Fudge (ABC, 1995, CBS, 1995)
This is another American sitcom that was shown on CBBC in the late-90s. Fudge is a show that was based on a series of books by Judy Blume that in 1995 were turned into a TV series. The first episode was a 90 minute feature-length special called Fudge-A-Mania. It was supposed to introduce us to the characters, but rather curiously it was shown out of sequence about a month after the regular series launched in this country.
Peter Hatcher is a boy who lives with his family in New York City. When he is at school, he often spends time with the girl next door Sheila, and his best friend Jimmy, and his favourite sport is baseball. However, he is constantly upstaged by his immensely irritating younger brother Farley, who is known to everyone by his nickname “Fudge” (don’t ever actually attempt to call him Farley!).
Fudge was about four or five years old, and everywhere he went with Peter he would carry on as if he was on a permanent sugar rush, constantly jumping around and squealing. Nobody knew what he would do next. What a pain! Also featuring are their parents Anne and Warren who often get caught up in Fudge’s antics too. Most of the stories are told from Peter’s perspective, and he even sometimes addresses the camera to tell us his feelings.
It could be considered that some of the stories in the episodes were a little too sickly sweet for the average young British viewer who might be more used to shows with a harder edge, as things that happened included Fudge auditioning for a TV advert, losing his favourite cuddly toy, or having a birthday party, and that was about it really, how exciting.
Also, occasionally this would be accompanied by some cartoon-style sound effects which was a little odd. It seems that there was also a younger sister in the books, but they weren’t included in the TV series. How Peter managed to put up with Fudge constantly causing chaos wherever he went whilst also trying to get along at school really was a mystery.
There were 25 episodes of Fudge in two series (including a channel switch in America), and it was shown fairly often on CBBC until 1999, a few years after it had actually ended. Although there were some books, as far as I know the TV series has not had a DVD release in this country. It was yet another one of those shows that I remember watching for a while when I was about 12, I’m sure that many others watched it as well.