I think the thing people don’t realize with that bullshit “well not all guys are dangerous, you should give them a chance” or what the fuck ever is like
if i had a plate of cookies and i was like yeah, a few of them have laxatives in them and one’s got cyanide in there, BUT THEY’RE NOT ALL LIKE THAT
you’re probably not gonna take a fucking cookie
The ’90s were golden years for Nickelodeon. The children’s cable television network was home to now cult-classic shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1991-2000), Clarissa Explains It All (1991-’94), The Secret Life of Alex Mack (1994-’98), and Salute Your Shorts (1991-’92)—arguably heretofore unmatched in their clever, un-condescending approach to entertaining young people. Nick News with Linda Ellerbee launched in 1992, and remains to this day one of the only shows on-air devoted to frank, engaging discussions of teen issues and opinions.
But perhaps the program that best embodied the values of Nick in those years was All That, a sketch-comedy show that premiered 20 years ago today. Created by Brian Robbins and Mike Tollin, All That ran for an impressive 10 seasons before it was canceled in 2005. The prolific franchise spawned a number of spin-offs (Good Burger, Kenan & Kel, The Amanda Show) and launched the careers of several comedy mainstays: Kenan Thompson, Amanda Bynes, Nick Cannon, and Taran Killam.
Like Saturday Night Live (which would later hire Thompson and Killam), All That was a communal pop-cultural touchstone. The parents of ’90s kids had the Church Lady, “more cowbell,” and Roseanne Roseannadanna; the kids themselves, though, had Pierre Escargot, “Vital Information,” and Repairman Man Man Man, and we recited their catch-phrases to one another in the cafeteria and on the playground. Although All That was clearly designed as a SNL, Jr., of sorts, it wasn’t merely starter sketch comedy—it was an admittedly daring venture for a children’s network to embark on.
In its own right, All That was a weirdly subversive little show. It never explicitly crossed the line into “mature” territory, but it constantly flirted with the limits of FCC-approved family-friendliness. Take, for instance, the “Ask Ashley” sketch. A barely tween-aged Amanda Bynes (Seasons Three to Six), played an adorably wide-eyed video advice-columnist. Ashley (“That’s me!”) would read painfully dimwitted letters from fans with clearly solvable problems. (Example: “Dear Ashley, I live in a two-story house and my room is upstairs. Every morning, when it’s time to go to school, I jump out the window. So far I’ve broken my leg 17 times. Do you have any helpful suggestions for me?”) She would wait a beat, smile sweetly into the camera, then fly into a manic rage; emitting a stream of G-rated curses, always tantalizingly on the verge of spitting a true obscenity into the mix.
Read more. [Image: Nickelodeon]
I loved loved loved All That, and I don’t think over ever fully realized how formative it was for my sense of humor.
How sad is it that All That started 20 years ago and had more representation of POC and women than SNL does now?
I know we wrote the last episode at the same time as the first and love it and all that but its been nine seasons, don’t you think we should update it?
anyway, Sepinwall’s review is perfect, go read it.
I was going to post this too Catie!!
Anyway, I am not a Sepinwall fan, but he occasionally gets it very, very right, and this is that moment. I too remember when this was a bubble show and there was a genuine sense of urgency every time network renewals started up for the viewers to make it clear that the show was well-liked and had an ardent fanbase dedicated to spreading its charms to the rest of the world.
So with that background—that there was a time when this show was always on the verge of cancellation, and everyone who argued and posted and voted and begged for its continuation became a part of this juggernaut, that we were part of the gang, that we put in the time, that this show was something we made happen, and understanding that Sepinwall was perhaps the critical voice that supported HIMYM—this is not just a review of a bad finale to a show that aired too long, but the review of a bad finale to a show that went on too long by someone who not just annoyed, but angry, and hurt. There is a real sense of betrayal in this review, and I think that would be a fair reaction anyway, but then Sepinwall goes above and beyond and breaks it down into a bunch of points, works through the probable logical reasoning for why the show went the way it did, and before you can think he’s giving Carter & Bays an out, he goes on to point out all the ways they could have gotten themselves out of it.
Just a really good look from Sepinwall, here. A must-read.
Sepinwall gets it so right. The series finale was just so fucking disappointing.
A minute and a half before the first female Pokemon Master shows up? Come on, Google! Get your head straight!
we're screw-ups. I'm a screw-up and I plan to be a screw-up until my late 20s, maybe even my early 30s.
24-year-old east coast women's college graduate with a laptop and no original thoughts.
currently attempting to make something of my life after screwing around in france for a few months.
my friends and I also like to post photos of food+beer.