Clarissa Explains It All. Nickelodeon. Melissa Joan Hart. Ferguson. 1991. I was just a youngin’ when the show began, four-years-old, but I remember the days of Clarissa Darling, star of the show, and her family and life. Her dad was Marshall, her mom was Janet, and her infamous brother was Ferguson. She lived in Ohio and had a best friend named Sam and a pet caiman named Elvis (only in the first season). She dealt with all the normal pubescent troubles, trials, and tribulations – pimples, bullying, school, sibling rivalry, and lingerie (she stole a pair in one episode). All of this I remember quite well but these plot details are no different than all the other shows of the time. What was different about Clarissa Explains It All was
It was a Virginia Wolfe kind of thing and it was cool. As a viewer, I didn’t feel on the outside. I felt as if Clarissa was returning from one of her charades to tell me what happened, just as if you were meeting up with your friend for coffee or tea to discuss last night’s events. It was a great show, a very intimate one where I felt that Clarissa was my friend and not a distant character.
I miss Nickelodeon, do you?