I spent a good portion of my morning texting one of my best friends. He and I have known each other for more than a decade (we met in Middle School). And other than skateboarding and video games, we didn't really have a lot of the same interests.
That was, until we started talking about the TV shows we loved watching as kids. And one of those shows was The Adventures of Pete & Pete. We laughed at all our favorite moments and we wished it was still on (for some reason) and we tried to remember the name of that catchy theme song.
And looking back on this show, I can't believe how it's subconsciously influenced me. It goes all the way down to the music I like, the way I dress, and the way I thought about finding a partner. There is something so quintessentially 90s about this show that I've taken into my daily life and I didn't notice it until I realized I wanted to write a card about one of my favorite shows growing up.
I did a whole a bunch of research about the show before I actually started writing this card because I didn't want to get anything wrong about it but I honestly ended up getting lost. Lost in nostalgia and my oldness and part of me wanted to think about how terrible this is (like I usually do). I
thought about maybe writing about how old I felt, now that I know people who were literal babies when I was alive watching this show with my brother. But instead I listened to that opening theme song by Polaris (above) and remembered all the good and great things about the show.
I've been influenced so greatly -- like I said earlier -- and I think a lot of it has to do with the way the show was handled. We get a lot of great thought-provoking moments throughout the show and even now, after watching that intro, it feels undoubtedly counter-culture. Like, it's hard for me to believe that Nickelodeon gladly aired this show at one point.
I thought about the ways Big Pete would talk about the crush he had or the opposite sex and even though I wasn't old enough when the show was airing, I remember feeling those same things when I was in Middle School/High School.
I remember wondering the same thing he wondered in the picture above. I never thought I'd ever find someone like that in high school (I didn't) and there are times that I think that exact thought now. It might be sad that I'm still lost in wondering whether or not I'll find someone who'll be a good fit for me. I'm older now, so I don't caught up on these thoughts as much as I used to, but it's still kind of funny that this show still resonates with me in that way.
Sorry for the extremely pixelated picture above but it was important for me to include it. I mean, if you're one of those young people who was born in the early-to-mid 90s, this is actually how we all saw back in the day. Nothing was ever clear and television was like looking at a fuzzy, pixelated mess.
But anyway, that's not the point of me including the picture. I did because that's how I dress now. I'm serious, the last time I left the house and had the final decision on what I was wearing (meaning not for work, wedding, or my parents house), I put on a white tee-shirt, some jeans, and a flannel shirt.
And when I re-watched the episode I took this screenshot from (the episode was about Daylight Savings, it was timely. Get it?) I had started laughing to myself so hard at what he was wearing and what I was wearing at that exact moment. Somehow, my little-boy-brain got into my big-boy-brain and I subconsciously started dressing like this. I was a little embarrassed at myself but eventually laughed it off and thought I was kind of cool.
But the one thing about this show that I miss or look back at fondly is that sometimes it just really fucking got it. There are so many moments of quiet narration from Big Pete that are so insightful and sometimes silly.
Going back and looking through .gifs and screenshots and quotes, I had to keep reminding myself that this was a children's show. But it doesn't feel like it. It feels like a regular television show that didn't really have any target demographic.
It has moments, yes, where it's definitely geared towards pre-teens. But there are other times where it's a lot more than just that. The show, to me anyway, is for everyone and it's worth giving a shot. Even if you've never seen it before. Actually, especially if you haven't seen it anymore.
It's a series that captures the 90s through the lens of two suburban kids who are brothers with the same name. It's absurd and a little surreal. Some of it doesn't make sense but it doesn't need to all the time because when it finally does hit you with some real, thought-provoking ideas; it feels like a brick to the temple.
[You can watch the first episode below. Apparently, no one cares about this show so you can find the whole series on YouTube]