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Shows We're Way Too Old For But We Love Anyway

By Courtney Enlow, Kristy Puchko and Riley Silverman | Lists | May 18, 2016 |

By Courtney Enlow, Kristy Puchko and Riley Silverman | Lists | May 18, 2016 |

We are women in our 30s. We’re adults. Grown ups.

But god dammit if we don’t love shows made for tweens and children. And we refuse to apologize for it.

Girl Meets World


Female friendship? Check. Two best friends who happen to like the same person but haven’t let it affect how incredibly close and nuts about each other they are? Check. Whole episode devoted to women in STEM and mawfucking feminism? A-CHECK. All this and so much more, and it’s all in a Disney show that happens to star tiny feminist icon Rowan Blanchard. I grew up on Boy Meets World. In from the very beginning, I watched as that show went from standard family fare to dealing with alcoholism and domestic violence. Its sequel, following Riley Matthews, daughter of Cory and Topanga, has already handled autism, issues of class warfare, and making me cry more than a few times. Oh, and one of my favorite characters is played by DJ Jazzy Jeff’s son, so that’s a little extra sprinkle of sugar.

I may be too old for Girl Meets World. But pass my cane and crack open a Werther’s, because I’m in this one for the long haul. Funnier than anything I’ve seen on network television in years and far more heart-tugging, I can only say one more thing about this show:


Also, Eric Matthews is a senator now, so if you were a fan of the original, your boy is doing JUST FINE. He also reunited with Tommy, the little foster boy he tried to adopt in one of the many times I’ve cried at this show, if you want to weep softly or something. - Courtney Enlow

Faking It


There were a few reasons that I didn’t watch this show when it first came on, starting with the fact that the actual core premise, that two girls going to an uber-liberal school pretend to be a lesbian couple in order to be popular, sounded horrendous. By the time I got wind of the fact that the show was actually really nuanced in its subject matter, the fact that I’m twice as old as any of the characters felt like the other major deterrent. But earlier this year I found myself on a bit of a queer media binge, circled back to giving Faking It a chance, and ended up plowing through all of the episodes on Hulu until I caught up with the current season. It’s absolutely a show for kids, and at times the complete irrationality of the drama said kids create is frustrating for someone who has a few more city miles on her, the show is addicting, and reminds me of nights staying up watching marathons of MTV’s Undressed back when I was the target audience age. I think through the character of Amy, Faking It does an incredible job depicting a realistic teenage girl struggling with the weight of identity and confusion about her sexuality, in a way that most shows with queer characters often gloss over. Despite the age gap and the massive cultural shift in acceptance in between the world I grew up in and the one Amy inhabits, I find myself relating to her a lot, and perhaps living just a little vicariously through her as someone who couldn’t be out and openly exploring these things when I was her age. Having said all that, the show is absolutely a trashy teenage melodrama, but I remember how big of a deal it was for Jack to come out on Dawson’s Creek in 1999, and how long it took for him to even get a boyfriend, it makes me happy in my heart to know that within a generation we’re already at a point that a trashy teenage melodrama can be so unabashedly queer. - Riley Silverman

Steven Universe


I’m grown-ass, child-free, and in love with the Cartoon Network series that centers on a plucky boy’s struggle to live up to the legacy of his late warrior mother. There are a lot of perfectly respectable and very mature reasons to admire the show. Its story is rich, woven with out-of-this-world building and a thoughtful and often bittersweet coming-of-age arc that elicits laughs, squeals and tears. Its aesthetic is funky and fun, stocked with nerdy allusions and catchy songs. Its cast of characters includes a variety of women, people of color, and LGBTAQ representation. But the thing I personally value most about Steven is how it reconnects me to a child-like sense of hope, enthusiasm and earnestness. Happy-go-lucky Steven faces all challenges—even the end of the world—with an open heart and a smile, and he perseveres, side-by-side with his siblings-in-arms The Crystal Gems. At the end of a long day where adulting has gone poorly, this cartoon kid inspires and revitalizes me, reminding me that joy and hope are mine for the choosing. - Kristy Puchko

Share your youthful splendor in the comments. We won’t judge.