Classic Nickelodeon: The Adventures of Pete and Pete
When you think of old nickelodeon, you probably think of cartoons and sliming and the various game shows that gave Nick its trademark. Among all those old shows, however, were some unlikely classics that managed to stick with us through the decades. One of the closest series to my heart, personally, is The Adventures of Pete and Pete, a surreal show about two brothers, each of whom is named Pete, and their many (sometimes epic) adventures in the suburbs.
The show has the unique ability to portray life from a child's point of view in a very honest and genuine way. When I watch Pete and Pete, I think to myself: Yes, I really did see the world like that when I was young. It has a tendency to take the small everyday things that are easily overlooked and blow them up into a quest and a life lesson. Much can be learned from Pete and Pete, much more than you'd expect.
The characters in the show are extremely likable, and not just the main characters like the two Petes and their friend Ellen--even the the ridiculous villains like Open Face (who always eats open-face sandwiches--even in church) and Endless Mike Hellstrom are memorable and are just impossible to dislike. The only people who might be weirder than even these guys are the various adults in this universe, like the school bus driver who is perpetually broken up with his girlfriend, the crossing guard who can't quit smoking, and all the meddling parents and teachers.
The situations in the episodes are, as I said, surreal, like one episode where the school bus driver goes insane (from a broken heart) during a field trip and leaves the bus to drive itself while he walks up and down the aisle and sings a song, and another where Little Pete meets the perfectionist underwear inspector who inspected his underwear and is taken on as a protege, and another where Big Pete struggles over the moral implications of catching a famous fish with his father in a lake they've frequented since his youth, and yet another where Ellen takes a political stand against Algebra and ends up driving her number-obsessed math teacher away. I could go on and on; this show is crazy, but in a subtle way. None of the characters seem aware of the wackiness and treat all the weirdness as if it were normal, which makes it even more endearing.
The music for the show is very fitting and quite good at times. Many of the songs that play during the episodes are by Polaris, the band that plays the theme song (and appears in the opening credits).
Overall, this is one of the best shows Nickelodeon has ever produced, and is one of the best children's shows I've ever had the pleasure of watching. It easily trumps the other classics, even the good ones--Clarissa Explains It All, Alex Mac, etc--and my only lament is that it did not run for longer than it did (three seasons).
If you haven't seen this show, drop everything you're doing and go get the DVD's; yes, it's that important. I wish there was somewhere (legal) to download the episodes, like Amazon's Unbox, and I wish more than just the first two season sets had been released, but we'll make do with what we have! Just watch the show; it could quite possibly change your life. After you're done, come back and then we'll talk.
No, seriously, watch it.
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