Nickelodeon Is Bringing Back the Classics to Help You Feel Again (It Won't Work)


You might be a ‘90s kid if you constantly feel it: the ache in your back, the tiresome realization of Oh, this again? every time you wake up in the morning to go to your dreary 9-5, the understanding that love isn’t what you thought it would be. Adulthood has been a cold hard drag, but every so often, memories of childhood come to visit you like a bird to a barred prison window.

The bird never stays for long before stretching its wings—feathered with memories of late night games of truth or dare, of eating sugar until you felt dizzy, of your grandmother’s hands as they combed through your hair—and flying away. You wish it would stay awhile. You wish you could keep it. Nickelodeon wants to help you cage that bird.

It won’t work, of course, but Nickelodeon will try (for a price). They’ll bring back the cartoons and sketch shows that thrilled you as a kid, ask you, for the sake of their advertisers, to get as excited about Doug and Hey Arnold! now as you did in the ‘90s. “We are looking at our library to bring back ideas, shows that were loved, in a fresh new way,” Nickelodeon’s president of content and development and CHIEF PANDERER Russell Hicks tells Variety. “…We are getting ready to bring back some of the ones they’ve told us multiple times they want to have brought back.”

Hicks won’t say which shows they’re considering reviving (in fact, he doesn’t even say if they’ll be full series—the beloved characters of your youth could just be brought back and killed again for a movie or special). Who knows? It might be Rocko’s Modern Life or—in yet another one of life’s many disappointments—those lumpy grotesques from Rugrats. Thankfully, you’ve learned to stop getting your hopes up.

Maybe these reboots aren’t for you, precisely. Maybe, as Variety suggests, they—like everything else—are for a younger generation:

Hicks declined to talk about specific programs under consideration, but noted the generation that watched Nickelodeon in its earliest days — it was formed out of an entity known as Pinwheel backed by a predecessor of Time Warner Cable — now has children of its own.

You don’t have children. Despite the nagging from your mother and warnings from your doctor that “you’re running out of time,” you’re still not sure if you even want kids. Probably not, you think, but then again, there’s always that little voice in the back of your head that hisses to you about your own obscurity, how you’re fading into nothing, the way that children—in their silly little way—will allow you to experience the world through their hopeful, non-cynical eyes. (This won’t work either.)

You want to capture that bird. Nickelodeon wants to help you capture that bird. It will not work. You understand…if you were a kid in the ‘90s.

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Image via Rocko’s Modern Life/Nickelodeon.

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