School days were long and boring. Getting home and switching on the TV was the teen equivalent of pouring a glass of wine after a rough day at work.

Tuning in to the fictitious lives of our favourite characters, who seemed to experience the same highs and lows we did - to varying extents - was cathartic escapism at its best to a kid growing up in the 90s and early 2000s.

While most of these shows may have now left our screens for good, the important part they played in our "growing up" lives on.

From Laguna Beach to Rocket Power, these are the TV shows we raced home for after school.



It was my go-to TV jam after school: Kicking back with an ice block and keeping up to date with the show's "sick" street lingo.

Otto and his friends went on rad adventures, skating and surfing their way into our hearts.

Their handshake was rad as well.

THE X-FILES, Chris Schulz

Somewhere, in a dusty cardboard box in my parents' garage, sits a box of videotapes. Inside are about 50 cassettes, sorted into series, numbered and dated, an homage to my addiction to The X-Files.

I watched that show unlike any other show, dissecting details, spending days discussing plots with my friends, eventually heading to chat rooms to continue my addiction.

My obsession has waned, but I still can't bear to part with those tapes. It would be like throwing away part of my childhood, part of me.

ONE TREE HILL, Siena Yates

I lived for One Tree Hill. Many - probably too many - of my teenage years were spent watching and re-watching this show, marathoning the DVD box sets and crying in the dark with my friends.

We listened to the bands that featured on the show, quoted the hell out of its literary references, decided which characters we were most like, lusted after the boys (and girls) in it and generally just got far too involved for our own good. It was total, over the top nonsense but damn it was good.

Sadly, nearly 20 cast members have recently accused the show runner of sexual harassment so I'll probably never watch it again, but on the plus side, it's heart-warming to see them all unite as a family to take this guy on.

GO GIRLS, Mitch Powell

I'm not sure what exactly I loved about Go Girls so much. It was just the story of some gal pals and a lad named Kev, from the Shore, battling their way through their early 20s.

Come to think of it, maybe it was a little too relatable - the late 2000s was a weird time for me.


This Aussie mockumentary comedy came out in 2007, my last year of high school. It was a great distraction from the usual high school drama. But instead of studying for NCEA Level 3 Statistics and English, and racing to finish art and design boards, I found myself watching back-to-back episodes of Summer Heights High on YouTube. Oops.

One time, I ended up staying at school after hours to finish my work and got told off for watching SHH on the school computers instead of working on my portfolio. I still passed my final year though, so puck you Miss!

THE SIMPSONS, Rebecca Blithe

Every week night at 5.30 one of the kids in my family would scream: "The couch scene, the couch scene," sending the others racing to the couch as The Simpsons made it to theirs' where some elaborate, ridiculous scenario ensued.

Even Dad - whose job at the oil refinery we imagined was just like Homer's at the nuclear power plant - was into the show.

When my brother bought a bunch of The Simpsons DVDs on holiday one year I was introduced to binge-watching - and I've never looked back.


Never have I been more invested in anything than I was in Lauren Conrad's love life.

From ladies man Brody Jenner, to Jason the heart breaker, I watched with bated breath as Lauren battled through break-ups and, time and time again, went back to her one true love, Stephen Colletti.

Then there was Jen Bunny, Justin Bobby, "Speidi" and the shows official mean girl Kristin, all whom tried to mess with my unofficial BFF "Loz".

I still have the entire box set of DVD's that I will pass on to my children one day like the archaeological gems that they are.