Every decade brings with it advances in pop culture that influence everything from fashion to movies. However, it’s only in retrospect that people realize the things that were once considered endearing were actually pretty ridiculous.
Of all the decades in the past century, the ’90s have been the worst offender. The trends, such as soul patches and backward pants, were tacky, and the music scene was an ugly mesh of boy bands and one-hit wonders.
Yet somehow, children who grew up in the ’90s have a reason to cling to the decade: the television landscape.
All That was a comedy sketch show that consisted of the type of bathroom humor execs knew would appeal to immature children. There were an inordinate number of game shows, such as Legends of the Hidden Temple, Double Dare and — at the tail end — Slime Time Live, where children would compete in absurd games to win prizes. Stick Stickly, host of Nick in the Afternoon, was, let’s face it, just a Popsicle stick. As much as we chastise the younger generation for watching shows such as Phineas and Ferb and iCarly, they are of a much higher schematic caliber than our so-called classics.
Despite the lame production value of most ’90s hits, TeenNick’s The ’90s Are All That rerun block has been premiering to big audiences. Additionally, multiple ’90s bands — No Doubt, Soundgarden, Backstreet Boys and Blink-182, to name a few — have gotten back together.
Why, in just a few short months, have the ’90s made such a comeback?
Because people from each generation go through a time of self-doubt, where the road that lies before them seems daunting, and it drives them to cling to any remnants of their youth. While we can never truly reclaim that innocence, watching old television shows and listening to bad music can transport us, even momentarily, back to a time where the world was a much simpler place.
Generation Y is all grown up now, and they are looking back at outdated pop culture to remember what it was like just to be a kid again.
To anyone who grew up in the 1990s, shows such as The Amanda Show will always hold a special place in their hearts. There is no shame in indulging in The ’90s Are All That or attending a NKOTBSB concert for sentimental purposes.
However, there is a time and place for everything, and the lame pop culture of the ’90s has had its day. Nostalgia aside, it’s time to look at the facts: There used to be a show where contestants stuck their hands up a giant nose in order to retrieve a flag.
Does the world really need a revival of that? As if.