Get a Big Time Rush and rewatch these classic Nickelodeon TV shows
Nostalgia is such a wonderful, comforting feeling. Sometimes you just need to go back a few years and wrap yourself in something familiar. Now that we live in the age of streaming, indulging in our nostalgic cravings is easier than ever. Take Nickelodeon TV shows, for example: the cornerstone of so many childhood and adolescent years, now available on most streaming platforms.
It would be impossible to give every Nickelodeon TV show its due while keeping this article to a manageable length. So we’ve just picked a few iconic ones to highlight (we’re staying away from animated series, to make it easier) and take you back to your early years – however long ago they may have been.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
The horror genre generally doesn’t consider children as part of its audience. That’s what makes a horror anthology like Are You Afraid of the Dark? so special. The stories shared by The Midnight Society on every episode were creepy, but not the kind of stuff that would scar a kid forever. The show was just scary enough to make you feel cool for enduring its tales.
The original Are You Afraid of the Dark? ran from 1990 to 1996, but we got a two season revival from 1999 to 2000 and, more recently, a second relaunch in 2019. The second season premiered last month and proved the brand is very much alive & kicking (or undead & slashing).
Kenan & Kel
Before Kenan Thompson became a staple of the Saturday Night Live cast, he was a staple of the Nickelodeon TV universe. From 1996 to 2000, Kenan teamed up with Kel Mitchell in Kenan & Kel, a sort of live-action Nickelodeon version of Pinky & The Brain. Kenan would come up with ingenious schemes and Kel would usually be the cause of their failure, while the audience laughed all the way through.
Not many Nickelodeon TV shows get the sendoff Kenan & Kel did. After the series was over, the story got a follow-up in the TV movie Two Heads Are Better Than None. The film marked the only time a Kenan & Kel story wasn’t taped in front of a live audience.
The Amanda Show
Some of you may be too young to remember, but there was a time when Amanda Bynes was posed to take over the world of comedy. Her Nickelodeon sketch comedy show was the perfect showcase for her talent, spinning off her stint in another sketch show, All That. The Amanda Show ran from 1999 to 2002, and solidified Bynes’s position as a promising comedian.
These days, we don’t get to see Amanda Bynes much. The former Nickelodeon star has retired from acting (at least for now). But we can still enjoy her skill at making us laugh by revisiting her old show.
Between the invention of Apple’s iPod and the launch of the CW’s iZombie, we had iCarly, a Nickelodeon original where Miranda Cosgrove, Jennette McCurdy, and Nathan Kress had to deal with the ups & downs of having a successful web show. The popular series ran from 2007 to 2012, quickly becoming an audience favorite on the network – probably because kids like technology and web shows were becoming all the rage.
Paramount+ is actually working on an iCarly revival, as announced last December. The project will bring back Miranda Cosgrove as Carly, along with Nathan Kress as Freddy, and Jerry Trainor as Spencer. However, fans of Sam will have to resign to her absence, since Jenette McCurdy hasn’t just retired from acting but also actively regrets her past career. Yikes.
True Jackson VP
From 2008 to 2011, Nickelodeon treated us to the adventures of the first teenage vice president. No, not a country’s vice president! True Jackson was VP of Mad Style’s youth apparel division. Obviously, that’s still an extremely unusual responsibility for a fifteen-year-old, but that’s the magic of television for you.
Now, it’s not like life was easy for True, which was what made the show such a delight. As you would expect whenever a teenager was put in charge of adults, True had to constantly battle pre-conceptions and pushback from her co-workers. The precocious True was played by Keke Palmer, who broke through a couple of years prior when she starred in Akeelah and the Bee.
Big Time Rush
Sometimes you get Nickelodeon TV shows that spin off in unsurprising but still pleasant ways. In the case of Big Time Rush – a series about four hockey players thrusted into the world of boy bands – it only made sense that the show’s protagonists would also form a band in the real world. So Big Time Rush is a TV show and it’s also a boy band, and if you love one, you probably love the other as well.
Big Time Rush starred Kendall Schmidt (the leader), James Maslow (the stud), Carlos Pena Jr. (the party animal), and Logan Henderson (the brains) as the members of the band. The band actually released three albums during the run of the show: B.T.R., Elevate, and 24Seven. Their music is on constant rotation for any Nickelodeon fan worth their salt.
What are your favorite Nickelodeon TV shows? Let us know in the comments!