Monday, December 3, 2012

Adventures of Pete & Pete

Adventures of Pete & Pete
TV Show
Aired 1993-1996
Created by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi
Starring Michael C. Maronna, Danny Tamberelli, Alison Fanelli, Judy Grafe, and Hardy Rawls

Plot Summary: The Adventures of Pete & Pete was a surreal comedy in which a peaceful suburban neighborhood called Wellsville was home to a strange and skewed world as seen through the eyes of two pre-teens brothers, both named Pete Wrigley. Other characters in this town included Artie, the spandex-wearing superhero, and Petunia, little Pete's tattoo. The Adventures of Pete & Pete originated as a series of one-minute vignettes in 1990, was expanded into a series of five specials, and then became a regular series aired on Nickelodeon during its heyday of pre-teen comedies in late 1993. Highlights from the first season include the first episode "King of the Road," in which the Wrigleys battle for road trip supremacy; "Tool and Die," in which Big Pete learns not to judge a shop teacher by his cover; and "Hard Day's Pete," in which Little Pete forms the band the Blowholes with Syd Straw and Marshall Crenshaw. The show ran for three seasons along with five specials.

Critical Evaluation:  A smart, refined, and star-studded cameo (Selma Blair, Chris Elliott, Janeane Garofalo, Debbie Harry, Patty Hurst, LL Cool J, and Michael Stripe, among others) comedy from Nickelodeon in the mid-1990s that explores that daily life and insane adventures of two brothers both named Pete. While created 20+ years ago, the show’s humor has a timeless quality which speaks to fans old and new regardless of age. With amazing music (the band playing the theme song in the opening is actually the band itself along with other cameos by famous musicians) and an even more incredible list of guest stars, the series is by far the best representation of Nickelodeon’s content production heyday. Sadly, only two seasons of the three have been released on DVD (the third was actually produced and has been sitting in a warehouse somewhere for years because a merger between Dreamworks and Paramount caused the release of the third season to be removed from the schedule) and they aren’t high quality restorations so on today’s HD televisions the picture might seem a bit grainy or blurry. However, most viewers can forgive this fact after the first five minutes of the pilot episode as the series’ quality outshines any production flaws. Show this classic to any of your teens that have and appreciate wacky humor.

Reader's Annotation: N/A

Author Information: N/A

Genre: Realistic, Humor  

Curriculum Ties: N/A

Booktalking Ideas: N/A

Reading Level/Interest Age: 13+

Challenge Issues: N/A

Challenge Defense: N/A

Reason for Inclusion: A classic teen TV show from Nickelodeon’s best years that still speakers to new viewers today.  

References:  N/A

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