From Rugrats to Raven: a blast from TV’s past

As noughties kids, TV was an important part of our lives. Our parents stuck us in front of it when they couldn’t be bothered to deal with us, so inevitably they hold a lot of memories. Let us take you back in time to the glory days – a varied list featuring classics from both sides of the pond.
Mona the Vampire
“SHOW US YOUR FANGS!” The spooky but charming adventures of “a nice normal girl in an extraordinary world” captured all of our imaginations in the early 2000s. Imagining herself and her friends (and her cat) as supernatural heroes, she sought to rid the world of her foes each episode. There was always a logical explanation for Mona’s fears though – so sadly, none of it was real.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch
A 16-year-old learns of her magical powers and is put in the care of her two 600-year-old aunts – but we always knew it wasn’t Sabrina who was the main attraction. The true draw of the show was Salem, a man imprisoned in the body of a black cat for trying to take over the world. After his expertise at delivering some of the wittiest and most cutting one-liners, he was known for his trademark sobbing when he didn’t get his way.
“Let the challenge… begin.” The CBBC game show mystified and enthralled us – why were the contestants’ names so strange? Who is Nevar, and why is he Raven’s arch-enemy? How can I get to this magical realm? Don’t lie, it was Raven’s dulcet Scottish tones which drew you to St Andrews in the first place.
Totally Spies!
Sam, Alex and Clover were the teenage spies we all aspired to be. Juggling their high school identity with their life of espionage working for WOOHP, their girly gadgets had us hooked from the beginning. And of course, our playgrounds buzzed with the ever-enduring question: which one are you? Clover, the boy-obsessed girly girl in red; Alex, the yellow clad sporty tomboy; or Sam, the intelligent and mature one dressed in green?
“And I say HEY!” Good ol’ Arthur was just your average aardvark trying to navigate through the twists and turns of childhood, along with his annoying little sister, D. W., and his friends Buster, Francine and Muffy. Arthur was never out of our minds for too long though – it’s actually the only show on this list that is still airing.
The Amanda Show
“Court dismissed – bring in the dancing lobsters!” Amanda was most children’s introduction to sketch comedy, and boy did it shape us. Revive ‘Hillbilly Moment’; bring back Penelope Taynt, Amanda’s #1 fan; reinstate Mr Oldman! Bynes’ hospitalisation for psychiatric problems in recent years has deprived us of a raw talent that was formative for many of
The Cramp Twins
In a world where literally everyone has different colour skin for no apparent reason, Wayne and Lucien Cramp were the epitome of the rotten fraternal relationship. Grimy and sordid, the show’s aesthetic which heavily featured swamps and junk yards unhinged yet fascinated us. Banging theme tune too.
Even Stevens
Much like The Cramp Twins, the clashing personalities of Ren, the elder goody-goody, and Louis, the younger mischief-maker, define the show. Louis often conspired with his best friend Twitty and later Beans to cook up schemes, which usually served to irritate Ren. Even Stevens also marked Shia LaBeouf’s rise to fame – though we’re not sure this is a good thing.
“You dumb babies!” Rugrats was all about the world from a baby’s point of view, which as children, we all resonated with. It often featured the protagonist, Tommy, being terrorised by his cousin Angelica, but managing to foil her plans with the help of his friends. Managing a 16 year run, it seems millions related to their parents being oblivious to their problems.
Honourable mentions:
Stupid! – a very British sketch show, featuring Devil Finger! And… Bendy Wendy!
That’s So Raven – A teenager living in San Francisco draws on her visions of the near future: hilarity inevitably ensues. “Ya nasty!”
Fairly OddParents – “Timmy was an average kid, that no one understands.” His fish are in fact Cosmo and Wanda, fair(l)y (g)odparents who grant his every wish.
Powerpuff Girls – Again, 3 colour coded girls save the world.


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