I just want to point out immediately that the title of this show is a lie. Clarissa doesn’t explain it all. There were many questions left unanswered and problems unsolved. You would think she could at least explain a cure for cancer or something.
Clarissa Darling (played by Melissa Joan Hart) and her family are a bit off-beat. They’re different, but not too different that they would seem abnormal. Clarissa was a just a teenage girl with really cool clothes, trying to make sense of the world. It was hard for me to relate to Clarissa’s problems when I was 6 years old, but I gave it a shot. I was intrigued by her. She was different—she liked reading, writing, poetry, photography, and art. Clarissa had a baby alligator in her room named Elvis who I particularly enjoyed seeing.
Perhaps one of the best things about Clarissa was her love of music. She mentioned a lot of good bands throughout the show and even some band members appeared in episodes. Some examples of her 90’s taste in music were They Might Be Giants, Pearl Jam, and Violent Femmes.
Clarissa’s best friend was Sam Anders. He would often rest a ladder on her window and climb up it whenever he wanted to come over. Wikipedia says that their relationship was a “novelty” because they were just friends and no romance blossomed between them. Like, how is this novel? Isn’t it normal? Do girls fall in love with every guy they talk to? Ugh.
But to be perfectly honest, I would’ve loved to see Clarissa and Sam hook up. They always got along really well and made each other happy. Sam would often bring his guitar up the ladder and serenade Clarissa.
Ferguson Darling was Clarissa’s unfortunate ginger brother. He didn’t have a lot of friends at school mostly because he was pompous and nerdy. He loved money and tried to come up with ways to get rich quick. His sibling rivalry with Clarissa was fun to watch and always made me feel good that I didn’t have a brother with the devil’s red hair. It’s worth mentioning that Ferguson was a Young Republican who loved Dan Quayle and Ronald Regan. I feel like kid’s shows these days wouldn’t dare mention politics never mind certain political figures. Especially those of republican standings.
Clarissa’s mom was Janet Darling. She was an environmentalist and liked cooking weird meals for her kids. They usually involved tofu. Clarissa often sought out advice from her mom, like any normal teenage girl would.
Clarissa’s dad is Marshall Darling. He was an architect who designs weird buildings. Lot of his creations are used a tourist attractions or retail locations. I don’t remember this, but Wiki says that he made a “Fryfel Tower” which actually sounds like somewhere I would want to eventually live.
I don’t really remember many of the minor characters from the show since I didn’t even know what minor characters were when I was watching the show. But from reading the Wiki page, they keep pointing out what a monumental show Clarissa Explains It All was because it was the first Nickelodeon show where the main character was a girl. The creators were impressed that both girls and boys enjoyed the show because they were under the impression that shows with male leads were more relatable for girls and boys.
This is so stupid. Kids will literally watch any show that’s on TV. Girl lead, boy lead, animal lead, alien lead, whatever. Why is this considered a television breakthrough? Clarissa needs to explain some things to them.