From YouTube to Netflix and beyond, the decade of the ‘Titanic’ is flooding back through popular culture with a vengeance.
Many of us of a certain age spent much of our time back in the naughty nineties watching TV shows of varying descriptions, and indeed we were lucky because it was a decade that witnessed some of the most outstanding shows ever.
The archives of Netflix are jam-packed with them, as you may very well have noticed. Some of them have stood the test of time very well, whilst others throw an interesting and entertaining light on the prehistoric age before streaming video and laptops.
Part of the reason for the resurgence of 90s popular culture is that many of the executives responsible for what we receive in the way of entertainment are of an age to remember the decade with nostalgia and want to share it with their targeted consumers.
These are the tastemakers who actually create the cultural diet we’re then made to consume, and their immediate source of content is what they remember as having most entertained them in their own impressionable years.
There is also a cyclical element to all entertainment and fashion trends, with things tending to come back around full circle every twenty years or so.
The internet time machine
Thanks to advances in social media, the now tech-savvy former child consumers of the nineties are able to harness the wonders of web technology to turn the decade of their formative years the mother of all comebacks. Collective experiences can now be shared with vast numbers of people, with tribute videos and memes being churned out daily and pumping new life into nostalgia.
The children of the nineties virtually all have Facebook accounts now, and when they want to recall their childhood experiences, what they loved and what they hated, from boy bands to TV shows, there’s some site on the web devoted to whatever it may be. Everything is literally at their fingertips in a way it never was before, hence the tsunami of favorite TV shows from 20 or more years back.
Flotsam and jetsam
It must be admitted however than some awful stuff like ‘Full House’ sequel (you guessed it) ‘Fuller House’ is also being washed up on the sandy shores of nostalgia, like rancid seaweed amongst the pearls and conches. In terms of lifestyle, this show is about as far from us as Pluto. Life and style news sites and blogs are nowadays championing the 90s as a period of cheesy humor, but who on earth now wants to watch an excruciating sitcom about a widower whose wife was recently killed in a drink-drive accident?
It is just about possible to understand how Saved by the Bell would have a certain romantic appeal and nostalgic draw, because after all it was about the perennial high school experience and the delights of the adolescent Saturday night, which is a constant.
The appeal of shows like ‘Full House’ is however more tricky to pin down. The current audience for it was oddly enough not old enough to have been allowed to watch it when it premiered, and it seems to have become a darling of the web purely through reruns.
For some of us at least, although nostalgia is always a great thing to smile about, in many cases you really would not want to be forced to relive it.
TV and cinema in on the nostalgia act
It’s not just the internet, either, because offline TV is also playing its ubiquitous part in channeling the nineties into all our homes. When Disney recently announced a sequel to ‘Boy Meets World’ there was a collective sigh of sheer delight from the thirty-something generation, whilst retrospective shows like ‘Miss You Much on VH1 catch up with icons from the 90s such as Corin Nemec of ‘Parker Lewis Can’t Lose’ fame.
When ‘Jurassic Park 3D’ hit the big screen like a mad velociraptor it proved that there was life in the old fossil yet, and old series like ‘Baywatch’, which has a sexy new replacement for legendary Hasselhoff, are streaming in behind like yesterday never went away.
The current wave of 90s nostalgia being pumped out by Netflix and other media will run its course and bring back happy memories for many, as well as giving the younger generation an amusing insight onto the decade of the X-Files and Twin Peaks.
As they say, they don’t make them like they used to, and in the case of shows like ‘Full House’ we wish that really were the final word on the subject.