TV | Pop Culture

8 Shows From Our Childhood That We Didn't Realize Were Groundbreaking At The Time

I'm going to come right out and say it, the 90s were the golden age of television. It's the decade when we started pushing and challenging social norms. From introducing sex on television, to gender and social issues, the 90s was a time to rethink what we defined as 'normal'.

Without the early 'girl power' vibes from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the hilarity of every day life from Seinfeld, I wonder where television would be today if we never d these shows.

Some of them were ahead of themselves in format, some in the openness of their content, while others focused on the audience they were aiming for.  

1. Who's The Boss

While it may have started in the 80s, Who's The Boss really started to break ground in the 90s when Tony Micelli, played by Toni Danza, married his employer Angela Bower, played by Judith Light, and continued to stay home with the kids as a stay-at-home dad. How many stay-at-home dads did you know in the 90s?

2. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Airing in 1998, this was the ultimate show for girl power in the 90s. Watching Sarah Michelle Geller kick monster butt was one of the most empowering things for female teens of the decade. It's still hard to find a great show like this, where the female lead really takes charge.

3. Murphy Brown

People of the 90s collectively lost their minds when Murphy Brown got pregnant out of wedlock, and her baby's daddy decided that he wasn't up for fathering a child. Choosing to keep the baby, Brown made quite the splash, even in politics. Forcing open the envelope in the world of television and helping to focus the importance of family diversity.

4. My So-Called Life

Many claim that the high school experience was never captured as well as it was in the short-lived teenage drama, My So-Called Life. Launching the careers of many actors, it struck a nerve with many fans that were experiencing similar issues.

5. Hey Arnold!

Airing in the mid-90s, they explored much deeper messages than one might expect from a kid's show. Arnold has a diverse group of friends from the city, who were from a real, working-class family, living within their means. They rode the subway, sat on stoops and created a baseball field out of dirt. They approached issues of race and immigration, while Arnold's family unit was less than typical. Arnold lived with his grandparents in a boarding house they rented, which is not something you'd expect from most kid's shows in the 90s.

6. The Simpsons

Starting in 1989, the animated comedy really changed the way adults view cartoons. Some are surprised how they are still on the air today after the countless times they have pushed the envelope over the last nearly three decades.

7. Seinfeld

The 'show about nothing' touched on every day subjects that we didn't always talk around the water cooler. From homosexuality, (not that there's anything wrong with it) to Christmas frustrations, (a Festivus for the rest of us), the show was really was able to make us laugh about things we were always thinking.

8. Ren & Stimpy

Before there was Spongebob Square Pants we were all losing our minds at the fast-paced nature of the animation of Ren & Stimpy.

What was your favorite 90s TV show? Share with us in the comments.

Source: Bustle / Cheatsheet

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