THE GUYS NEXT DOOR.
The Guys Next Door was (were?) a TV show-based boy band created by NBC to capitalize on the popularity of the New Kids on the Block. I think they were supposed to be The Monkees to NKOTB's Beatles, which is a flawed analogy in may ways in that neither of these 90's analogs had nearly the staying power of either of their 60's counterparts, but perhaps it's accurate at least in the sense of their relative popularity as compared to each other. The Guys Next Door, as self-described, were like The New Kids but with a black guy. (Just like All 4 One was like Boys II Men with a white guy.)
Look, I'm not going to lie and say I didn't watch "The Guys Next Door" religiously every Saturday morning, because I did. And I'm not going to say that I didn't have their one and only album on cassette tape, because I did. And I'm not going to say that I didn't have a favorite Guy Next Door and that I didn't debate the relative merits of the different Guys with my friends, because I DID, and WE DID. (For the record: it was Chris, the long-haired one. My friends preferred Damon and Patrick respectively, but I was like, "Say what?" No one liked Bobby, he was the George Harrison of the group, which is not to say that he was talented and deeply religious, just that he was somewhat homely.)
They Boys Next Door had several skills. One was exuberant dancing whilst wearing overlarge boxy blazers.
The second was sensitive emoting into the camera so as to make you feel like they were your boyfriend.
The third was Charlie Chaplin-esque comic pantomime.
Look, I don't know if you remember being an eleven year-old girl, or if you even want to, but I did and I do, and I just loved that stuff. It was like "Saved By The Bell" except with singing and without Screech and all those annoying girls in it lousing up the works. (Not that I didn't like the "Saved By The Bell" where Jessie, Lisa and Kelly formed that girl band and made that music video in a gym and Jessie got addicted to caffeine pills because OMG THE PRESSURE TO SUCCEED.) I have no regrets or embarrassment about this era in my development--not like I'm over here now, listening to Miles Davis' "The Birth of Cool" and nursing a snifter of brandy or anything--but the only, only point of this entry was to tell people that I, possibly like you, love and miss the youthful, candy-coated exuberance of "The Guys Next Door," as well as the relative naïvite required to fully appreciate them.
How about you? What bands did you love as a preteen, and miss beyond all reason?