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Friday, September 30, 2022

Hey Arnold! (1996-2004) – TV Review

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Jelisa M.
Jelisa is a lover of all music, but 90's R&B has a special place in her heart. She considers the 90's a groundbreaking era for black entertainment that should be celebrated more. "Music is my love language and movies are my mistress."

TV Review • Arnold, Gerald, Helga & the rest of the crew from P.S. 118 is one of Nickelodeon’s top animated series of all time and rightfully so. Hey Arnold is my favorite cartoon, and you can still catch me watching re-runs on Hulu. It’s one of those shows that you, your kids, and their kids can all watch over because it’s timeless. 

Hey Arnold was the first animated series on Nickelodeon that used children as voice actors. Gerald and Grandpa were my favorite voice actors. Gerald reminded me of that kid at school that everyone was cool with. He didn’t bother anyone and minded his business, but although he minded his business he still knew everyone else’s business. Grandpa was that old head neighbor that everyone loved regardless of the crazy things he said. He gave the most ridiculous advice but somehow it would eventually make sense. 

I never realized until later how wild the residents were in the boarding house they lived in. I love how they had different type of people living there. There were so many different personalities in there I see why Arnold would always go straight to his room. That man didn’t want to be bothered. One of my favorite episodes is “Arnold’s Christmas” when Helga and Mr. Bailey found Mr. Hyunh daughter 20 years after he gave her to American Soldiers during the war in Vietnam. That episode hit different 20+ years later after you know the history behind it.

Remembering the 1996 'Hey Arnold!' Christmas Special That Made Asian Americans Cry

In my opinion, Arnold still has one of the greatest bedrooms of all time. He had the remote couch that came out the wall, with the window ceilings and the hottest stereo system. The jazz music that always played during each episode is what made the show standout from others. It was perfect for Arnold’s personality. Jazz is smooth and calming which is how I’ve always viewed Arnold. He never really had drama, always cool as a cucumber.

That personality is what attracted Helga. I think she knew his calm demeanor is what she needed to balance out her wacky & rude personality. After obsessing over him for seasons, she finally got her kiss from him in the Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie. I wish they would have given us a relationship between them in the series, but I guess they knew we kind of liked her bullying him in public yet obsessing over him in private. 

Hey Arnold showed us different types of people in the series, from the rich girl, the country bumpkin to the weird chocolate boy. They lowkey could have given us a little spin-off with Gerald’s family. The episode based around his family is one of my top episodes as well. Nothing more satisfying than seeing an all black animated family on your tv screen. 30 years from now, you can find me watching Arnold marathons like I’m 10 all over again. 

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