It's been a wonderful life for the cast of The Wonder Years. More than 20 years after the finale aired on ABC, the beloved '80s-'90s dramedy is back in the spotlight, as Time Life prepares to release all six seasons on DVD for the first time ever. In advance of the momentous occasion, Fred Savage, Danica McKellar, and other cast members reunited on Good Morning America on July 14 to reminisce about their time on the Emmy-winning show.
"We were so little and so young," Savage, now 38, told ABC News' Chris Connelly of filming the nostalgia-driven series, which ran from 1988 to 1993. "It was such a big part of our life. It was half our life at that time, you know?"
The Wonder Years starred Savage as Kevin Arnold, whose 1960s adolescence (as narrated by Daniel Stern) was the basis for the coming-of-age show. His love interest, the inimitable Winnie Cooper, was played by recent Dancing With the Stars alum McKellar. The two grew up together both on and off camera, and even had their first kiss with each other.
"The one good thing about getting your first kiss on camera is that you know for sure it's going to happen," McKellar joked on GMA.
"It was terrifying. It was terrifying," Savage added. "We were both really scared and nervous and didn't know what was gonna happen or if we were gonna do it right." (Among their concerns, McKellar said, was whether they were supposed to breathe through their noses, their mouths, or not at all.)
"All that stuff was very real," he continued. "And I think that all those things that were kind of happening on the show—it all grew out of something very real that was going on between us or in our lives."
"It's an incredible kind of time capsule for us," he added. "This was our childhood." In a way, McKellar piped in, the episodes are like the "best home videos ever."
Savage is now an accomplished director, with credits including Modern Family, Happy Endings, Wizards of Waverly Place, Hannah Montana, and his younger brother's '90s sitcom Boy Meets World. Many of his former costars are still in showbiz, too, albeit behind the scenes.
"All this crap about kids from TV shows having terrible lives? Look at The Wonder Years," patriarch Dan Lauria told GMA. "They all did great."
McKellar is further proof of that. In addition to finishing sixth on DWTS, she has had several guest-starring roles on TV and written four non-fiction books. She's also a brilliant mathematician who graduated summa cum laude from UCLA.
"I've been so blessed," she gushed. "I have the best life ever. I'm so happy and excited about every day. Every month brings a new adventure, I never know what it's going to be."