Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Gauche and Unsophisticated List: The Early Years

Sadly I had a deprived childhood. Despite my warm loving family, inspirational speeches, stylish back to school wardrobe, and lack of curfew during my teenage years (however I was the perennial good girl, I stayed out late because I was hanging out with Joooan!, RToo, and Weather Girl and playing Trivial Pursuit), I always felt that something was missing. That something was a subscription to the Disney Channel.

When I was very young, and my family still lived in the booming metropolis of Concord, California; we did have the Disney Channel Subscription, and I lived for Kids Incorporated. So when we finally moved to Washington state, I was heartbroken when my cruel, cruel parents refused to subscribe again. So that means I lived, lived for the Winter and Spring Preview weekends, where I would watch all the great shows that I could not watch normally. And I was addicted to both Kids Incorporated and The New Mickey Mouse Club (or MMC).

Some of my earliest TV memories are watching Kids Incorporated, and when I was three and four Martika (she later went on to sing Toy Soldiers) was my favorite. Here's the intro: behold the fabulous Martika applying blush and Fergie (yes, the little blonde Stacy Ferguson playing jacks grew up to be the infamous Fergie) before she had any street cred. Also for more interesting, and probably well known by now, trivia -- Renee and Stacy were in the short lived group Wild Orchid together. Ahh the bonds of Kids Incorporated.

I'm not going to lie - the theme song is still damn catchy. And I still maintain that the seasons from 1985 - 1989 were the best (they rerunned those seasons all the time). Jennifer Love Hewitt and Eric Balfour could not compare. See what I mean?

Amazingly Eric's character, named Eric, did not die, and Kids Incorporated went on for two more seasons.

Anyway, during preview weekends, I also discovered the wonders of the MMC. Now the media made a big ole hoopla about J.C., Britney, Christina, Justin, Keri Russell, and Ryan Gosling being Musketeers, but I was there from the beginning when Tiffini was the coolest and when they formed the rockin band The Party. Jennifer and Lindsey were my favorites from the show, and they were on all seven seasons, so whenever preview weekend came it was always comforting to know they were still there.

However, I had totally forgotten about Video Jam! If you had thought that early 1990s power ballad videos were too gritty, edgy, and inappropriate - no worries, the MMC was there for you with the cheesiest, most sanitized videos ever - safe for even the most sheltered of youth. Here are my favorites!

Watch a bunch of MMC hotties frolicking in open fields covering Toad the Wet Sprocket.

There's frolicking, twirling and rainbows! Draw your own conclusions.

And Disney even thought Amy Grant was too edgy for its audience and needed to be more innocent. And what's more innocent than flirting on bicycles?

I would have coveted Terra's purple leggings when I was ten.

So thank you You Tube for allowing me to relive my childhood. And I don't even need a Disney Channel subscription (though now it is included on extended basic cable on Comcast). However, Disney Channel does not show these gems anymore. Hannah Montana does not compare.

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