Whatever Happened To: TGIF

Story by Tuesday Wustrack

By Tuesday Wustrack

I’m back in fifth grade, clad in my blue wind pants and high ponytail tied up with a scrunchie. I’m eating a chocolate dilly bar from Dairy Queen. I’m sitting an inch away from the TV with my sister, soaking in the excessive teenage drama on Two of a Kind. Oh, the memories.

Television has evolved over the years, producing shows like Leave it to Beaver in the 1950s and 60s to M*A*S*H in the 70s to today’s Jersey Shore. But no era supplied better TV shows than the 90s.

Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Full House and Step by Step (which, by the way, takes place in Wisconsin) embody that simpler time. Anyone remember these? I spent countless Friday nights relaxing with my family and friends, laughing and crying right along with the characters as their lives played out for my entertainment.

ABC’s Friday night program TGIF gave families a reason to stay home and enjoy a quiet night of wholesome entertainment. A play on its original acronym “Thank God it’s Friday”, TGIF also stood for “Thank Goodness it’s Funny.” Other feel-good sitcoms included Family Matters, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, Perfect Strangers and Sister, Sister.

Feelings of nostalgia prompted ABC writer and Producer Jim Janicek to create the program. As a kid, he spent his evenings around the TV bonding with his family and wanted to bring that warm feeling back for other American families to experience.

I still watch these shows on a regular basis. When I’m feeling stressed, sick or just plain nostalgic, I watch the shows featured on the TGIF line up. Not only are both the laugh track and cheesy life lessons hilarious, but they also make me feel safe in a way. For just those 30 minutes, I’m back in my 10-year-old, worry-free life. I am at home.