This is an old article pending revision.
Clarissa Explains It All is on the surface a cheaply produced kids
program with various early 90s trends. The theme song can be tiresome,
but this is the type of music people listened to for that time period.
The opening shows a white background with all the characters. Clarissa
is trying to write her name and in the opening she can do things by
snapping her fingers. Among this is a drawing of a car, Clarissa shadow
boxing her brother and then snapping him out of existence, and friend
Sam snapping his actor's credit by himself without Clarissa. In most
closing scenes, (which is the opening played in reverse) Sam snaps his
fingers which begins the scroll. The commercial plugs have Clarissa
doing various things with the logo, including pushing away a "Ferguson
Explains It All" logo. The show is about Clarissa and her life at high
school and at home. She talks to the viewers about various issues she
is going through. They are usually mild but there are several that were
boundary-breaking. She finds success at the end of the episode. And the
writing, acting, and music are really great so please don't "judge a
book by its cover".
About Clarissa: She is an expert on computers and journalism. She can
not wait to buy her own car. She lives in a middle class household in
Ohio and has a very likable personality and always strives for success.
About the other characters: There is her father Marshall, and her
mother Janet. Marshall is an abstract artist and an architect. Janet is
a certified teacher that works at a museum. Her cooking is as shocking
as Marshall's building designs. Clarissa has a younger brother named
Ferguson and is very obvious they can't stand each other. Ferguson
loves money, and is pretty much a big shot. She has a few friends that
are girls but they are usually not in any episodes. A family friend is
Sam, who likes to climb a ladder to enter Clarissa's house. His father
is a sportswriter, and his mother is a retired traveling Roller Derby
competitor that later opened a franchise and became a sportscaster. Sam
is actually NOT Clarissa's boyfriend, but instead Clifford
Another feature I like about this show is Clarissa is multitallented
and one of her skills is designing computer games, and are completely
zany. Even better, I am quite sure her computer is an Amiga!!
I have lost count of how many hilarious scenes there are. You will have
to watch them yourself. It is almost always in a fantasy scene where
Clarissa describes an exaggerated version of the issues she is facing.
In these scenes you will see the best writing, music, and acting for a
show in this genre. I can give you a few of many examples: There is a
scene where Clarissa explains how she hates musicals. The depiction
introduces her parents singing about The Sports Section of a newspaper.
And then a chorus randomly appears in the living room. Another example
is when they all get sick, and are buried in snow. Clarissa presents
old school Star Trek where her father is an excellent Captain Kirk! The
House Call doctor that appeared earlier in the episode played Bones,
and grumbles and even swears. (Clarissa was the Communications officer,
who babbled like she was on the phone just like when she was babbling
on the phone earlier in the episode). Later, we get to see Ferguson as
an evil nurse and did a GREAT job acting. At the same time, the same
actor that was the Doctor appeared as a mad Doctor for the dream
sequence. And I will wrap up the examples with when Clarissa explained
blind dating catastrophes, which included among other things, the worry
about eating loudly, eating while talking, talking too much, and not
This really is a great show, and we ought to see more of all the very
talented actors. You do not find great shows like this one often, so I
recommend everybody to watch it and enjoy it.