Category Archives: Realizations

#116 Rescue 911 & Unsolved Mysteries Made Us Paranoid.

There were the unrealistic fears that 90s kids got from reading Goosebumps & watching Are You Afraid of The Dark; then there were real-life terrors. Nothing provided more genuine paranoia than Rescue 911 and Unsolved Mysteries. Hosted by the great, William Shatner, Rescue 911 featured reenacted stories (on rare occasions, real footage), covering things from child accidents, to drug overdoses, to my personal favorite – home invasions. I was always fearful of this and I believe it’s a direct result of the sh-t I saw on that show. Continue reading

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#115 90s Internet Was Nothing Like It Is Now.

Recently I spotted a young whippersnapper, no older than 11, using his fancy laptop in Starbucks. My attention turned his way after he kept audibly muttering complaints about the speed and consistence of the public Wi-Fi. Apparently the high definition, 1080p Youtube videos weren’t loading up to par with his whiny wishes and he was enraged by it. Sadly, the generation of young folks currently on the rise has no idea what a 90s kid’s internet experience was like. Some of the struggles we dealt with included:

1. Being forced to hear a loathsome (borderline unbearable), Dubstep sounding combination of screeches, beeps and unidentified noises for about 30 seconds EVERY single time we connected to the internet. (SEE BELOW).
2.  About 50% of the time, after waiting for the detestable dial-up sounds to pass, the connection STILL failed.
3. If we were fortunate enough to successfully connect to the internet, ANYTIME thereafter that somebody needed to use the phone, you were forced to disconnect to free up the phone line. (I can’t remember how many times I heard the phrases “Get off of the internet, I need to make a call!” or “I’m waiting on an important call so nobody get online for the next few hours…”
4.  The internet used to be handicap turtles at the DMV slow. In the year 2012, buffering is often considered intolerable. For 90s kids, it was a regular occurrence. Patience wasn’t a virtue, it was a necessity.
5. Wi-fi didn’t exist, which meant if you were on the internet, you were likely sitting at a desk on a home PC.

Honestly, as time consuming and troublesome as our internet experience was, it was still magnificent. At the time, we knew nothing about high speed, wireless connections or anything of that nature – so we adored our raw, brand new technology. The point here is that those born in a faster, more efficient internet era will never appreciate the remarkable improvements that have been made. Our patience as 90s kids was tested, therefore, it’s a lot easier for us to relax when a computer has a little loading time, than someone who has never experienced that… OK, who am I kidding? I slam the mouse or scream obscenities at the computer during the slightest of malfunctions too, but at least I know from experience that things could be worse.

#114 Nickelodeon Magazine And Disney Adventures Were Top Tier Reading Material.

When we were kids, there were very few forms of words & illustrations bound together on pieces of paper that really appealed to us. Besides Where’s Waldo and comic books, there were two other very well liked exceptions. Nickelodeon Magazine & Disney Adventures were two things that 90s kids really enjoyed. Nickelodeon Magazine ran a commercial that must’ve aired at every single  break (see below), because it’s forever embedded in plenty of our brains. Anyway, these magazines featured content that we found interesting during that time period. See, nowadays we’re more likely to read magazines with content covering celebrity gossip, fashion, sports or things of that nature. Back then we got our thrills from Nickelodeon Magazine’s comics, pranks, posters, interviews, recipes, non-fiction articles and general humor. The coolest thing about ‘em was the fact that they didn’t strictly contain things only associated with their network; they covered all sorts of topics a kid could relate to! Meanwhile, Disney Adventures managed to capture the entertaining/fun aspects that Nickelodeon Magazine had, while adding some educational material in addition. So, we learned a few things and got the take pleasure in the puzzle games, entertainment news, fun facts (a section called: Weird Yet True) and a sports guide, created by ESPN. While both magazines have met their demise, they put together strong runs that managed to live on past our childhoods. If you have the slightest hoarding tendencies, surely you’ve got some of these magazines lying around somewhere.

OK, who else has seen this Nickelodeon Magazine commercial below SO MANY times that you can still recite nearly every word, verbatim? Nostalgia at its finest!

#113 Before Tosh.0, It Was America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Shockingly there was life before the Youtube era and viral video phenomenon. So, when you see a show like Tosh.0 that completely revolves around popular/wide spread videos, it’s important that you realize it’s not a completely original concept. See, back in the 90s we had a little something called America’s Funniest Home Videos. We didn’t have internet access so the clips shown on this series were sent in by folks via mail (what an outdated method of communication, right?) on tapes. Instead of Daniel Tosh, our host was the magnificent Bob Saget (Full House) and the humor was less adult oriented, gearing itself more toward families. While we were restricted to PG material, there was a hefty supply of slapstick humor through accidents and mishaps involving kids and pets. Countless times we saw the guaranteed to get a laugh clips of shots to the crotch or slipping/tripping clumsiness. While Bob Saget didn’t spend a ton of time evaluating each clip or doing anything like “Web Redemptions” as Mr. Tosh does, it was the 90s kid’s version of a video clip television show. Now that we’re adults, it’s great to enjoy the humor provided by Tosh.0 via clips from Youtube, but make sure you don’t forget your roots, and the fact that before Daniel Tosh, Bob Saget presented you with laughs at other people’s expense!

Which do you like better. America’s Funniest Home Videos as a kid OR TOSH.0 as an adult? Leave your answers in the COMMENT section!

#112 Step By Step Used The Brady Bunch Formula.

Divorced woman with three kids meets divorced father with three kids and they all merge into one big, happy family. Genius, ain’t it? Obviously the creators of Step By Step (day by die, a fresh start over, a different hand to play) knew how successful The Brady Bunch was with this same blue print so they took it, made some modifications to better fit the times and ran with it. In fact, they won the battle of endurance, running with that concept longer than the Brady Bunch itself did. Believe it or not, Step By Step accumulated seven seasons (160 total episodes) while The Brady Bunch only lasted for five seasons (117 total episodes). The storylines on Step By Step incorporated many things we saw the Brady’s endure as well, such as the families combining and forcing the children to interact as brothers and sisters. It depicted typical family conflicts between siblings and your basic situations that kids and teenagers face during the process of growing up. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the characters of Step By Step and get a better understanding of what each one brought to the table.

FOSTER FAMILY
Chrissy Snow
Carol: The edgy mother played by Suzanne Somers. She owned a salon that was connected to her house for part of the series.
Karen: Carol’s daughter who dreamed of being a model. Often shallow, rarely sensible.
Dana: Carol’s daughter who was intelligent but uptight. She was somewhat of a feminist and displayed hostility toward her stepbrothers.
Mark: Carol’s son who was a nerd to the maximum. He wore sweatshirts (with the occasional matching fanny pack) around his waist.

LAMBERT FAMILY
Frank:
The laid back dad who owned a construction company. He balances out Carol’s uptight ways while she makes Frank a more responsible man.
J.T. (John Thomas): Frank’s son who was your typical slacker jock. Played sports well but failed at academics. He resented his new family members, especially Dana.
Al (Alicia): Tomboyish daughter of Frank who ends up being quite a feminine looking woman who pursues a career as an actress.
Brendan: Son of Frank, he was your typical carefree youngster but he randomly disappeared from the series after the sixth season.
Cody: Frank’s goober of a nephew who lived in a van in the driveway. He was rather eccentric and had catchphrases such as, “Dude!” and “No Way!” Definitely not the brightest bulb in the box.
How cheesy is this intro? Especially the green screened roller coaster shot. So 90s and I love it.

#111 Sonic The Hedgehog Games Were The Fastest Paced Activity Of Our Childhood.

Sega’s Sonic games were the only real competition to Nintendo’s Super Mario franchise. Many tried to emulate what they were seeing elsewhere but the makers of Sonic constructed a game faster paced and more aesthetically pleasing than any other platform had produced. The spiky, blue hedgehog not only became a beloved game franchise but was the mascot for Sega. There was even a short time in which Sonic dethroned Mario, who at the time seemed untouchable. Why was he able to? Because Sonic games were the first to be a ridiculously speedy game that moved quickly and had high drops, slopes, loop-de-loops, running and jumping in each level. The levels had enemies scattered all over the place so you had to adopt the “be quick, but don’t be in a hurry” motto to prevail. We know the Sonic series was good because even when they brought in Tails’ obnoxious ass in Sonic The Hedgehog 2, the game was still brilliant. Tails was one of the worst sidekicks in existence. Or perhaps it was the fact that the game’s rival, Mario had one of the all time great sidekicks in Luigi, which set the bar higher than Tails could reach… Which is really unacceptable since Tails had flying abilities. Either way, the blue hedgehog in red sneakers changed the pace of video games as we knew them.

SIDENOTE: Anyone remember the music that played when Sonic was drowning? HOW THE HELL is a kid supposed to do anything with this panicky, alarming tune playing. Take a listen to the link below and ask yourself if there is any task you can accomplish with that type of jingle going on simultaneously.

#110 Kazaam Is So Bad That It’s Entertaining And So Entertaining That It’s Good.

If a 7 foot genie appears in front of me and offers three wishes, the first thing I’m asking for is my 93 minutes of life spent watching Kazaam back. Or am I? This is often considered and quite possibly one of the worst films ever made, but it’s so dreadful that many folks enjoy it in a strange way. The cult classic, so bad its hilarious type thing is what a lot of us feel for this movie. It’s the story of a boy named Max who comes across this genie named Kazaam (played by Shaq) who has made a boom box his habitat. Anyway, he gives the boy three wishes and a bunch of ridiculous shenanigans take place. At eight years old, we didn’t necessarily realize how terrible the movie was but was it actually that big of a disaster? I mean Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most popular athletes of the 90s and he has a great sense of humor and can be very entertaining. In addition, we can watch this movie today and laugh out loud. We may be laughing for all the wrong reasons at scenes that weren’t intended to be comedy but it still holds some entertainment value. Upon reflection, it’s actually hard to decipher and know what to make of this 90s kids flick. A lot of 90s kids don’t know if we love or hate this film but the theory that something can be so bad that it’s entertaining and so entertaining that it’s good has Kazaam as it’s prime example.

90s kids, which 90s wish maker do you prefer: Kazaam or Genie from Aladdin? Leave your answers and comments below.