Asking for a friend... Can we just go back to the '90s for a sec? The TV shows back then were EVERYTHING and life in general, was just less stressful. Most of the drama came from fictional characters, and it was more than enough to supplement any excitement we were missing in our lives. However, today's shows don't carry the same greatness. Let's take a look at some of the most loved and hated TV characters that got us through the '90s.
This character was so loved in the '90s that people today still know the Fresh Prince theme song even though the show aired almost 20 years ago! The Fresh Prince was about a hip African American teen who was sent to "move with his uncle and aunt in Belair" because he was getting into fights in his Philly hometown. The main character, The Fresh Prince, was played by Will Smith -- the 90's most popular 90's teen, and he was genuinely funny, witty and a joy to watch. His chemistry with the rest of the Banks family is something special and hilarious -- but the most humorous skits are the ones with his uncle, Mr. Banks and his cousin Carlton whose Carlton was so dorky, he had a funny dance named after him. Don't pretend you don't know "The Carlton"...
Image: IMDb NBCU Photo Bank
The first actress that played Aunt Viv (Janet Hubert) was such a strong matriarchal figure whose authenticity and female power is undeniable throughout her portrayal of the role. So when she was replaced by actress Daphne Reid, an actress with a more passive demeanor as well as lighter skin tone, viewers just were not having it. There were rumors that Hubert was pregnant, which went against her contract, and so she was asked to leave. But to this day, there remains bad blood between the Fresh Prince and the rest of the case against Hubert. Will Smith and Alphonso Ribero cited her bad attitude, and inability to compromise were among the list of reasons for her removal. Who knows if these allegations are true, but one thing is for sure, fans didn't look favorably on her Reid's performances and often reminisced about the real Aunt Viv.
Image: TriStar Domestic Television
Arguably the most honorable character in the history of Dawson's Creek characters: Jack McPhee(Kerr Smith) he was best friends to Jen's (Michelle Williams) and adopted her son when she died. He was even Joey's (Katie Holmes) boo-thang for a short while before he realized and accepted his sexuality as a gay man. He was even his sister, Andie's protector and supporter throughout her struggles with mental illness. He also dealt with an abusive dad and stood his ground against his hatred against gays. He was such a stand-up guy, and Dawson (James Van Der Beek) should have taken notes.
When Dawson's Creek first premiered on the WB in 1998, everyone fell in love with Dawson Leery. Played by James Van Der Beek, Dawson was portrayed as the show's teenage protagonist -- coping with school and teen love. He was a handsome, sensitive dreamer who had aspirations of becoming a movie producer. All the viewers thought he was super dreamy because of golden blond hair, blue eyes, and boyish smile -- pure kryptonite for the 90's tween. But when he started bouncing from Joey Potter (Katie Holmes) to Jen Lindley (Michelle Williams) and a few other girl fans and it got real boring, real quick. In fact, Dawson became the antithesis or what girls wanted in a boyfriend: He was way too immature and whiny, and his friend Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson) was the exact opposite. When Pacey wasn't doing stupid things like sleeping with his teacher, his bad boy charm would steal the spotlight, leaving Dawson coming up short with the Creek fanbase.
Image: Fox Broadcasting Company
The late Luke Perry, the actor who portrayed the character Dylan McKay on 90210, was just as loved as his character. He passed from a stroke, and fans were devasted. He was the 90's Dean Cain -- girls loved him, and boys (and men) wanted to be him. He was the too cool guy you hoped to be friends with in high school until forever. Though he dumped the show's lead character Brenda Walsh and cheated on her with her best friend Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth), fans still blamed the girls and supported his innocence. On the show, even Brenda's brother, Brandon Walsh (Jason Priestly) forgave Dylan and maintained a tight friendship. Dylan McKay could never do wrong, and according to his fans, family, and friends, Luke Perry was a philanthropist who would give you the shirt off his back. Just a great guy, and he will be missed. R.I.P Luke Perry.
Possibly one of the most annoying characters to ever grace the 90's Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) from Family Matters had a knack for driving the Winslows crazy. He was the nerdy next-door neighbor obsessed with Laura Winslow. Steve would usually just come right on in when Mr. Winslow was relaxing or just getting home from a long day at the precinct, and he always knew the right nerve to hit to get Mr. Winslow ready to throw him out. Then Laura or Eddie Winslow would come and save him. His snorty laughs and suspended pants that were hiked WAY up drove audiences nuts after the first seasons, but Steve managed to stay in the Winslows hearts... and ours too.
Image: The CW
Aaron Spelling knew he was sitting on a hit when he began production on the CW hit "Charmed." With three (and later four) beautiful girls: Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, Rose McGowan, and Shannen Doherty, playing sisters with magical powers saving innocents from monsters, Charmed became an instant fan favorite. It premiered in 1998 and lasted for eight seasons. Teen girls everywhere choose the sister power they coveted most with much electing time stopping and astro-projection. But perhaps even more entertaining than their demon-fighting was their love interests. Piper married a white lighter, Prue fell for a cop,Paige dated but never really settled down, and Phoebe was the master of relationships. Some fans may say she was the most loved sister was Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) because, towards the end of the show's run, it became all about her relationship with Cole (played by a sexy actor). He was a demon who struggled with his mission to unleash hell on earth because he fell in love with Phoebe. In fact, he was supposed to kill her, but could never follow through. The couple got married and lasted for numerous seasons -- with Cole being killed off more than once. Their sexy chemistry kept the show spicey for many episodes.
Poor Samuel Screech Powers (Dustin Neil Diamond) was the most annoying character on the hit show Saved by the Bell. He was a scrawny nerd with tight curls, high pants, and enough awkwardness to deaden a show, but his friendship with the most popular kid in school, Zach Morris Every time Al's doorbell rang on Married with Children, most people hoped it wasn't Marcy Rhoades played by Amanda Bearse. She was an annoying next-door neighbor that you secretly loved to hate, and she always seemed to get on Al's nerves by either making fun of how stupid he was or talking about how much better she was than everyone else. Her righteous attitude was usually followed by a wicked laugh or a weird sexual joke. She was almost always belittling her husband whenever he and Al tried to have guys' time, and fans often cheered when Al joked that Marcy was actually a man. It was hard to believe she and Peggy Bundy (Katey Sagal ) were such BFFs when Marcy hated Al so much and didn't really care for the rest of her family that much either.
Not sure this character would have been so popular in the current times, with his misogynistic, Get in the kitchen and bake me a pie mentality, but then again, you never know. Al Bundy (Ed O'Neil) was the Archie Bunker type of the '90s except he pretty much excepted everyone -- as long as they left him alone with his beer and remote. Al was a shoe salesman and a family man who took care of his wife and kids financially but took his home time as PRIVATE time. He disliked being interrupted and especially hated his neighbor, Marcy D'Arcy. His couch was his home, and it bore a permanent indentation because that's where most of the show was shot on that couch in their living room. Viewers loved the tricks and jarbs he laid on Darcy but also liked his interaction with his wife Peggy, his daughter Kelly (Christina Appelgate) who always pretended to be mentally challenged and his son, Bud (who always wanted to be like his dad) Al Bundy sold shoes for a living, but his persistent attitude of keep on trucking, almost made fans wonder if they should all be shoe salesmen. Almost.
Where do we start with Ms. Emily Valentine? Played by Christine Elise McCarthy, Emily was the badass girl next door whom straight-laced Brandon Walsh fell for pretty hard. She was spunky, rockin', motorcycle chick with a heart of gold, and she became one of the most popular LGBT community icons of the '90s. But as the show went on, viewers found out Emily was not as awesome as they thought. She did a lot of grimy things to the 90210 crew including making out with Dylan when she knew it would piss off his ex, Brenda Walsh (Shannon Doherty), setting fire to a parade float, and constantly causing unnecessary drama. In a Complex interview, McCarthy admits to receiving a lot of hate mail, but the straw that broke the camel's back was when she drugged Brandon at a rave with U4EA and hooked up with him. When he found out, he dumped her, and she lost it. She started stalking him, and making prank calls, and quickly started losing the only friends she had. She was later diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, and after committing arson, she was institutionalized for a short while. Thankfully she recovered but decided to leave Beverly Hills for France to pursue marine biology. She and Brandon reunite a couple of times, but either viewer didn't have it, or they liked him better without Emily because the writers had Brandon go back to his first high school sweetheart -- Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth); and they had Emily help reunite them. COLD.
Michael Mancini was the resident doctor of the Melrose Place community and the devoted husband of his wife, Jane (Josie Bissett) -- all for about 2 episodes. In the blink of an eye, he went from Good Ol' Faithful to Good Ol'....well, we'll let you finish that phrase. He started flirting with the other women at Melrose and schemed to get over on his wife and her friends. He was a master manipulator; conning women out of money, taking on multiple mistresses and lying to squirm his way out of trouble. He becomes the womanizer to beat sleeping with any woman in a 3-mile radius: first, he cheats with Kimberly Shaw (Marcia Cross), a fellow doctor and co-worker. They have a crazy on-and-off again, roller-coaster affair that seems to last throughout most of the series. When Jane finds out early on, she files for divorce and kicks Michael out to live with Kimberly in her beach house. From there, Michael proceeds to have an affair on Kimberly with Jane's sister, Sydney Andrews ( Laura Leighton). Once he realizes she's a manipulator like him, he runs back to Kimberly and asks her to marry him. This doesn't last long, and Michael runs back to Sydney, then Jane, and back to Kimberly before he' just starts asking ANY other willing participants. LOL. (Disgusting). It's no wonder the fans got tired of this character -- just thinking about the number of women he slept with is obscene.
It depends on whom you ask, but most fans would agree that Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) of the starship USS Enterprise-D was the best Star Trek Captain by far! He is portrayed by actor Patrick Stewart. The man just oozed sophistication and class -- and when he meant business, he was not be underestimated. Just ask the Nausicaan who took on Picard during a bar fight in"Tapestry" (Season 6, Episode 15). Picard willingly accepts the challenge knowing he is outmatched. But he is young and proud, and won't be anyone's "coward," and defends himself and his fleet at all costs. He kicks a lot of ass but gets stabbed in the heart. Thankfully, he is saved by emergency heart surgery and gets an artificial heart. Years later, he is forced to relive the gruesome scene to prove himself to Q (a ruthless extra-terrestrial being who can alter time), and yet he chooses the same fate to save his fleet. Pretty gangsta! He was the master of negotiations and gave the most inspiring monologues. He was also a charmer -- giving ladies man Commander William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) a run for his money. He also appeared in the films Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek: Nemesis, and is set to star in the upcoming show Star Trek: Picard. "ENGAGE!"
How many times did Captain Picard tell Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) to shut up in Star Trek: The Next Generation? Too many times. But as fans all know, when Captain Picard gives an order, you better "make it so." It appears viewers may have taken their cues from Captain Picard, because for the most part, many fans of the show though Wesley was pretty annoying. Wesley was the son of Jack Crusher (died early in the show) and Beverly Crusher: the Chief Medical Officer on the starship who was also romantically involved with Picard for a bit. Picard's tryst with Beverly must have been the main reason Wesley was allowed to sit on the deck with the grown-up senior officers because he was usually whining or doing something he wasn't supposed to do. To be fair though, he did have genius intelligence, and there were times when the Captain admired and respected his contribution to the Starfleet crew -- like the time he saved the Enterprise by solving a problem that even the Chief Engineer couldn't solve or the time he stayed with Picard when he was seriously injured during the trip to Pentarus and helped him get back safely (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 4, Episode 9). Picard and Wesley had a complicated relationship where Picard was basically the only father figure he had, and there was that push and pull of power struggle between them. Most people just wished Wesley would listen and stop being a pain. After assisting Picard on various assignments, Wesley was finally appointed to Lieutenant Junior Grade Starfleet officer. He appeared in 7 seasons of the show and also in the feature film: Star Trek: Nemesis (2002.
Friends' was one of the funniest, most popular shows of the '90s with an ensemble of 20-30 year olds Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Monica (Courtney Cox), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Ross (David Schwimmer), Chandler (Matthew Perry), and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) living in the same apartment building as roomies and flatmates in NY. All of the cast were very talented, but the producers struck comedic gold with Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc. they were funny individuals on their own but paired together; they were unstoppable comedy relief. They would argue over the most basic of things and make it hilarious, like in episode Season 3, Episode 2. Their characters, Joey and Chandler, wanted to dominate the couch while watching a game. Neither wanted to give up their spot on the couch, so they went back and forth irking each other until one of them got up. Joey ultimately won the battle by putting all of Chandler's clothes one so Chandler would be forced to get up. With the ongoing break-ups and make-ups between Rachel and Ross and Monica and Richard Burke, it was nice to laugh a little with Perry and LeBlanc. Too bad they never had their own show.