Fall is almost here. The weather will get cooler, but not cold. Leaves will fall. The sun will set sooner. It’s probably the most-overlooked season in terms of pop culture. Summer gets a ton of love, because you can do beach stuff or stories about kids off school for the summer or whatever. It’s a time for relaxing and partying. Winter has Christmas built into it, which helps. Fall, though, has a distinct feel to it, and when I think of fall and pop culture, I think of “The Adventures of Pete & Pete.”
If you aren’t familiar with “Pete & Pete,” well for starters my condolences. Apparently you didn’t grow up watching Nickelodeon in the ‘90s. It was a kids’ show, but not really. It’s the one show from Nickelodeon in the ‘90s that still resonates with me as an adult. I still find the show funny and interesting and offbeat. I have the first two seasons on DVD, and I would have the third if it ever came out.
Ostensibly, the show is about two brothers, both names Pete Wrigley, who live in a town called Wellsville. Like a lot of shows, it’s also about the other denizens of the town, one of whom is Artie, the Strongest Man in the World, a local superhero. Big Pete and Little Pete get into, well, adventures. They deal with bullies and romance and the local ice cream man, Mr. Tastee, disappearing one summer.
That being said, summer did not show up often in “Pete & Pete.” The same goes for winter. Those were special events. About 75 percent of the time, it felt like it was fall in Wellsville. The kids were always in school. It was never too hot. Both the Wrigley brothers work flannels all the time. It may just be my memory, but it feels like there were leaves on the ground in almost every episode. This is a show that had as many episodes about the end of daylight saving time as it had episodes abut Christmas. It feels like fall so deeply.
As such, when the leaves start to change colors and the sun starts to bid us adieu early in the evening, I think of “The Adventures of Pete & Pete.” It was an idiosyncratic show in many ways, one of which was the fact that it seemed to always be fall in suburbia. If you grew up in a suburban area that had autumn, like I did, it probably resonates with you in some way. I never had a personal superhero or a mystical bowling ball, but Pete & Pete” still deeply reminds me of what fall feels like, regardless of what season I watch it in.