Whether he was attempting to have a perfect Saturday, pining after a braces-sporting sixth-grader, wearing a checkered shirt that was so long it looked like a kilt, or leading protests against a greedy ice-cream man on the hottest day of the year, Arnold was, as his friend Gerald would say, a bold kid. But for all the love I have for this kid with a football shaped head, I have equally as much affection for the vast collection of kids and characters who stood by his side for four seasons.
Sure, his classmates and even the boarding house tenants didn’t get a huge amount of screentime, but they were, nonetheless, enjoyable additions. I didn’t remember this until I was re-watching “Heat/Snow” on Netflix yesterday in preparation for this trip down memory lane. (Also, am I the only one who completely forgot that this show had two segments per episode?)
Watching the tenants bicker over the heat and the kids play carelessly in the snow, I remembered how much they all brought to the show. From Eastern European immigrant Oskar (“In the old country, they’d throw you to the wolves for this”), to the ever-enraged demolition expert Ernie Potts, to class jinx Eugene (“I’m okay”). I even remembered that one of my favorite episodes was when we saw Mr. Hyunh reunited with his long-lost daughter. (Full disclosure: That episode made me cry.) They each had a unique voice, story, and we got just enough of each of them throughout the series to keep them interesting.
So while it would be unfair to pit the extra characters against the likes of Grandma Gertie, Grandpa Phil, Helga, Gerald and Arnold in a popularity contest, I have to ask, PopWatchers, did you have a favorite supporting player? Vote in our poll below. (Sorry, rest, but my vote goes to Eugene. We share a clumsy bond.)