Clarissa often featured a little more maturity in its storylines than most Nick shows... It was sort of Nickelodeon's beta-testing of sitcoms for kids, but it was funny and entertaining enough for that not to matter.
As Clarissa, a '90s girl with a mall-derived fashion sense, Melissa Joan Hart does a fine job of tempering her cynicism with insouciance. She makes this silly but hip show into a sort of post-Pee-wee sitcom.
The show has held up surprisingly well with the passing of time and the weird Sam/Clarissa platonic bedroom friendship and nerdy brother Ferg-breath are just as captivating as they were when we were 8 years old.