 100% thought that there were a bunch of animals in his house, who would get him in trouble. But the gag is that we don't actually know if they were real or not.
My name is Angela, hey hello!
When she wasn’t hanging out with her good buddies Johnny Abatti, Gina Lash and Gordy Rhinehart, this sassy queen was daydreaming about how she could thwart her archnemesis and teacher’s pet Nanette Manoir.
Before Arthur became a prime source of memes, the show was teaching kids important life lessons and prompting many debates about what animal Arthur actually was. Yes, he’s an aardvark, but is he really?
I don’t know why, but the show’s theme song brings me right back to my childhood. I think Babar is about a family of bougie elephants. Even though I’m pretty sure I watched it, I really don’t remember much else about Babar.
The source of inspiration for every Aussie millennial's science projects for school.
The Basil Brush Show
This was a remake of a popular BBC show that ran from 1968 to 1980. Who knew a sit-com starring a fox hand puppet could be so fun?
Bear in the Big Blue House
From the show's opening theme 'Welcome to the Big Blue House' to the 'Goodbye Song' at the end of each episode, every time I watched Bear in the Big Blue House was a delight. The show went on a three year hiatus after Lynne Thigpen, the voice of Luna, tragically passed away, and eventually wrapped up after its fifth season.
Strong but stupid, Sir Boris and Sir Moris got into lots of trouble, usually caused by themselves, and caused plenty of destruction and mayhem in the land of Borovia.
Blue Water High
This show had everything I wanted - drama, romance, fights, shirtlessness, and a random German girl, whose purpose on the show I still to this very day do not understand.
A rebellious car that would come to life and get up to no good around the town.
Cardcaptors was an anime show based on the manga series Cardcaptor Sakura. The extra af costumes worn by the protagonist Sakura, her savage sidekick Kero and the lore of the series made this show a personal favourite from Cheez TV’s catalogue.
Class of the Titans
When I was in primary school, I had an odd phase where I was convinced that Greek Mythology was real. I was young and impressionable, okay?! So this show about seven descendants of Greek mythological figures like Heracles, Jason and Achilles was right up my alley.
Corneil and Bernie
This show sparked my belief that our pets can secretly talk, but only when we're not around.
The highlight of this ABC show was Modi, a talking puppet cat who thought she was so much better than every other person and animal. Mood. A true queen.
This was one of my least favourite shows on ABC Kids. That said, I can't deny that the Cyberchase theme song doesn't take me back to the past.
Even though it was targeted towards a young teen audience, Dance Academy was actually an incredible Australian show. It dared to discuss challenging topics that other shows would shy away from, all with great acting performances, excellent music and stunning choreography weaved throughout the series.
Degrassi: The Next Generation
To most of you, Degrassi: TNG will just be ‘the show Drake was on’. But this show is so much more than that. From teen pregnancy to school shootings, the Canadian teen drama covers just about every issue students face. Degrassi's teen ensemble cast has always been diverse, allowing viewers to identify with a range of characters.
Known for being a poor man’s Pokemon, this series was another Cheez TV staple. I actually don’t really remember watching the TV series, but I definitely obsessively watched Digimon: The Movie.
Dragon Ball Z
Is it just me or is there something really homoerotic about a bunch of muscly men on a quest to find some magical balls?
All I remember about this show was that there was some war between dragons and humans, and then nek minnit it was all okay because some dude started riding one. That also sounds very sexual, but I promise this show was not about bestiality.
The Fairly OddParents
I was never privileged enough to have Foxtel, and therefore never had access to Nickelodeon as a child. However, ABC came through with The Fairly OddParents. Apparently it’s still running. I wouldn’t know, because I’m still not privileged enough to have Foxtel.
Flipper and Lopaka
I absolutely hated this show. It was boring af, and ABC3 would sometimes schedule three or four episodes in a row. However, this show definitely nostalgic in that it dredges up plenty of negative memories.
This New Zealand horror/sci-fi show terrified me as a kid. This might explain my low tolerance of horror films as an adult.
Was George just born really really smol? Or did he get shrunk? Either way, does anyone else find it a little fishy that his last name is actually Shrinks?
Girls in Love
This series followed teenager Ellie and explored her family drama, romances, as well as her and her gal pals Magda and Nadine’s sexcapades. The show’s iconic opening theme, ‘Part in the Club Tonight’, is by British girl group The Sugababes.
Even though I remember absolutely nothing about this show, how could I forget it's crappy animation that looks like a 10 year old me made the show on Paint.
Go Go Stop
I would watch this show every day and dream of my opportunity to storm the Go Go Stop stage, destroy the other competitors and win all the cool prizes. I’m Asian; I’m very competitive.
Grizzle Tales for Gruesome Kids
Scaring kids into being good was probably an effective strategy to get them to behave. I definitely remember one episode about a fussy eater being turned into lasagna sheets by the Spaghetti Man. However, this show also scarred a whole generation of children for life.
H2O: Just Add Water
You’re lying if you didn’t fantasise that you were secretly a mermaid with magical water powers. Just me? Awkward…
Basically a more serious version of Go Go Stop. I remember watching this game show every afternoon. By ‘watching’, I actually mean ‘yelling out the correct answers and calling the contestants “stupid” if they gave the wrong answer’. I’d be the worst stage dad ever.
Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks
Kind of like How I Met Your Mother for kids, Jakers! was about an Irish pig who tells his childhood stories to his grandchildren. I definitely developed my love of the Irish brogue from watching this show as a kid.
Kim Possible was definitely not “your basic average girl”. She was a crimefighting badass queen. Call me, beep me if you wanna reach me.
Basically, King is about a boy named Russel who crawls under his bed and goes into an alternate universe where he's the king and has to ward off Bob Wire, who kind of looks like a big worm and wants to steal the crown.
Li'l Elvis and the Truckstoppes
This show is such a throwback! Li'l Elvis is kind of like the Aussie Harry Potter. Except instead of being the son of famous wizards, he's apparently the son of Elvis.
Hey now, hey now, Lizzie McGuire is what dreams are made of. Lizzie was a relatable teen queen fashionista and, alongside her besties Miranda and Gordo, taught me plenty of life lessons about family, friendship and love. I still regularly binge watch the two season series.
“We love our bread. We love our butter. But most of all, we love each other.” Any show that has a signature motto that includes carbs is alright in my books.
I don’t know what the show’s creators were thinking/smoking when they thought a kids show with fully-body puppets that were 100% high would be a great idea.
The Magic School Bus
We all wished we had a teacher half as cool as Ms. Frizzle (who, fun fact, was voiced by Lily Tomlin). And if only our school excursions were as fun as the ones the kids on this show got to go on.
Kind of like a teen drama meets a David Attenborough documentary, Naturally, Sadie centres around aspiring naturalist Sadie Hawthorne, played by Degrassi actress Charlotte Arnold, and how she deals with high school drama.
Noah and Saskia
This show was basically two teens who catfish each other over the Interwebs long before the days of Tinder, Bumble and Grindr.
Angela Throgmorton was a crazy cat lady before it was cool. She pretty much treated her one-eyed troublemaker cat Old Tom like her child. Relatable.
I’m not really a sci-fi kind of guy, but I lived for this show, which was all about travelling between parallel universes and fighting evil.
I know the Pokemon anime series is still alive, but the original season (that coincided with the first generation of Pokemon games) is what we’d all be most familiar with. Just like Ash Ketchum, we all wanted to be the very best that no one ever was by becoming a Pokemon Master.
Ready, Steady, Cook
Also known as the best cooking show ever to grace the Australian small screen (sorry Masterchef and MKR). The only real drama on Ready, Steady, Cook was whether you’d pick capsicum or tomato. This show was definitely a favourite daytime TV treat for those days I wagged school.
This one was for all the horse girls in primary school, who’d adorn their books with horse stickers and brag about horse riding on the weekend. We get it Lucy, you have a horse!
This show was about a bunch of people on a spaceship travelling to a new planet called the Silver Sun. Silversun introduced us to Aussie actors Ryan Corr, Eloise Mignon and Orpheus Pledger, and gave us an iconic bop of an intro song.
As a cynical adult, I really don't understand a) how a duck and an alligator could communicate with each other, and b) how the Bill the duck didn't get eaten in 2.45 seconds by Aldo. Well I did believe that Greek mythology was real, so I was definitely an imaginative child.
I distinctly remember seeing this show premiere on Rollercoaster - I only ever watched the first few episodes though. A little like Avatar: the Last Airbender, this show is about some people with incredible powers growing up and trying to overthrow a dictatorship.
The cartoon poor man’s version of Charlie’s Angels. Even though they weren’t voiced by Cameron, Drew and Lucy (my Holy Trinity), I still lived for these undercover agent queens.
I was obsessed with this show. Except I’d usually tune out when they started talking about sport; I was only really there for the animal segments.
Tracey! Tracey! Tracey! Traaaccceeeeyyyy- McBean, the famous inventor! In hindsight, this queenius (queen+genius) was a great role model for lil' Australian millennial girls.
This show followed a young pharaoh who awakens 3000 years after his death, and his adventures in the modern world where he is no longer the ruler.
The Worst Witch
Mildred Hubble was kind of a hot mess. But she tried, and that’s what matters.
Round the Twist
The creators of this iconic Aussie show were definitely on some kind of hallucinogen when they developed this show full of bizarro scenarios, including when Bronson fell in love with an ice sculpture and when Pete peed on a tree and got knocked up.
Sailor Moon was an anime about a clumsy teenage girl named Serena who could magically transform into her Sasha Fierce alter ego Sailor Moon. The show followed Serena and her Sailor sisters “fighting evil by moonlight” and “winning love by daylight”.
This show was essentially a collection of five minute episodes that followed (friends? Parent and child? Lovers?) Bing and Bong, who would travel around the universe on a couch. The show’s creator probably had a little bong action on a couch when they came up with the concept for Tiny Planets.
What's better than a show about iconic badass fairies with awesome powers and elaborate outfits kicking evil in the ass and thirsting over guys? Winx Club was a bop.
Although I'm not a fan of horror, I really liked this show. It was about Vlad and his vampire family trying to live an ordinary life in Wales after being chased out of Transylvania by angry mobs. It hard just enough comedy so that I wasn't terrified as a kid.