3 Hidden Nerdy Teen Show Gems of the 1990s

If you were a teen in the 1990s, chances are you enjoyed a few shows that weren’t exactly household names but made for fun viewing.  These shows aired on Nickelodeon, which was the ABC Family of its day for family friendly viewing programs.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lanes with a look at three of these hidden gems.

The Secret World of Alex Mack


 The Secret World of Alex Mack was about an ordinary junior high school girl named Alexandra “Alex” Mack who lived with her family in a place called Paradise Valley.  When she was coming home from school one day, Alex is nearly hit by a chemical truck and gets doused with a chemical called GC-161 that gives her special abilities.  She can now morph into a puddle of water, allowing her to go to places unseen.  Additionally, Alex can shoot electricity from her fingers and has the power of telekinesis.  Along with her best friend Ray Alvarado and older sister Annie, Alex becomes a junior superhero to uncover what nefarious plans chemical plant owner Danielle Atron has for GC-161.

Larisa Oleynik starred as Alex.  The show also introduced a pre-Dark Angel Jessica Alba.  The Secret World of Alex Mack aired October 8, 1994 to January 15, 1998 and had 4 seasons with a total of 78 episodes.

The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo


The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo was about a Asian American teenager solving mysteries similar to Nancy Drew style. She lived with her grandfather (played by The Karate Kid’s Pat Morita) and worked after school at the local police station.

The series ran for 3 seasons for a total of 41 episodes from March 16, 1996 to October 25, 1998.

The Journey of Allen Strange


In The Journey of Allen Strange,  a teenager alien from a planet called Xelan gets trapped on Earth and taken in by The Stevenson Family (father Ken and sons Robbie and Josh) who give him the name Allen Strange.  As he attempts to return to his planet, he tries to adapt to the ways of Earthlings to fit in.  With 57 episodes The Journey of Allen Strange lasted for 3 seasons airing November 8, 1997 to April 23, 2000.


All three of these series spawned young adult novels which continued the adventures with originals stories.



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