I always loved reading through the TV Guide Fall Previews issues, and now that I’molder, I REALLY enjoy going back through them with a nostalgiac eye. So what I’ve decided to do, is start sharing these snippets from years gone by previewing some of favorite shows,and also the ones hardly anyone remembers.
First up, it’s Night Court! I loved this show growing up in the 80’s, and know that a lot of you did as well. So enjoy this quick trip down memory lane as you look back at the first looks of the iconic show.
The age-old tradition of the campfire ghost story got a 1990’s update in Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? Debuting as part of the Friday night SNICK block in 1992, the show featured a group of teen and preteen storytellers, each telling tales of the spooky and the macabre.
Horror fan Gary was the founder of the Midnight Society, a club of kids who each week retired deep into the woods, lit a campfire and took turns scaring the living daylights out of one another. In addition to Gary, the original Midnight Society lineup included Betty Ann, Kiki, Frank, Kristen, David and Eric.
As each episode began, one of the Midnight Society members would begin spinning his or her web of gloom, and the show would segue into a dramatization of the story. The familiar vampires, werewolves, haunted houses, mad scientists, etc., were all present in the kids’ tales, but the stories also delved into Twilight Zone territory. Kids were given twisted morality lessons about prank phone call police, magic mirrors that showed inner ugliness, the problems with having your wishes all come true, and so on. And for the hard core scare fans, the Midnight Society also had its share of voodoo, cannibals, scary clowns and raising the dead.
The Midnight Society was the show’s only regular cast, as other actors took over during the stories themselves. That left plenty of room for guest stars, and Are You Afraid of the Dark? filled the bill with appearances by Bobcat Goldthwaite, Melissa Joan Hart, Neve Campbell, Boy Meets World’s Will Friedle and TV’s original Riddler, Frank Gorshin.
Midnight Society members came and went during the show’s first run, with Sam, Stig and Gary’s kid brother Tucker joining up to replace the exiting spook meisters. With the start of the sixth season—which came after a three years of no new episodes—an entire new Midnight Society was formed, with only Tucker hanging on as the group’s new leader. Excitable tomboy Vange, upscale Megan, burly farm boy Andy and streetwise Quinn were now the ones sharing their chilling yarns.
After more than seven seasons and dozens of nightmares, the Midnight Society continue to hold their macabre meetings in the woods, and as long as kids love good ghost stories, the tradition will surely stay alive.
And do you remember that cool dust they would throw on the camp fire to make the flames change colors? Well you can get the can of crystals so you can replicate it at your own camp fire. Check them out here on Amazon.
How did one girl get so lucky? When Nicole Bradford was orphaned by her mother at age eleven (that wasn’t the lucky part), she was left with not one but TWO fathers (that was). It turned out that Nicole’s mother, Marcy Bradford, was dating two men simultaneously, and never determined which was Nicole’s biological father. Paul Reiser (later of Mad About You fame) played one of Nicole’s fathers, Michael Taylor-the yuppie, conservative professional who was strict on curfews and dating. On the other side of the spectrum was Dad #2, Joey Harris (Greg Evigan, the “B.J.” half of B.J. and the Bear)-an eccentric, free-spirited musician.
This living arrangement made decorating somewhat difficult. Smack dab in the middle of their loft was a huge stuffed red velvet car, which served as a couch. Not exactly typical fare for a stuffy financial analyst, this couch did for interior decorating what Jennifer Anniston’s haircut did for hairdressers. Another source of conflict was Nicole’s style of dress. Michael was a big fan of Nicole’s conservative private school uniform, but Greg supported many of her wilder attempts at fashion.
Unfortunately for Michael and Joey, the judge who awarded them custody of Nicole also owned their building, and she often dropped by unexpectedly to add her unsolicited and sarcastic advice regarding Nicole’s upbringing. Judge Wilbur (from Night Court) also served as a surrogate mother to Nicole, often coaching her in lessons of life and love that the menfolk just couldn’t give.
Though viewers never saw a gray hair spring up in Michael’s perfectly groomed coif or Joey’s silky mane, Nicole’s active social life would be enough to turn give any father nightmares. Episodes dealt with topics ranging from an innocent first date to Nicole’s dating a rebel. Interspersed with Nicole’s romantic escapades were occasional episodes focusing on the women Michael and Joey brought home. Most of their relationships turned sour as they usually discovered that they only had room for one girl in their lives.
Watching Nicole from the wings, along her two dads, was her awkward friend Cory. Cory loved Nicole from afar, and would often show up when Nicole had another date scheduled, only to receive yet another pep talk from Michael or Joey. Alas, Nicole had her eyes on Zack, the local heartthrob and her usual boyfriend. Shelby was Nicole’s worldly best friend, and former pro footballer Dick Butkus played Ed Klawicki, owner of the local soda shop that served as the backdrop for many of Nicole’s dates and social activities.
After three seasons of double-daddy parenting woes, My Two Dads went off the air. In the final episode, Nicole chose not to take a blood test to find out which of the loveable lugs was her biological parent. To her, they were both her true fathers.