appearing on the Nickelodeon cable network
. Melissa Joan Hart
(now known as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch
) starred as Clarissa Darling
, a relatively normal young teenager
living with a family
that, while loving, never really quite understood
her. Clarissa was a bit of a geek
, in the good
sense, as she had a fondness for computer
s and finding creative solution
s to the many situation
s she found herself in.
The other characters included her former hippie parents, Marshall (an architect) and Janet; her arch-nemesis and incredibly conniving brother Ferguson; and her best (platonic) friend Sam (a guy), who always entered the house through Clarissa's second-story bedroom window (accompanied always by a guitar riff).
Clarissa often broke the fourth wall, filling viewers in on motivations and other necessary details. Most of the comedy came from Clarissa's attempts to simply live her life the way she wanted to, something made difficult by Ferguson (who just liked causing her trouble) and her parents (who never really understood their unique daughter, despite their own history as flower children).
In 1993 or so, Clarissa became the anchor for Nick's Saturday-night block of shows aimed at teenagers, called SNICK (and featuring the big orange couch). When Clarissa ended the next year, other shows filled in the gap as far as the schedule was concerned, but the quality was no longer as high.