Reminiscing: 5 Fave Shows That Aired On UPN

For the month of September, we’re going to reminiscence on some favorite TV shows, movies, etc.  In today’s entry we’re looking at five of my favorite shows that aired on UPN.

 

During my high school and college years, I watched a lot of TV.  Nowadays I don’t watch much TV, guess I’m not as interested. But back in the day when the telly had my attention, there was one particular network which aired some of my favorite shows. It was the United Paramount Network aka UPN.

 

UPN was launched in 1995 and dissolved 11 years later in 2006. When it’s reign came to an end some of the shows that aired on on the network moved over to the CW (formerly the WB) network. During its time on the tube, UPN  featured a variety of shows in different genres such as sci-fi, sitcoms, dramas, reality, cartoons, sports, and more. Out of UPN’s vast programming, there were five shows that became my favorites to watch on the regular.

1. Half & Half (2002-2004)

Set in San Francisco, the show focused on the lives of two paternal half-sisters in their twenties, who were estranged in their childhood-Mona (Rachel True) and Dee Dee (Essence Atkins) Thorn. Now grownups, the siblings begin to reconcile their feelings about each other and develop a close bond while also dealing with other issues of adulthood such as dating, co-workers and bosses and dealing with each other as people.

Though I could relate to both sisters, I found myself relating more with Mona. Like her, I was raised by a single parent, Jewish, and growing up I was (and still am) the awkward, nerdy, black girl. I didn’t fit in with the black kids or anybody else. In Mona I found someone who was similar to myself and by watching a character who marched to the beat of her own drum, it gave me even more confidence to be myself.

2. Moesha (1996-2001)

R&B singer Brandy starred as Moesha Mitchell, a typical teenage girl from a middle class African-American family living in the Leimert Park are of Los Angeles. Moesha’s father Frank works as a car salesmen and is a widower who marries Moesha’s vice-principal Dee. Moesha also has a younger brother named Myles.

The series focused on the experiences of Moesha along with her friends and family as they dealt with a variety of challenges and situations. I loved the fact that though Moesha was headstrong, independent and stubborn, she stood up for what she believed was right. What I also loved about the show was that it dealt with real-life issues that teenagers such as myself were going through. Issues such as teen pregnancy, drug use, race relations, premarital sex, the death of a parent, and day-to-day issues teenagers faced at home and school.

One memorable episode featured former actor turned cult leader Andrew Keagan guest starring as Moesha’s childhood friend who she hadn’t seen in a long time. Once reunited, the two rekindle their romance, though some other folks don’t approve of the interracial couple.

3. Girlfriends (2000-2008)

This show focused on four ladies who are best friends, Joan Clayton (Tracee Ellis Ross), Maya Wilkes (Golden Brooks), Lynn Searcy (Persia White), and Toni Childs (Jill Marie Jones)-living in Los Angeles, as they dealt with the daily issues such as careers, relationships, sex, family, and more. Girlfriends was my Sex In the City. It was really cool to watch four successful black women who came from different walks of life on my TV. I had never seen that before and watching these characters empowered me.

4. America’s Next Top Model (2003-present)

This was one of the first reality shows that I got hooked on. It introduced me to the fashion world and despite its problematic elements, I learned that there is more to modeling than just having a pretty face. Tyra Bank’s creation continues on with spin offs around the globe and finished it’s 24th cycle this year.

5. The Parkers (1999-2004)

This Moesha spin off focused on Moesha’s friend Kim Parker (Countess Vaughn) and her mother Nikki (Mo’Nique) as they attend Santa Monica College together. When she was a teenager, Nikki had Kim and was forced to drop out of high school. When Kim becomes an adult, Nikki makes the decision to go back to school much to Kim’s dismay. Throughout the series, their mother-daughter relationship evolves.

This show was always funny and constantly provided me with laughs especially on days when I needed them. I also enjoyed watching Nikki’s antics in each episode as she pursued her love interest Professor Stanley Oglevee.

While UPN is long gone, these shows and the many others the network aired continue to live on in syndication and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Advertisements

Reminiscing: 5 Favorite Classic Commercials From The 90’s

For the month of September, we’re going to reminiscence on some favorite TV shows, movies, etc.  In today’s entry we’re looking at five of my favorite classic commercials from the 90’s.

5. Miss Cleo

Before her business went down in flames, Miss Cleo reigned supreme on the tube. Her catchphrase “Call me now” remains one of the most well known in all of TV land.

4. Pepsi Cola

Not to be outdone by its sibling, Pepsi Cola also had some memorable commercials to promote it.  Not only were the Pepsi Girl commercials cute, they also had a musical component, namely the girl belting out Aretha Franklin. Fun fact: Did you know that the young lady featured in these commercials is Hallie Eisenberg, Jessie Eisenberg’s (a.k.a. Lex Luthor) sister? It goes without saying, that in the 90s, Pepsi outdid itself with its commercials.

3. Diet Pepsi
You got the right one baby...uh huh.

That catchphrase made famous by the late Ray Charles and his lady singers, made a smooth commercial. There was always a brilliant spin on how it was said as each new entry in the franchise showed up on our TV screens.

2. Budweiser Wassup!

Budweiser has had a lot of great commercials, but the Wassup! ones are some of the funniest and most memorable. The way this group of friends said “Wassup!” as they held their beer made the catchphrase a part of pop culture.

1. Got Milk?

The very first of the Got Milk? commercials was not only funny but also a lesson in U.S. history. I’ve always remember the answer to the question posed in the commercial . It also taught viewers the importance of having a glass of milk nearby!

Needless to say,  watching TV during the 90’s was mostly fun. In addition to having some of the greatest television shows of all time, we also had some of the best commercials. Click here to see more memorable commercials from the 90’s.