Time Warp Tuesdays: Volume 1

There are certain shows I wish I could see again. Some I can, thanks to the beauty of Netflix and Youtube, some have been harder to find. But, I decided to compile a  list of shows I loved as a kid that make me want to go back 20 or 25 years. There will be a series of volumes with this in the next few weeks as well, so if you’re thinking of a show that’s not included in this particular list, just wait a while until part 2 for more shows!

Under the Umbrella Tree (1986-1993, from Canada): I LOVED this show as a kid. Imported from CBC in Canada, …Umbrella Tree aired on the Disney channel. Holly (a human), Iggy (an iguana), Jacob (a Blue Jay), and Gloria (a gopher). The show’s title is derived from the fact that the characters live together in a home featuring a prominent indoor umbrella tree.–Wikipedia

Sweet Valley High (1994-1997): Airing on mostly Fox stations and then UPN, this was my first foray into really being engrossed in teen drama. Granted, I watched 90210, but I was so young when it aired that I didn’t understand it. It wasn’t until my preteen years that this show came around, and it was one of my favorites. I also loved that it was originally a book series so I could “read along” with the series.

Grimm’s Fairy Tale Classics (1987-1988): Airing on Nickelodeon, this was what I thought anime was for the longest time. There is a special place in my heart for this show. And to be honest, I still enjoy finding clips of this on YouTube. Plus, it dealt with fairy tales, and I’ve always loved a good fairy tale. The quality of this series is amazing.

Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre (1982-1987) : If there were a gold standard for nostalgic television shows, this would be it for me. It was, and still is, one of my favorite series of all time. Ever. With all-star guest stars and wonderfully imaginative production values, this is series that can stand the test of time and be passed down. When and if I have children, they will be watching this on DVD. THAT’S how much I LOVE this show. You can find full episodes on YouTube, Netflix and Hulu. It still has quite the cult following 30 years after it originally aired too.

Welcome Freshmen (1991-1993): Airing on Nickelodeon, I was seven when this debuted, and to be honest, even I thought it was cheesy. At seven. That being said, I’d love to see it again, simply due to the fact that I’d probably understand it more now. Now that I look at the credits, Saved by the Bell & Welcome Freshmen must’ve had the same graphics designer. Oh, the 90s.

Hey Dude (1989-1991): Airing on Nickelodeon, it starred Christine Taylor before she was Mrs. Ben Stiller in her acting/television debut. It also made me want to move to the southwest and live on a ranch. Strangely, it’s also one of the series that made me want to act on TV.

Canadian Connection: Kirsten Dunst in “Deeply” (2000)

Kirsten Dunst as Silly in “Deeply” (2000)

Every once and a while, I notice some weird indie films on an actor’s IMDB page that intrigue me simply due to the fact that they are rarely, widely released films. Oftentimes, when I am looking up an actor’s credits whom I admire, I realize that, yeah, they do the work whether it’s “successful” or not. It’s work. I’ve also noticed that, many times over, actors seem to gravitate towards movies that are produced in Canada. There was a great article written by Slate.com about the benefits of filming movies in Canada (whether they are Canadian or American produced.) The thing I find interesting about the article is the fact that there is a tax break on digital effects by 20% given that one of the two highest paid actors is Canadian.

Not only that, but due to the fact that it is simply cheaper to film across the boarder, many American television series film in Canada. Fringe, although set in Boston, filmed in NYC for the first year, it moved to Vancouver, British Columbia for its second season, and has remained there ever since.

So, it’s no wonder that American actors seem to go to Canada to find work. Actress/director, Judith Ivey, reportedly worked in the Canadian theater for six years during the course of her career.

In 2000, Kirsten Dunst went up to Canada to film the German/Canadian produced film, Deeply, co-starring the late Lynn Redgrave. From Canadian director/writer, Sheri Elwood, it is an interesting indie film.

A mythic memory play in the vein of The Wicker Man, Deeply is the story of a traumatized teenager, Claire McKay, who is brought to the Island of her ancestors in the hopes of she will recover from the sudden death of her first love. Claire encounters an eccentric writer, Celia, who tells her the story of another grief-stricken teenager, Silly, and the curse which has haunted the Island since the days of the Vikings. As Celia recounts the story of Silly and her great loss, a story that is yet without an ending, Claire relives her own trauma and undergoes a catharsis which sets her spirit free, healed of the grief and horror. As Celia said, a good story does indeed have the power to heal. But the ending to Celia’s story has still to be written…  (From IMDB)

I must admit, this film can be a tad confusing upon the first viewing, and Kirsten Dunst’s accent is really wonky and all over the place, but all in all, it’s a film worth checking out. If not for the acting, for the cinematography. Oh, and there’s what I’m calling a “Jack & Rose from Titanic Moment” in there too. You’ll just have to watch it to find out what it is.  Thank you Canada for all you do for Hollywood.