ABC stands for the Australian Broadcasting Channel and when I was between nine to twelve, when I returned from school at around three in the afternoon, I would turn on the television and catch some of my favourite tween-appropriate shows. I can’t say that many might relate to these shows being aired on their television. They were some of the most random kids shows around (and probably some of the worst – like equivalent to eating cheese fries instead of celery stalks). But either way, I remember how they used to make me feel all grown-up; ’cause they were definitely a step up from my usual kid cartoon variety.
Reminiscing about them also kind of makes me learn where Australian TV got all their series from.
1. Sir Gadabout: The Worst Knight in the Land
Watching the intro honestly just made me cringe. This British show is practically true to its title. It revolves around Sir Gadabout (played by Jason Thorpe) who, unlike Lancelot, is just terrible at his job as a knight. My favourite character though was Princess Elenora who is a complete tomboy and has an alter ego called Sir Knight.
Interesting fact: Tamsin Egerton who played Princess Elenora in the show has gone on to star as Guinevere in the 2011 series, Camelot (medieval does not run out of this girl’s veins) – she also played Georgie in Chalet Girl alongside Felicity Jones (the main character Kim). I guess I didn’t notice that ’cause her hair is blonde now.
2. The Zack Files
This Canadian show centres around Zack Greenberg and the strange occurrences that just seem to naturally happen to him and his friends. I think I have to give this show credit for how unique all their episodes were. I can still run down the list of episodes and remember all the scenarios Zack had gotten himself into, like when he swallowed the orange seed and grew taller, or when he drank ink and became invisible. I think the motto of the story for Zack and his audience is to not consume weird crap.
3. The Saddle Club
Wow, this one really was Australian produced. I was definitely addicted to this show for a period of time ’cause as an eleven-year-old I was addicted to horses. I used to read Pony Pal books, I had my own book series that I made on pieces of A4 paper folded in half and taped together (which contained all my friends in it and I used to let them borrow the “books” to read and then I’d make new ones based on their feedback), and I also had a horseback riding birthday party when I was twelve that cost way too much money and made me fall in love with a pinto horse called Lucky.
I think it’s very obvious what this show was about. Girls and their love for horses. I sadly still remember all the lyrics to the terrible song they had in the credits.
4. My Best Friend Is An Alien (a.k.a. I Was A Sixth Grade Alien)
I knew that this would end up being such a cringe-worthy list. A purple alien named Pleskit definitely does play a heavy part in making this one extra cringe-worthy. If there are any redeeming qualities to this reference, Michael Cera used to be on this Canadian kids show.
5. Freaky Stories
“This is a true story, and it happened to friend of a friend of mine” – this line will always remind me of this show, along with “Just because they never happened, doesn’t mean they ain’t true.” Each episode of this Canadian TV show (I have drawn the verdict that ABC does have a lot of Canadian TV shows) tells an urban legend. I can’t remember whether this series had its own time slot or used to show in between the above series, but I certainly do remember it for being both creepy and yet very interesting.
Here, a free episode for you, as you can see, they’re not very long:
So those are all the after-school shows I’d watch when I was eleven! And if you want to catch them there are a lot of free episodes of each of them on Youtube. I can’t exactly say that they were the worse. I think to each generation there are those select few kid shows that you thought were awesome when you were young but when you look back on it they can make you cringe.
If anything, I think that kid shows nowadays are alright. Maybe they don’t have as much of the interesting content and engagement, i.e. less sci-fi and medieval and more boyfriend-girlfriend and I want to be famous talk, but they are definitely better produced and higher quality.
So till next time!