tek's rating: pending

The Secret World of Alex Mack, Nickelodeon
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When this premiered in 1994, I didn't have access to cable television. So, it was one of countless shows I wished I could see, but couldn't. When the second season started in 1995, I was in college, so I had access to cable there. And also, my parents got satellite at home. So from that point on I could watch the show, but I didn't actually see the first season until I got the complete series on DVD in 2017. (I finished watching the season in early 2018.)

Season one
While walking home from her first day of junior high, a girl named Alex Mack (Larisa Oleynik) gets drenched with some kind of experimental chemical called GC-161, when the truck that was transporting it from the Paradise Valley Chemical Plant has an accident. The plant happens to be where her father, George, works as a scientist. Also, her mother, Barbara, works at a PR firm that is often hired by the plant. (In fact, probably most of the people in Paradise Valley work for the plant. I kind of get the impression the plant is the main reason for the town's existence.) Anyway, the GC-161, ends up giving Alex various powers, such as telekinesis, and morphing into a liquidy substance. The only two people whom she lets know about this are her best friend, Ray Alvarado, and her older sister, Annie. Annie is a science prodigy, and studies the effects of the chemical on Alex, as well as trying to help her learn to control her powers, and keep her secret. This is important, because the woman in charge of the plant, Danielle Atron, wants to find the kid who was doused in the chemical, and run experiments on her (or him; Atron has no idea who the kid is or even whether it was a boy or a girl). The plant's head of security, Vince, is tasked with finding the kid. He gets some help from Dave, who had been driving the truck that had the accident. But Dave doesn't know who the kid was, either, since he didn't get a good look at her. Dave, unlike Miss Atron and Vince, is basically a good guy, but not very bright.

Well, I also want to mention, now that I've watched season one for the first time, that Alex had a couple of other friends besides Ray: Robyn Russo and Nicole Wilson. I guess they were on the show even in the seasons I watched when they first aired, but somehow, by the time I watched it on DVD, I had zero recollection of their existence. (But I do like them.) Also, in a few episodes of season one, there was a popular girl at school named Jessica (Jessica Alba), who always acted like a jerk towards Alex. And there was a guy named Scott, on whom Alex had a crush, though I guess he was dating Jessica. But he acted much more friendly toward Alex. And... basically the show is about Alex living a relatively normal life, which gets more interesting (both more fun and more dangerous) after gaining her powers. But her powers don't really change her as a person. (The opening credits, which Alex narrates, may say "I guess I'm not so average anymore," but I still think she's basically a normal kid, with normal challenges and interests, and whatever.)

Season two
When I watched this season on DVD, I was surprised to find that I didn't specifically remember any of the episodes. I still feel like I must have started watching the show in season two, when it originally aired, but... it really bothers me how unfamiliar the stories were. One thing that did ring a bell was the new character, Louis Driscoll, who moved to Paradise Valley this season. Like Robyn and Nicole, I had forgotten about him; but once I saw him on the DVD, I definitely remembered him. Another new character this season is a girl named Kelly (whom I don't remember at all, even after watching the DVDs). She's Scott's new girlfriend, since Jessica has moved away. Also, Annie is dating a guy named Bryce. Other than that, I'm not sure what to say. It's basically the same kinds of stories as season one. (Oh... I did want to mention that Alex narrates the opening credits with the same script as in season one, but it's obviously been redone. There were a few points in the narration where, in the first season, Alex did a little laugh, and that's gone this season. In fact I think the whole reading is a bit drier than it was before. It's kind of weird, because when I watched the first season on DVD, I thought the reading felt a bit fake, or something... but watching season two, I missed the old reading, because this season it just seemed too emotionless.)

I look forward to saying a bit more as I continue to watch the DVDs, and refresh my severely lacking memory of the things I had seen before.

kid stuff