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The everyday life of Arnold, a 4th-grader in a nameless city that resembles Brooklyn, New York, who lives in a multi-racial boarding house with his grandparents and a motley assortment of neighbors and friends.
Jamil Walker Smith,
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I was the same age as the title character "Wayne" in this show when it was aired in Australia back in 1996. And what a time the '90s were. It was a time when ABC Kids Television was great and we could catch "Ahhh! Real Monsters", "Hey Arnold", and "Superted" in one sitting. Or catch the fresh new show "Rugrats" and the old great early "Simpsons" (OK, that wasn't ABC, but you get my point.) These days I look at the cheaply made, dull crap that passes for kids programs and feel insulted for this generation of youngsters.
I remember "The Wayne Manifesto" fondly - easily the best written, acted and plain funny Australian children's TV show I can remember. Wayne was a funny guy, and his exploits with his mates, family and teachers were real and fresh. In the first few episodes the family were still awaiting the arrival of their furniture, which proved elusive on the many cargo ships and trucks across Australia. And often little sequences would pass in each episode only to be revealed as what Wayne was hoping to happen, and then the show would snap back to reality while Wayne mumbled "But that bit's a lie...." and reveal the real situation, often much worse.
It wasn't quite "The Office" or "Arrested Development" but it was as close as my primary school generation ever got to such subtle, sometimes cynical and often bittersweet humour. And it would have made a great export for foreign countries to show people what a real Australian childhood was like. As for my take on the show now? Well, I wouldn't know since I haven't seen it since, but it's probably been repeated in the mornings on ABC, but that's prime sleep time now.
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