Millennials Relive Their Youth


Clockwise from top left, shows like “Kenan & Kel,” “Doug,” “The Adventures of Pete and Pete,” “You Can’t Do That on Television,” and “Ren & Stimpy” have returned. Photo from www.facebook.com/thesplat 

Way back in 1991, Nickelodeon debuted three original cartoons: “Doug,” “Rugrats” and “Ren & Stimpy.” I can confirm this bit of trivia because my 8-year-old self was glued to the television for this block of shows. Doug Funnie, Tommy Pickles and Powdered Toast Man are a part of my childhood.

It’s safe to say that many children of the ’90s are craving some Nickelodeon nostalgia, because the network brought these three cartoons back — along with a bunch of other classic series — under a new umbrella called “The Splat.” 

Every night from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on the TeenNick channel, they’re airing gems like “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters,” “The Adventures of Pete and Pete,” “All That,” “Angry Beavers,” “Are You Afraid of the Dark?,” “CatDog,” “Clarissa Explains It All,” “GUTS,” “Hey Arnold!,” “Hey Dude,” “Kenan & Kel,” “Legends of the Hidden Temple,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “Salute Your Shorts,” “The Wild Thornberrys” and “You Can’t Do That on Television.”

By broadcasting these shows throughout the night, Nickelodeon is making one thing clear — this move is for the millennials who loved watching this programming as kids. 

As a member of that target audience, I am thrilled, and so are many of my coworkers — the ones who also grew up in the ’90s, at least. When I told them about “The Splat,” their eyes got wide as they shouted out their favorite shows. We all agreed that the live-action “Salute Your Shorts,” “Hey Dude” and “The Adventures of Pete and Pete” were near the top of the nostalgia list.

In fact, we all huddled around my computer in the newsroom to watch clips of “Legends of the Hidden Temple” (don’t worry, it was work-related), and we were shocked at the complexity of the obstacle course in this game show. It was fun to relive our youth — and that’s the whole point.

Of course, now that it’s 2015, “The Splat” has a major social media push. The website www.thesplat.com features content from a seemingly endless list of social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, YouTube, you name it. They even released an emoji keyboard for your phone that contains emoticons, stickers and GIFs.

Now that I’m in my 30s, it’s rare to stay up past 10 p.m., but I have set my DVR to record episodes starring Reptar, Quailman and Artie, the strongest man in the world.