A couple of seconds in my home and it’s clear that the ‘90s have a tight ass grasp on my heart. Like I said during Steve G’s episode where he talked about his crush on Ashley Banks and Lisa Turtle, the ‘90s had the best of everything from fashion to television to movies and beyond. So when it came time to pick a group of someones to countdown, I just couldn’t. At least not yet. I’m sure there’ll be more opportunities to do so countdown teen idols, boy band members, and so on but today I’m looking at the things and people from the ‘90s that have made me ultimately crush on an entire decade.
Every decade has its defining actors and there is no doubt that this Culkin brother is THAT when it comes to the ‘90s. Every movie he did then felt like such a moment for kids around the world, me included. I mean, how could you have watched ‘My Girl’ and not walked away with emotional damage? OR thought about the fantasies he created by ballin’ out in New York City and living even more of that high life in ‘Richie Rich?’ Exactly.
Talent Over Viral
Not to sound like an old man on a porch but back in my day people had to have some sort of talent to have their 15 minutes. Now? All they have to do is make a dumbass video and hope that it gets on the likes of Ellen or some shit. I. Hate. That.
Daytime Talk Shows
I’m not talking about these Ellen and Kelly Clarkson shows that are about having a celebrity guest and some heartwarming story in between dance numbers and karaoke. Oh hell, nah. I’m talking about hours of talk shows that feature makeovers, out-of-control teens, phobias of weird shit. Man, I would spend my whole summer glued to Sally Jessy Raphael’s vibrant red spectacles.
So…yeah, I’m 100% sure the food we were eating in snack formation was not the best for us and will cause a lot of people in my age group to have all sorts of diseases when we’re AARP members BUT shit, they were good as fuck and worth it.
More Movies Were Hits
There is a huge lack of variety in movies today. It’s a constant rotation of Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel. Which, those aren’t the worst movies in the world but when you look at movies like ‘Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead’ or my absolute favorite, ‘Drop Dead Fred,’ those types of movies don’t exist anymore and if they do, they’re released to streaming services and hidden so far down the rabbit hole, you never even find them.
Lack of Constant Contact
Remember when you didn’t have a phone attached to your hip and you could only be reached when you were home? Those were the days.
No one could tell me a damn thing when I was wearing my overalls. No. One.
There is a lot to say about reality TV and how it transformed television but I will leave that for another day and just focus on why I lived for music television once upon a time…Being a pop culture junkie, I would race home from school – well, as fast a bus would take me – and immediately turn on ‘Total Request Live.’ It had everything; the best music, guests, and MOMENTS. I dreamed of being able to stand outside 1515 Broadway with a glittery sign for Nick Carter on more than one occasion, then getting a slice of Sbarro, before spending another hour or two in that Virgin Megastore.
I’ve always been the type of person who could spend hours alone and be okay. Leave me in my room with my Barbies and I was fine for the day. This is especially true when they started releasing the Fashion Avenue line of clothes for my favorite plastic girl. Trust, I am going to get my Fashion Avenue-inspired looks going one day when the money is better situated in my account.
This isn’t just about the shows that made up the Friday block of TV, this is about the fact that back in the ’90s TV was such a communal thing. We couldn’t hit record on a DVR, download it, or stream when the time was right. We had to be there when it started and the other thing – we wanted to be there. If you didn’t watch at that moment, how the fuck would you talk to your friends about it at school the following week? Not to mention, TV was a huge way to have your family sit down together. My mom would watch my little shows and then we’d get our serious hats on and get down with some ‘20/20’ afterward. Now? She has cable, and I stream so the only show we have left that gives me those ‘90s communal vibes is NBC’s ‘This Is Us,’ which is part of the reason I love that show so much.