Take A Stroll Down Memory Lane With Some Of The Best TV Shows From 1999
The ’90s were an interesting time for television. Networks were juggling between dramas, animated shows, family-friend real-life shows, and supernatural teenage-angst. The new wave of tv programming came because of the expanse of cable services. Meaning, networks were beginning to aim their shows at specific audiences and demographics.
Networks were starting to experiment more with urban humor, violence, profane language, and romantic relations more than ever before. All of which brought some of the best television! Let’s take a stroll down memory lane with some of the best television shows from the end of the ’90s – 1999.
Shut Up, Meg, We’re Talking About Family Guy
On January 31, 1999, Family Guy graced the small screen and introduced the world to the Griffin family in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island. Anyone who has watched the show, and even those who don’t, probably have Peter’s goofy laugh, “shut up, Meg,” and Stewie saying “Lois” on repeat in their heads right now. Sorry, not sorry.
Family Guy went on to win three Primetime Emmy Awards and three Annie Awards. If you’re a fan of the dysfunctional family, you’ll be happy to know that the show has been renewed by Fox for an eighteenth season.
You Better Show Some Respect To The Sopranos
In 1999, the New York Times stated, “The Sopranos just may be the greatest work of American popular culture of the last quarter-century.” They were right. You’d be hard-pressed to find people anywhere on a Sunday night but in front of their television screen, watching to see what the Soprano crime family was going to do next, specifically, Tony.
The Sopranos is wildly recognized as one of the greatest shows of all time, winning multiple awards during its run, including Peabody Awards for its first two seasons. The show’s popularity has generated books, a video game, soundtrack albums, and even merchandise.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Was Cool Before True Crime Was Cool
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit first aired on September 20, 1999, and hasn’t left the airwaves since! The American crime drama is loosely based on real crimes often “ripped from the headlines.” After the premiere of the 21st season, the series became the longest-running US live-action series on television.
The show revolves around the Special Victims Unit, a fictionalized department within the New York Police Department. While the original Law & Order dealt more with the court proceedings, SVU dives more into the psychology of the criminals. This show is pretty much what 1999 true crime enthusiasts were watching before true crime became wildly popular.
Who Lives In A Pineapple Under The Sea? SpongeBob Square Pants
“Are you ready kids?” was the start to one of the theme songs that most 90s kids can recite word for word. SpongeBob Squarepants officially premiered on July 17, 1999, and Nickelodeon was never the same. The show revolved around the title character and his aquatic friends in the fictional underwater town of Bikini Bottom. As kids can tell you, the plots usually entail jellyfishing, plots to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula, and lots of high-pitched giggling.
The show’s popularity made it the fifth-longest running American animated series and even paved the way for two spin-off series. As of 2019, Kamp Koral and Squidward are in development. “[We’re] ready!”
Action Kids In Play Position, Rocket Power!
Airing on August 16, 1999, Rocket Power was the animated show that had every kid thinking they could do a Super McVarial 900 on a half-pipe and land it. The show revolved around four friends who were extreme sports enthusiasts in the fictional town of Ocean Shores, California. Although it only ran for four seasons, it was very popular.
The kids who watched the show wanted to chill at the Shore Shack and get weird philosophical advice from Tito while Raymundo made them burgers. The series was a dream situation for any 11-year-old who wanted to become a pro surfer. Hot take: petition Nickelodeon to stream the show on Netflix.
Bob The Builder, Can He Fix It? Yes, He Can!
Bob the Builder was one of those shows that allowed parents to plop their kid down in front of the television and they wouldn’t move for hours. It didn’t hurt that the animated series was based around handy-man Bob who taught kids the importance of conflict resolution, cooperation, socialization, and other various learning skills. The most import being the idea of “yes, we can!”
The catchphrase also appears in the theme song, which was so popular that it hit the number one spot in the United Kingdom. Bob the Builder went on to win the BAFTA award for “Children’s Animation,” along with being nominated for the “pre-school animation” category.
It’s Time For Family Feud!
There’s something to be said about a game show that has remained popular since 1976. Mark Goodson created Family Feud, with the 1999 host being Louie Anderson. The premise of the game has two families “feuding” in order to win cash and various prizes.
The game show is doing something right because it is still on the air going strong. Today, Steve Harvey is the host, making it all that more entertaining. Family Feud has won numerous awards through the years, including the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation. Little do they know, at-home viewers also like to participate!
The Amanda Show Brought Us Dancing Lobsters
Spun-off of All That, The Amanda Show was a clean, kid-friendly version of Saturday Night Live. It allowed kids to watch sketch comedy and variety shows that were ground in pop culture instead of “adult content.” Since Nickelodeon had a tendency to move their actors and actresses around to various shows, kids recognized the cast: Amanda Bynes, Drake Bell, Josh Peck, and Nancy Sullivan, to name a few.
Fans of the shows will remember that it was popular for its many spoofs, such as “Judge Trudy,” “So You Want To Win Five Dollars,” and “Blockblister.” The show ended in 2002, taking the dancing lobsters with it.
Roswell Was Full Of Supernatural Teenage-Angst
If you were into supernatural teen dramas in the 90s, then you were definitely watching Roswell. Debuting on October 6, 1999, the series was based on a young adult book series, Roswell High, and revolved around a group of teenagers. Plot twist: one of them is secretly an alien.
The show was ultimately canceled in 2002, but have no fear, Roswell fans. A re-imagining series aired on January 15, 2019, on the CW called Roswell: New Mexico. If you’re ready for all of the teenage-angst driven content, you’ll be happy to know that the series has been approved for a second season.
VH1 Where Are They Now? Was Where We Got Celebrity Gossip
Before people really understood the internet, they would typically get their celebrity gossip and updates from VH1 or tabloids. One of the VH1 shows a bit less focused on gossip, and more so on the life and history of celebrities was Where Are They Now? Each episode was pretty much a mini-documentary.
The show was popular because it would dive into the lives of notable past celebrities and what they have been doing since their fame. Mostly focusing on their current profession and personal status. Too bad it was canceled in 2001, it would be interesting to see some of the more “recent past celebrities.”
Angel Was The Spin-Off Buffy Fans Wanted
Capitalizing off of the success of his show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon created the spin-off, Angel. The series follows around Angel, a character from Buffy that was interesting enough to have an entire show. If you haven’t seen the horror show, Angel is a vampire whose human soul was restored to him by gypsies as a punishment for murdering one of their own.
Talk about your typical everyday supernatural drama! The series ran for five seasons, finally calling it quits in 2004 to the utter dismay of the fan base. There were even petitions to reboot the show! All they were given was a 2007 comic, Angel: After the Fall.
My Parents Are Aliens Was A Different Type Of Family Delima
Can we just jump right in and say how on Earth were two aliens, with limited knowledge of the world, able to foster three children? My Parents are Aliens revolved around the lives of Brian and Sophie Johnson, who crashed landed on Earth and, somehow, ended up fostering Mel, Josh, and Lucy Baker.
This show was intended for children, but because of the mature matters, high-brow cultural references, and complex scientific thinking, it gained an adult following, too. After six seasons, the series last episode aired on December 18, 2006.
Dragon Tales Was An Educational Tool
Dragon Tales was a 1999 pre-school fantasy adventure that transported the main characters, Emmy and Max, to the fantastical world of Dragon Land. All they had to do was use their magic dragon scale to read a special rhyme and poof! they were in a new universe with their four dragon friends.
The show was popular with children because of the fun premise. But parents loved it for the morals the characters taught their kids at the end of each episode, not to mention the educational focus the program had. Each episode taught the viewer how to identify shapes and English and Spanish words and letters.
Providence Was All About Family
Dr. Sydney Hansen was the focal point of the medical drama Providence. The show revolves around the good doctor as she makes her way from the glitz and glamor of being a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon back to her hometown of Providence, Rhoad Island.
One fan of the show from 1999 said, “After I watch [Providence], I am so emotionally drained cuz I lived every moment with them, but would gladly sit there and watch ten more episodes! I am looking forward to the day I am older and it lives on in reruns.”
Sabrina: The Animated Series Taught Kids To Stay Out Of The Spooky Jar
Unlike most variations of Sabrina, the animated series placed Sabrina Spellman as a 12-year-old attending middle school. Like most versions of the story, she lives with her Aunts Hilda and Zelda, along with her mouthy black cat Salem Saberhagen.
Although Sabrina: The Animated Series was only around for one season, it still produced 65 episodes and was immensely popular in 1999. Aside from learning the lesson “magic can’t solve all your problems,” fans of the show learned not to stick their hand in the “spooky jar.” A play on not sticking your hand in the cookie jar or else bad things will happen.
Sir Author Conan Doyel’s The Lost World Ended On A Cliffhanger
Still on a high from the first and second Jurassic Park movies, it’s no wonder so many people loved the 1999 show Sir Author Conan Doyel’s The Lost World. The series centers around a group of British explorers as their hot air balloon crashes in the Amazonian jungle. There, they have to fight for their survival against carnivorous dinosaurs, vicious Neanderthals, and a race of lizard-men.
The action-packed show, unfortunately, ended on a season three cliff-hanger due to a lack of funding for the fourth season. Anyone feel like petitioning for another season so we finally find out what happens?
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Brought Us On Awesome Adventures
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! is an American franchise that was founded by the late Robert Ripley. The strange and fantastical events and items displayed by Mr. Ripley became so popular through the 90s that in 1999 Fox Family decided to produce an animated series, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!
The kid’s show followed the adventures of Michael Ripley, an animated version of Robert’s actual nephew, as he traveled around the world. Pretty much, viewers watch as the characters seek out mysteries, “collecting strange and disturbing facts through the Web and the international press as well as in Uncle Bob’s library.”
Good Eats Mixed Science With Cooking
Good Eats is said to be equal parts smart and sarcastic, as it incorporated a lot of food-science lessons that are useful in the kitchen and was ground in dry humor. Host Alton Brown stated that the idea was inspired by the combination of Julia Child, Mr. Wizard, and Monty Python. Quite the crew of people!
The Cooking Channel show received numerous awards, such as the Peabody Award and Best TV Food Personality. Due to its popularity, Good Eats was rebooted in 2018 with the name Good Eats: Reloaded. So if you need some dinner inspiration, just look to the, now, Food Network show!
HGTV’s House Hunters Is Still Going Strong
House Hunters is an American reality show that has been on HGTV since 1999, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast! The individual episodes follow singles, couples, or families who are searching for a new home with help from a real estate agent.
The show grew in popularity because it taught people best practices when it comes to looking for a home, not to mention viewers got to ogle the homes on screen. Since the first episode in 1999, House Hunters has gone on to make 15 spin-off series. Not too bad for an HGTV show!
Once And Again Was A Whirlwind Of Emotion
Once And Again stood out from other television shows in 1999 because of the unique “interview” sequences that were sprinkled throughout each episode. Think pre- Modern Family vibe and you have the private black and white monologues. Aside from that one aspect that set the show apart, it is centered around the romance of a single mom and single father.
Needless to say, their budding relationship had more than a few speedbumps along the way. Mainly due to their respective kids wanting their parents to get back together. With all the drama, it’s surprising that the show only ran for three seasons! Bring back the soap opera, ABC!