By Dan Frasier
So I was sitting around, minding my own business and doing a little research on who the spokespeople are for Nutrisystem. Honestly, I was … it’s sorta my job. Kinda.
Anyway, I discovered that Topanga Lawrence – real name is Danielle Fishel and Cory’s love interest from 90s sitcom “Boy Meets World” – had previously been a spokesperson for Nutrisystem. So, after staring out the window wistfully while early adolescent memories of the extreme (although presumably one-sided) crush I had on Topanga flooded back, I got to thinking about all the other young ladies that were the objects of my affections in my formative years. Yes, I did have real girlfriends (honestly, I met her at camp, and she lived in Canada), but I also found time to turn my attention to some young ladies of the less real variety. I was 1 – I had a lot of love to go around. Anyway, after searching my memory banks and doing some informal poling, I have compiled an incomplete and possibly controversial list of TV show characters that have left indelible impressions upon the imaginations of many men of my generation.
And, no, this doesn’t make us misogynists – at least not all of us. Most of us admired these young ladies as much as we were attracted to them. This sort of imagination was safe, free from rejection and a part of growing up in the cable-TV era.
So, here we go:
Topanga Lawrence, “Boy Meets World.”
Ah, Topanga. I would have been so much more sensitive than that cad Cory.
Topanga was the daughter of a hippy couple and the lifelong soul mate of my arch nemesis, Cory Matthews. For seven seasons, we laughed with them, we cried with them – we hoped against hope that they would get together for good. And when all else failed, you could always go into your backyard where the principal of the high school would be hanging out to offer advice on how to win her back.
Winnie Cooper, “The Wonder Years.”
I wouldn’t have let it end, Winnie.
Winnie was the love interest of Kevin Arnold on “The Wonder Years,” a retrospective set in the late 60s and early 70s. She stole our hearts with innocence and deep brown eyes. With her very long brown hair and impish smile, Winnie made you feel like you had grown up with her – and you really had. Her character was a little girl at the beginning of the series. Winnie was the consummate good girl.
Kelly Kapowski, “Saved by the Bell.”
Cheer, Kelly, cheer.
Kelly Kapowski was the on again off again love interest of Zach Morris in the incomparable teen show, “Saved by the Bell.” Like my two previous crushes, Kelly was a good girl and (clearly) a cheerleader at Bayside High. The daughter of a marine, Kelly was always trying to help Zach out of the sticky situations that he created with a series of wacky plans. Kelly was the reason that all boys my age knew that Zach Morris had crap figured out.
Joey Potter, “Dawson’s Creek.”
Well, he’s no Tom Cruise.
Honestly, this one was added upon request. I have never seen an episode of “Dawson’s Creek.” [Editor’s note: Likely story.] However, I discovered while combing through YouTube that there were love compilations for Joey and Dawson and for Joey and something called a Pacey. So, unlike our first three ladies, Joey was not a one-man woman.
Kelly Bundy, “Married with Children.”
Just be you, Kelly.
Swinging us to the other side of the spectrum is the far less monogamous Kelly Bundy, daughter of Al “four touchdowns in one game” Bundy and his wife, Peg. The good thing about Kelly was that she didn’t try to wrap you all up in relationships and emotions and stuff. She just wore not a lot of fabric and said hilarious (OK, ditzy) things.
Blossom and Six
Spit fire into the M-I-C, sister!
This one might be a touch controversial because I didn’t find enough support for Blossom to add her to the list without the assistance of a sidekick. However, I did find a not unsubstantial amount of love for Six, Blossom’s BFF. So, apparently, you could choose to love the one with the stripey leggings OR the one with the purple cowboy boots. Choice is nice.
Well, that is as far as I am going to get. I will leave a few also-rans, but I think that hits the ones that couldn’t be left off. Good times, good times.
Samantha, “Who’s the Boss.”
Darlene Merriman, “Head of the Class.”
D.J. Tanner, “Full House.”
Denise Cosby, “The Cosby Show.”
About the author: Frasier dabbles in finances, fishing and football when he’s not fantasizing about imaginary television loves from the late 80s and early 90s.