Was there anyone in the early 2000s on the Disney Channel that you wanted to be, or wanted to be friends with, more than the inimitable Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel? Played by Hillary Duff, Lizzie was the tween queen of dweebs that we all rooted for, and who we knew would root for us. I was 11 when the show started airing in 2001, and there were so many crappy days of sixth grade that left me wanting to three-way phone in Lizzie and Miranda and Gordo for some sympathy, empathy and encouragement, like the week that my first boyfriend gave me a Mary-Kate and Ashley brand necklace from Walmart and then broke up with me a few days later.
Even though the show only had 65 episodes over the course of three years, it felt like so many more, probably because we all marathoned them incessantly whenever they were on. And, now, more than a decade since Lizzie and animated Lizzie left us to fend for ourselves, we're in the golden era of marathoning, leaving us livid and confused about the fact that the greatest Disney Channel Original Series of all time, Lizzie McGuire, is not available to us on Netflix? This is an open-letter to our favorite streaming service (buttering you up), pleading with them to please make Lizzie and animated Lizzie and all her middle school woes available for our uninterrupted viewing. Here are all the reasons we need her.
1. The Theme Song
If you believe that we've got a picture perfect plan, then we've got you fooled. 'CAUSE WE ONLY DO THE BEST WE CAN (fades into tears). Those bouncy balls are a metaphor for life just getting away from us.
2. The Second-Hand Embarrassment
Lizzie was the every-woman, and that universal tween and teen charm came from her adorable haplessness that was punctuated by all the worst moments that we remember. When she finally stands up and says it loud and proud that she wants a bra; when she has her first kiss with the paperboy and then gets dumped; when she wears that unicorn sweater to school on picture day. The agonies and the ironies! It's finally been a long enough period that we can laugh along with Lizzie without feeling that cold shiver of embarrassment about every single thing you said, did and wore from sixth to eighth grades.
3. The Fashion
Forget Rachel Greene, Lizzie McGuire was the style icon of our generation.
4. The Hair
See above: forget Rachel Greene! Lizzie, Miranda and Kate were true innovators of the crazy millennial coif. They gave us courage through their hairdo moxie.
5. The Hope For Men
Gordo was actually a nice guy — especially in the way of never, ever calling himself a nice guy or accusing Lizzie of friendzoning him. Gives me hope for those straight white boys out there in the wild.
6. The Guest Stars
Frankie Muniz reciting Shakespeare for Lizzie. Aaron Carter dazzling us all with that Christmas music video. Steven Tyler as Santa Claus. Please, let us relive the glory of Aaron Carter's Personal Pass.
7. The Family Bonding
Do you remember when Lizzie's bumbling dad came into her room pretending to look for the hairbrush as an excuse to talk to her? Ugh. The show was chock full of moments that made us all yearn for a kooky but conventional American Family Dynamic, hilarious prankster little rat brother and all.
8. The Soliloquies
Best part of the show by a mile was Lizzie's internal, animated narrator, with the pink crop top and the sass and the uninhibited emotion. We all struggle with navigating between being our outer Lizzie and our inner Lizzie.
9. The Sass
Lizzie was pretty damn respectful to Sam and Jo, but sometimes, like, you're just totally over it.
10. The Rebellion
Even good-girl Lizzie had to break free from the shackles of obedience, making us feel better about brooding and discovering eyeliner simultaneously.
11. The Importance Of Your Squad
When Lizzie and Miranda fought, our hearts broke. When Gordo constantly got overlooked for Ethan with his majestic hair, we sighed. But through thick and thin, the three of them stuck together through the hell and misery of adolescence, reminding each other that nobody else's opinions mattered and that sometimes the right thing isn't always the easy thing. Teaching us to love our friends but to remind them when they are being turds, too, because honesty is at the heart of a healthy BFF-ship.
I'll sit here patiently waiting for Netflix to hear my cry, because Lizzie McGuire truly is what dreams are made of. We will also settle for a spin-off, but we deserve one or the other.