Explain It All: Why Was it So Easy for Sam to Climb into Clarissa’s Window?

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Nickelodeon)

By now, you already know that Melissa Joan Hart and company are in talks to reboot Nickelodeon’s 90s hit, Clarissa Explains It All. As the Hollywood Reporter said of the project, the new show would see former star Melissa Joan Hart reprise her role as Clarissa Darling, but this time, she’d play the mom of the family. How very Girl Meets World of them!

There’s a lot to be said about reboots in terms of what’s a good idea and what’s not – but first, can we talk more about how awesome her teenage bedroom was? Clarissa’s room was a pretty great representation of her personality: Fun, colorful, and quirky. And while I realize it’s wild her platonic bestie, Sam, was allowed to climb up a ladder and into her bedroom window, that doesn’t mean I didn’t completely covet this feature when I was a teen.

So why was it so easy to get in through the window into Clarissa’s room? There’s some background info to clarify, thanks to a 2012 Splitsider interview with the show’s creator, Mitchell Kriegman.

As Splitsider writer Mathew Klickstein noted, the show was one of the first of its kind, and portrayed the first female protagonist on Nick. Said Kriegman to Klickstein about the bedroom window access:

I wanted this boy who was in Clarissa’s life to be her friend, and didn’t want him to have to go up the stairs or through the front door and talk to her parents every time. It was a way to get him in her bedroom and start interacting faster, and it was also a way to show that they had this real friendship that wasn’t about anything sexual.

So there you go — the reason behind it is half logistical, half expository detail and storytelling.

Kriegman also had this fun insight into the decor of her room:

When we first came to the set to for Clarissa’s room, it was done in all pink and was very frilly — like most girls’ bedrooms at the time on these kinds of shows — but I had the set designers literally take black car paint and make checkered walls on top of the pink wallpaper. One of the camera guys came on the set and said, ‘She’s possessed by the devil!’

I love that a young girl not adhering to gender norms in 1991 was seen as a possible demonic possession. Clarissa 2020!