11 nostalgic TV shows we watched as teens that you can rewatch now
Every season of Scrubs is available on All4!!!
When I’m truly going out of my mind in lockdown, I like to play this little game with my brain. Instead of thinking we’ve been relegated to our homes in the midst of a national pandemic, I like to pretend I’m home sick from school and binge watching TV, like the good old days. Not a care in the world, no deadlines, no work. You just mentally check out for a bit and watch E4 until your eyes go square and your mum calls you for dinner.
There was a golden age of British childhood and teenage TV between 2006-2013 and sometimes that time period really is the best place to revisit when you want to get away from it all. It’s well known that after 2016 the world just went to shit. But before 2016, we had Waterloo Road, Scrubs, New Girl, Skins, Outnumbered. A better time. A time of shag bands and 3D glasses with the lenses poked out. When Pumped Up Kicks was playing everywhere all the time for years. Because I haven’t used this time to invent time travel (yet, watch this space), here’s the next best thing: Every nostalgic movie and TV show we watched as teens that’s available for streaming, *Chuckle Brothers voice* from me, to you.
Truly an under appreciated gem. Scrubs aired on E4 pretty much all the time back in the good old days, when E4 still had Friends. All episodes have been made available for streaming on All4, which mentally I will always call 4OD and refuse to relearn as anything else. If anything’s distracting in lockdown it’s rewatching the ups and downs of being a doctor at Sacred Heart and remembering how the series once gave you a brief childhood dream of becoming a doctor. Then you realised it’s actually quite hard and gave up. Eight years of medical school? No. Eight series of Scrubs, though? Yes please.
Waterloo Road, iPlayer
That’s right, the absolute iconic tale of the best and worst secondary school in England has been put on iPlayer in its entirety. Fights, teachers shagging students and weird tension in P.E lessons – it has it all. They really don’t come more nostalgic than this.
New Girl, Netflix
If you didn’t hear, all of New Girl (and Modern Family!) was put on Netflix in the last few weeks, blessing us in our lockdown hovels. As you rewatch it you will slowly start to hate Zooey Deschanel’s character more and more, as being “adorklable” really isn’t a character trait that aged well. But the other characters will make up for it. Also at least it gives you somewhere to redirect your anger at the pandemic.
You probably already knew that Skins was available on Netflix and All4 so instead, here’s me reminding you why you should rewatch it. Cook bringing Effy a black forest gateau. Freddie skating down Park Street. Michelle’s weird nipples. Maxxie just generally being fit and having an awful Bristolian accent. Freddie dying???? (Traumatic reminder sorry). Also I guess something about the third generation uhhh… what are their names uhhhh… Yeah I genuinely can’t remember.
The sexy, weird, underrated cousin of Skins. If you’ve already plumbed the Skins well for all its worth, go and watch Misfits. Either you watched it as a kid and you’re thinking “Oh my God, I forgot about that?” or you’re truly confused right now: either way – hear me out on this, it’s worth a rewatch. Robert Sheehan will always be beautiful and have killer comedic timing, even if Alisha’s power is, in hindsight, totally fucked up. The good makes up for the bad okay. Just go rewatch it and marvel on how criminally underrated it was (until the third season, it sucked after that).
The Brockman family drama is all available on Netflix and iPlayer, to behold in all its glory. You can watch Karen’s best one liners (she now goes to Manc, did ya know?), Ben get taller season by season until he is literally overtaking his father in both height and voice depth, and Jake slowly get… kinda fit?
That’s right, it’s all on All4. Personally I would do anything to have Naomi Clarke in my life again and the infinitesimal effort of watching a few adverts on Channel 4 just to get to her is fine by me.
The Inbetweeners, Netflix
I mean. Of course. All series are on All4 and Netflix, but annoyingly the movie is on neither. Would be really nice watch on a warm day with nice, hot weather.
Might be too hot.
My Mad Fat Diary, All4
Not everyone watched this absolute BEAUTY growing up but they should have. My Mad Fat Diary follows Rae, a Northern gal struggling with her weight and mental health as she falls in love, makes friends and goes to parties, all to the tune of a perfect soundtrack. Also, it has the incredible Jodie Comer (Villanelle in Killing Eve) as Regina George style Queen Bee Chloe, and her fits are impeccable always. If 90s outfit inspo is what you like, watch it for the fits alone. If you like sobbing, it’s an emotional journey so there’s lots of that. And if you like Oasis, you’re in luck. It’s got shit loads of Oasis in it.
Freaks and Geeks, All4
Another addition to the list of things you didn’t expect to be available on All4 (like The Eric Andre show? Weird) is Freaks and Geeks! A brilliant show famously axed after one season (cruel), Freaks and Geeks is everything you need to get a nostalgic kick. Also it’s got loads of famous people in it before they were famous: James Franco, Seth Rogen, that guy that played Marshall in How I Met Your Mother, Judy from Dead To Me. You name ’em, they’re in Freaks and Geeks.
Summer Heights High, iPlayer
If you didn’t watch Ja’mie and Mr G when you were younger, who even are you? Not someone funny, that’s for sure. I beg of you, watch or rewatch this absolute masterpiece – the first series is all on BBC iPlayer. Forgive how offensive it can be (because it can be) and just let yourself appreciate the Mr G dance bag scene. Actually, all his scenes. Meow meow meow meow.