Were you a shy, awkward kid in the 90s?
Did you love to read?
Did you love dogs?
Were you me?
Then you definitely loved Wishbone.
This PBS Kids show ran from 1995-2001 and it focused on the adventures of a dog, named Wishbone, and his owner, a kid named Joe. Joe had the usual after school special kind of adventures and while Wishbone watched from the sidelines, he related the real-life events to famous books in his head. Wishbone would then fantasize about the stories, placing himself as the lead role, including:
Romeo & Juliet:
and Robin Hood:
Wishbone was by far the most well-read dog to have ever existed, largely due to the fact that dogs can’t read.
One of the most admirable points of the show, other than introducing a generation of children to famous literature, was the way that Wishbone didn’t try to edit the stories to cut out content that might be seen as too mature for kids. For example, in the episode about Joan of Arc (called “Bone of Arc”), Joan gets burned at the stake:
The execution starts at 22:27. PBS is not interested in sheltering children.
However, as a kid, I remember really liking that they told the whole story and didn’t sugarcoat the stories and give them all a “happily ever after.” Evidently, I’m not alone in this feeling because the show was repeatedly praised for this practice and it won four Daytime Emmies, a Peabody Award, and various honors from the Television Critics Association. It also has the distinction of being one of my favorite TV shows of all time.
If this post has you feeling nostalgic for this show, only a handful of episodes have been released on DVD because apparently, our generation hasn’t been punished enough by the melting ice caps and crippling student debt. Luckily, there are a bunch of full episodes up on YouTube.
Happy Throwback Thursday!