It aired for only a short period of time but, whenever you mention The Weekenders to a kid who grew up in the late 90’s, they know exactly what you’re talking about.
From the moment you heard Wayne Brady start singing “Livin’ for the Weekend” at the start of every episode of The Weekenders, you knew you were in for a great show full of funny moments and life lessons.
The Weekenders premiered in 1999 as part of Disney’s One Saturday Morning on ABC and from that moment, I was hooked on the show.
There was just something about the characters in the series that made every show a joy to watch. Tino began every show by breaking the fourth wall and talking directly to the audience setting up each episode and what problem the group would be facing (or sometimes just a member of the group). He’s also somewhat neurotic and has an irrational fear of clowns. Carver was the laid back member of the group who was always trying to fit in with the cool kids (and then found out that it wasn’t so cool when he finally did). Lor was the fearless one, the jock, with fourteen brothers (or something like that, she never actually knows). Tish was the most intellectual of the group and a perfectionist. She usually is the most considerate and rational one of the group.
The thing that struck me so much about these characters is how well-rounded and layered they were though. With every conflict you seemed to find out something new about them or understand more about why they act the ways that they do. More than anything though, they were friends through and through and taught that no matter what friends go through, they will always be just that – friends.
Bahia Bay didn’t hurt the show either. The animators built a beautiful bay city with so many different things for the group to do and places to visit. From museums, to malls, to beaches, to houses and the famous pizza place.
The pizza place never stayed the same from one episode to the next going from spy themes to operating room themes to everything in between. That was just one of the many running jokes though. How about Chloe Montez was always getting into embarrassing situations although you never actually see her in the entire series?Or Tino’s mom never once serving a normal dish of food (Spinach Jell-O cones anyone?). Carver’s horrible handwriting? Tish’s obsession with perfectly trimmed toenials? That’s just the tip of the iceberg, there are so many more.
Overall, it was a great show because everything worked in tandem to make it so. The environments supported the characters and the characters supported each other. From Frances saying “I like pointy things” to Jan ‘The Man’ saying, “Hey Yowza! Dudes!”, there was never a dull moment. With only 39 episodes, with 2 segments each, it didn’t last long and was over by 2001 but, when you say The Weekenders today, you’ll be surprised at just how many people remember every facet of Bahia Bay.
So that’s the first entry in my Cartoon Classics series, there’s nothing better I can say than, “Later days”.