By Emma Sánchez
It’s no surprise streaming services and social media outlets have been churning out reruns of early 2000s and 2010s TV shows as of late.
“Victorious” became available on Netflix in late 2019 and “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” another Nickelodeon show, was added to the platform this spring.
Both of these shows, along with Cartoon Network’s “Total Drama” — which had already been on Netflix — skyrocketed in popularity and amassed new fans, new memes and new theories on social media. The comeback of these shows at the height of the pandemic was timed extremely well as many of us 2000s kids were suddenly quarantined in our family homes.
Childhood shows offer the perfect dose of normal during a worldwide pandemic by bringing us back to a better and more innocent time in our lives. YouTube also apparently picked up on the world and my obsession with reruns, remakes and nostalgia because I’ve begun noticing old cartoons popping up on my YouTube recommended page.
Here are some of the recommendations:
I’ve come to realize through binging “Total Drama,” “Clone High” and “6Teen” that Canadian cartoons hit differently. A prime example is “6Teen,” which I vividly remember for its unique art style more than anything.
“6Teen” is nothing more than a show about kids hanging out together in a mall so often they practically live in it. It’s each character’s distinct personality and how they interact with one another that make the show so memorable.
“6Teen” portrays a very idealized and unrealistic version of teenage life, as many shows catered to teenagers do, but that’s what makes the show so fun. I especially recommend this show to anyone who’s seen “Total Drama Island” — because “6Teen” is also a Canadian cartoon, many of the voice actors can be recognized on both shows.
Of course I have to talk about the resurgence of “Clone High,” which likely occurred largely due to the highly anticipated reboot that will pick up from the cliffhanger in the first series. “Clone High” doesn’t hold as much nostalgic value for me because I was too young when it first came out. But the highly stylized animation, combined with music and guest stars such as Marilyn Manson and John Stamos, were a captivating throwback.
“Clone High” serves as a parody of popular teen dramas of its time like “Dawson’s Creek,” but through the weirdly absurd context of clones of famous historical figures living teenage lives and attending high school. While some of the humor may be dated by today’s standards, that aspect was easily overlookable once I got invested in each character’s life.
As a kid, the show “Totally Spies!” was my jam. It paved the way for other cartoons to include superheroines into their main character lineup. It also showed its young viewers that liking makeup and fashion doesn’t mean you can’t still be a kickass feminist.
It’s an episodic show in which the plot can get pretty bizarre each episode — like the one where the spies visit the future to find their highschool nemesis now rules the world — and is reset by the next episode. It’s a great show to watch casually and out of order, because viewers will still get the perfect blend of action mixed with high school shenanigans.
Other recommended cartoons that have popped up lately include random clips from “The Simpsons,” “The Amazing World of Gumball” and “Phineas and Ferb.” Now, 50 percent of my YouTube recommendations consists of old cartoons and the other 50 percent are cat videos — which I’m not mad about.