Short-Lived Shows: The Adventures of Pete & Pete
The Nickelodeon show started out as a series of shorts and developed into a show which ran for three seasons between 1993 and 1996. The show's eccentric cast of characters included two brothers named Pete, their mom, the metal plate inside mom's head, dad, the eldest Pete's best friend Ellen, Artie the strongest man in the world and little Pete's tattoo Petunia. The show followed the kids' adventures in the suburban town of Wellsville.
The show was narrated by the eldest Pete, but the younger, uber-cool Pete stole the show. In his red flannel hunting cap, young Pete took on the International Adult Conspiracy, led his classmates to dodgeball triumph over a team of snooty brats and had a superhero for a best friend. The show's surreal comedic sensibility always gave way to a non-saccharine, yet maudlin core.
The greatness of Pete & Pete was sealed by its countercultural credibility. The show's soundtrack was provided by bands like Magnetic Fields, Apples in Stereo and Polaris. The guest star list was beyond hip - David Jo of The New York Dolls, Iggy Pop, Martin Donovan, Debbie Harry, Patty Hearst and Steve Buscemi.
A recent issue of Filter magazine featured a full-length article on the Petes, which some nice soul has uploaded in scanned form to TV.com. In Filter's interview with the show's co-creator Will McRobb, McRobb states that "our big goal was to make the show four things: funny, sad, strange and beautiful...to have those be the informing ideas and nothing else...Anybody who felt like a misfit growing up appreciated the show, because more than anything, the show is trying to say that weird is good."
Lucky for you, you can now give The Adventures of Pete & Pete to some weird kid you love. Seasons One and Two are out on DVD. Rumor has it that we may not see Season Three as it was yanked from Paramount's release schedule earlier this year. A petition for its release is available online.