One of the most unique and inspiring children’s television shows in history took place on none other than the entertainment epicenter of nostalgic whimsy known across the globe as Nickelodeon. To be clear, 90s Nickelodeon was already a nesting ground for such classics as Rugrats, Doug, Ren and Stimpy, Salute Your Shorts, Hey, Dude!, and an essential cornucopia of thoughtful programs aimed at the disjointed American youth, but The Adventures of Pete & Pete really stands out.
The Adventures of Pete & Pete is a surrealist, humorous take on everyday suburban life as seen through the eyes of two brothers both named Pete Wrigley. Amongst a pile of memorable friends, family, and antagonists, these characters forge a lovable place in the tomes of TV history. Beginning as a series of shorts, the idea gained popularity and was followed by five half-hour specials and three seasons of weekly episodes running from 1993-1996.
With TeenNick’s new “The 90s Are All That” campaign, the show has regained some of its lost popularity. From the theme song by indie supergroup Polaris to the plate in Mama Wrigley’s head to the gaudy burlesque tattoo on young Pete’s arm, this comedic drama proved that it was of a different breed, and I love every minute of it.
The episode that really stood out in my memory was the 4th-of-July-centered “Grounded For Life.” The episode opens with young Pete conducting an experiment in the front yard by plugging in a humidifier and de-humidifier at the same time. The experiment ends in peril as young Pete is responsible for the destruction of his father’s lawn, thus resulting in his being grounded from engaging in the fireworks-filled festivities on the 4th of July.