If you haven’t already, check out numbers 10 – 6 from last week!
5.) Big Wolf on Campus (1999-2002)
At the eve of new millennium, ABC Family (then Fox Family) was picking up steam and to help catapult them into the spotlight, they needed original programming. One of their experiments was this Canadian-produced horror campfest. In this tribute to “Teen Wolf,” high school senior turned werewolf, Tommy Dawkins, fights supernatural creatures such as mummies and vampires alongside outcast friend Merton Dingle. No relation to Johnny Dingle from the 1993 camp horror film, “My Boyfriend’s Back.”
I remember I would always catch reruns of the failed Olsen Twins sitcom, “Two of a Kind,” on this channel and this would come on immediately after. I thought Merton’s character was so cool and I enjoyed the way high school was portrayed as I just about to enter my freshman year when I started watching.
4.) Malibu Shores (1996)
Prior to “Felicity”, Keri Russell starred in this Aaron Spelling created Beverly Hills 90210/Melrose Place clone. Many people say “huh?” when the show is brought up today mainly because it only lasted 10 episodes before cancellation.
Some of the harsh issues that the show’s content dealt included eating disorders and rape. Pretty heavy stuff for my 10-year-old eyes.
Walter Jones aka Zack, the Black Power Ranger, was featured!
I don’t normally enjoy teenage melodramas but for some reason, I enjoyed this one (maybe because I was a huge Power Rangers fan). Of course, the one show of this kind that I enjoyed got cancelled within months.
3.) Student Bodies (1997-1999)
Saved by the Bell: The Great White North? Ehhh…
In the late 90’s, this teen sitcom debuted to crickets in America but was moderately successful in its native country of Canada. Its premise focused on the staff and friends of a high school newspaper publication. The show made heavy use of animation, using it to portray the circumstances the characters were going through in that episode, to reflect upon the its main protagonist, Cody, whom was a cartoonist
Ross Hull of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” fame was one of the principal cast members.
Believe it or not, I actually never watched this show when it was on-air. It wasn’t until after it was cancelled that I was able to get my hands on a few episodes. It certainly didn’t break any ground that teen sitcoms like Saved by the Bell didn’t already but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
2.) Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction (1997-2002)
Horror anthology programs are no strangers to television. Programs like “The Twilight Zone” and “Tales From The Crypt” added a creepy twist to prime time television and “Beyond Belief” was no exception. The show would open with our host (actor James Brolin, father of Josh Brolin, hosted the show’s first season) introducing a suspenseful tale and it was up to the audience to decide if the story was fact or fiction. The answer would then be revealed following a commercial break. This cycle would continue throughout the show as a series of stories would be broadcast per episode.
This one aired on Friday nights before I was old enough to go out so I watched a good amount of it. As I mentioned before, “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” is one of my all-time favorite shows, so naturally, I took a liking to this one too. There were a lot of great episodes. Two that immediately come to mind: 1.) A man buys a new lock for his mother’s front door but it won’t unlock when there’s danger outside and 2.) A stranger drops by a funeral home one night to pay his last respects to a departed friend only for the home and audience to find out he was the one whom was dead all along.
Unlike the rest of this list, you can actually still catch repeats of “Beyond Belief” on television. It airs in syndication on the Chiller network.
1.) Lucky Louie (2006)
Louis C.K. is one of the biggest comedians alive today. In addition to his critically acclaimed stand-up specials, he has a hit comedy entitled “Louie” airing on FX.
Louis actually had another show that pre-dated that one. Airing on HBO in 2006, “Lucky Louie,” starred the funnyman as a husband and father barely making ends meet in New York City. His wife constantly gets on his case while his young daughter was as disobedient as they come. As excellent as it was, it was not renewed for a second season after 12 episodes aired. I would have loved to see what a second season would have looked like since me and my buddies adored this show and it was my first exposure to Louis C.K. and fellow comedian Jim Norton (who plays Louie’s friend, Rich).
Louie would then stick to his stand-up and minor roles in films before scoring with “Louie” in 2010. The rest is history.
Oh, and another awesome fact about “Lucky Louie”? It introduced the world to Emma Stone!
Well there you have it. I hope everyone goes out and gets their hands on a couple of episodes of these 10 shows. Maybe you’ll hate them, maybe you’ll like them; but you’ll know they at least exist in the annals of television history thanks to me.