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10 Best Nickelodeon Live-Action Shows

8. Clarissa Explains It All

ClarissaSeries Run: 1991-1994 (65 episodes) There's a huge jump in quality from #9 to #8, and I'm sure some will be disappointed with Clarissa Explains it all being so low on the list, but everything from here on out is quality television. Starring Melissa Joan Hart who would go on to be Sabrina the teenage witch, Clarissa Explains it all was definitely influenced by the zeitgeist-capturing Saved By the Bell. Clarissa was a lot like Zack Morris, she talked directly to the camera, she thought she was a little cooler than she was, and she looked and sounded like she would fit in at any beach party. Clarissa often featured a little more maturity in its storylines than most Nick shows, and Clarissa often ended the episodes by talking about how much she learned that week. It was sort of Nickelodeon's beta-testing of sitcoms for kids, but it was funny and entertaining enough for that not to matter. The show really did explain a great number of things, and it will be remembered for most of them along with Clarissa dating a guy named Clifford Spleenhurfer and featuring a young James Van Der Beek (Dawson himself) as a character named Paulie Slicksinger. Clarissa Explains it All is one of those shows that people say defined their childhood, and judging by the terrible things people wore in the early 90s it defined their attire as well.
 
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Bryan Hickman is a WhatCulture contributor residing in Vancouver, British Columbia. Bryan's passions include film, television, basketball, and writing about himself in the third person.