When I was nine or so, my lifelong ambition was to be on SNICK's Roundhouse. It seemed like such a perfect fit for me--I could wear babydoll dresses and floppy hats (neither of which, at nine years old and stick-skinny, looked good as on me as they did on the 20-somethings that populated Roundhouse) and I could sing and dance and be on TV. More than being on TV, it was the singing and dancing part. Especially the singing--the songs were the next logical step on my way to music geekdom, making that transition from Disney soundtracks to what would become the pop music I adored.
I was very fortunate to be a kid in the early 90's, when surreal and odd was in for children's programing. The dad on Roundhouse had a chair that he could roll around the stage in and the sets rotated to become classrooms, living rooms, bedrooms, whatever was needed. The loudspeaker was an actor with a cardboard speaker on his head. The Adventures of Pete and Pete had two brothers with the same name, a payphone that wouldn't stop ringing and a squid for a school mascot.
And let's not talk about the insanity that was Ren and Stimpy or Rocko's Modern Life.
It was all so weird and clever, when kids were trusted to have their own worlds and not be talked down to or yelled at. None of it was pandering, none of it thrived on the latest fashions or guest stars we would recognize (what 10 year old knows who Iggy Pop is?). SNICK trusted us to be intellegent and creative in our own rights, and that's why those shows endure with my generation today. Will Hannah Montana play well ten years from now? Will anyone remember iCarley or The Wizards of Waverly Place?
My guess is no.
If they revived Roundhouse right now, I would go audition on the off chance that maybe I could finally get a dream to come true. Okay, so I'm not the greatest dancer, but I can learn a few steps and belt out a tune . . . and I finally rock a babydoll dress.