The best 90s shows to stream if you’re in need of a nostalgia hit
Get ready to lose yourself in a world of landlines, oversized sweaters and bucket hats with these brilliant 90s TV shows.
Ignoring the epic presidential election result (all hail VP Kamala Harris!), there’s no getting away from the fact that 2020 has been terrible. So terrible, in fact, that many of us are choosing to escape this burning dumpster fire of a year via the plethora of 90s TV shows that have sprung up on our favourite streaming platforms.
That’s right: it seems many of us (millennials, probably) are basically soothing our souls with a heavy dose of nostalgia. Because who doesn’t feel better after spending time in a Covid-free decade, eh?
With that in mind, then, we’ve sourced out some of our favourites, all of which are available to stream now.
The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air
Will Smith basically plays himself in this heartwarming sitcom, which sees our eponymous character’s mum send him away from his rough Philadelphia neighbourhood to live with his wealthy Uncle Phil and Aunt Vivian (along with his cousins Carlton, Hilary and Ashley) in their lavish Bel-Air home.
The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air is available to stream on Netflix.
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From its banging theme tune to its iconic fashion moments, this classic tells the story of twins Tia and Tamera, who were separated at birth but find one another again as teens after bumping into each other in a mall. Cue them and their respective adoptive parents moving in together, and a whale lot of fun.
Sister, Sister is available to stream on Netflix.
Sabrina The Teenage Witch
No, not the sexy, spooky Netflix adaptation: we’re talking about the OG Sabrina The Teenage Witch. From the iconic titles sequence (essentially, Melissa Joan Hart’s Sabrina using her magic to try on an array of so-90s-it-hurts outfits), to the sarcastic talking cat (hey Salem!), to the floppy-haired Harvey Kinkle, this show had everything. Our favourite bit, though, was the fact that it boasted a strong non-traditional family unit in the form of Sabrina’s aunts, Hilda (Caroline Rhea) and Zelda (Beth Broderick), who lived together for well over 600 years.
Sabrina The Teenage Witch is available to rent on Amazon Prime.
Viewer beware, you’re in for a scare with this adaptation of RL Stine’s horror anthology. Relive your favourite childhood scares and embrace the series’ talking dummies, cannibal plants, killer cameras, and celebrity cameos (particularly a young Ryan Gosling in Say Cheese And Die).
Goosebumps is available to stream on Netflix.
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“I don’t have low self-esteem. I have low esteem for everyone else.”
The sarcastic and brilliant Daria Morgendorffer might be animated, but she felt like one of the realest teenage girls on TV back in the 90s. And, yeah, her jaded POV still resonates for many of us trying to fly under-the-radar even now.
Daria is available to rent on Amazon Prime.
Kenan And Kel
Who loves orange soda? Kel loves orange soda, damn it! This Nickelodeon classic brings to life the many, many, many misadventures of high school BFFs Kenan, who works at a grocery store, constantly devises crazy plans to strike it rich, and the reluctant (and chaotic) Kel.
Kenan And Kel is available to rent on Amazon Prime.
Friends is the sort of show that needs no introduction. As you asked, though, think six friends, one coffee house, and a whopping 236 episodes – many of which hail from the 90s (the first episode aired way back in 1994). Anyone else suddenly in the mood to rewatch it for the 1,000,000th time?
Friends is available to stream on Netflix.
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For those who didn’t catch this gem the first time around, it sees Brandy Norwood’s Moesha Mitchell as a teenager juggling school, friendships and romance. Previously the female head of the household, she is learning to love and trust her father’s new wife, all while trying her hardest to be the “glue” that helps hold her family together.
Moesha is available to stream on Netflix.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
On 10 March 1997, the world changed forever when Buffy The Vampire Slayer kicked down gender barriers and (literally) handsprung into our lives.
The eponymous heroine and her pals spent their days fighting vampires, investigating demonic rituals, practicing witchcraft, and dealing with the ever-looming apocalypse, as well as… well, as well as all the other high school stuff, like homework, first kisses, heartbreak, and getting grounded. Which makes it one of the most epic 90s teen shows of all, in this writer’s opinion.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer is available to stream on All 4.
Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
Fancy donning an oversized sweater, sitting beside a blazing campfire, and sharing scary stories with the rest of The Midnight Society? Then you need to stream seminal Nickelodeon anthology Are You Afraid of the Dark?, stat.
Are You Afraid Of The Dark? is available to rent on Amazon Prime.
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Freaks And Geeks
This beloved teen dramedy may have been set in 1980, but it screams 90s nostalgia to us. It follows a group of misfit high-school students as they deal with the struggles of growing up and fitting in.
The main focus? Gifted student Lindsay, who discards her straight-A image to hang with the burnout crowd; and her brother Sam, who’s tormented by bullies but gets moral support from his nerdy pals.
Freaks And Geeks is available to stream on All 4.
Images: Getty/Rex Features
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