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A Cautious Look At The 90's Revival

The 90's are coming back... let us look at the good and the bad (mostly bad).

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Today Coca Cola announced that they would be bringing Surge back (this means some poor intern found several expired Mountain Dew cases). This has been another installment of some weird trend that is bringing everything back from the 90's.

I'm going to go through some trends and see if it's good or bad.

1. GOOD: Waist Accessories

The fanny-pack revolution has begun. It used to be the butt of every "look at this tourist" joke.

Now, Matthew McConaughey is wearing one.

The Rock has a toy of him wearing one.

And it's funny that two men who have gone through career evolutions have been tied to this increasingly acceptable accessory.

And speaking of things being tied - let's not sleep on the value of tying a jacket or sweatshirt around one's waist.

The weather is starting to get a little crisp right around now, but only in the mornings and in the evenings. And we all love doing things outdoors because that is where the outdoors is. So what are we going to do? Freeze all night? Boil all day? Not any more!

No, we're going to wear a night jacket or hoodie in the morning, tie it around our waist during the day, and then put it back on at night.

"But why not just carry it?" Cause we need our hands! That where we hold food and beer! What are you going to pick just food or just beer? Log off.

"But why not put it down?" Cause that would be gross. Gross things live on the ground. Have fun with your gross worm jacket.

"But why not drape it over your shoulder?" Cause I'm not the monopoly man. Have fun on your yacht with your caviar and other rich-people-things that I do not know about! I'm going to be doing real people things.

2. BAD: The rest of the 90's Fashion

I'm going to be very pick and choose-y in this article. Do not think that my ringing endorsement above means I think that 90's fashion as a whole is a good thing. It's not. It is a terrible thing.

Don't believe me?

Well, whip out the ol' Google machine and type "Z Cavaricci". I'll wait here...

Good? Well how could you be? Those things are terrible looking. People rocked those all throughout the 90's.

Remember Jnco jeans? The baggy clothes trend? People used to put chains on their wallets! O and the flannel. Don't even get me started.

We want to look back at the 90's and think everyone looked like Cher from Clueless. But that's not true.

We were Screech. All of us Screech.

3. BAD: 90's Mentality On Technology

I know 90's technology will never come back (which is why I'm bummed I invest everything in floppy disks). But it's more about the mentality over technology's impact on society.

The Millenials have gone to the "back-in-my-day" phase quickly. We hate that kids are looking at their phones on the bus. Playing video games instead of going outside. And watching wholesome shows. Seriously. Scroll through your Facebook feed and there'll be a meme to this affect.

The irony that you can find this behavior on Facebook aside, this is a terrible mindset.

You know what I would have loved to do on the bus? Play games and text my friends that weren't on the bus. Unless you were one of those jerks who were lucky enough to have your BFF be your neighbor, you would agree with me.

For some reason we think our lives were better because we did not have access to phones, and they could be true - but probably isn't.

4. GOOD: Stand Up Comedy

In the 90's there was a stand up comedy boom. Everyone city across America had a comedy venue. At the very least, people would just stick a microphone in the corner and let people ask what the deal with airline food is.

Then like with every boom, it went bust. That's the problem with everyone thinking they can do everything, you end up with a lot of unqualified people thinking they deserve the recognition of people who are qualified (Twitter, I'm looking at you).

Well, it looks as if we're going the other way. And this is awesome. Stand up comedy is awesome because I love laughing (I know, I'm a trailblazer).

I was going to take this moment to list all of the stand up comedians that are popular now. However, you know who I'm talking about. AND THAT'S THE POINT. Comedy is back in a big big way and we are all the benefits of it.

5. BAD: Comedians in sitcoms

There's a great moment in Swingers (a movie full of great moments, namely the whole movie) where a comedian moves to LA and says he expected studio executives to be handing out pilots to comedians when he landed.

That was the scene in the 90's. Are you funny? Congrats, here's 15 episodes.

For every "Sienfeld", there was a "Martin", "Ellen", "The Single Guy", etc.

Now there are a lot of funny shows that star comedians. But how many of them are sitcoms? And of those that are sitcoms, how many are actually good?

Off the top of my head (and that's all you're getting... what do you think I'm doing research for you?), "The Mindy Project" is the only 30 minute show that stars a comedian that's amazing.

And what do we end up with now? "Mulaney".

Where this is a line of dialogue:

"I feel like I'm never going to book Letterman"

"What'd they say?"

"You'll never book Letterman"

I'll wait while you hold your sides from bursting.

Now one of my dearest friends said he's actually funny and that might be the case. But this is dribble. It's the lowest common denominator and it was picked to go in the trailer that's supposed to get people pumped to watch the show. I hope I'm wrong, cause this looks terrible.

6. BAD: Speaking of TV, let's not look in the past

Our minds do this weird thing where we look back with fondness at things that entertained us when we were young with reverence. However, we do not connect the dots that the things that entertained us when we were kids did so by appealing to kids. And to be appealing to kids does not mean it has to be good.

But here we are:

"Boy Meets Girl"

Revamping "Full House"

Revamping "Power Rangers"

"Hocus Pocus" Sequel

The problem here is that the original material was terrible. We just didn't realize it because we were kids. We did not know better. We were a few months away from being entertained by someone shaking keys in our face.

Looking in the rear view mirror is very rarely the answer. Look at what happened with the Charlie's Angels show. It tanked.

We like to complain that everything is a reboot or a sequel. But if they wait long enough, we'll rejoice.

I don't get it.

7. GOOD: Appointment Viewing

For all of the good that the DVR and streaming based services provide (and it is a lot of good), the death of appointment viewing is kind of a bummer.

Some people happen to love niche programs, so being able to discuss with people who are on the same page as you is important.

How important? So important that the community has managed to bring back appointment viewing. Not out of necessity (as in: if you missed it, it was gone forever) but out of Spoilers!

Sure you can DVR Game of Thrones. But have fun staying away from social media.

Want to wait to watch House of Cards? Well then get ready to know how it turns out before you ever press play. This is the world we live in now. You need to be on your stuff or else, it's spoiler city.

As a community we have brought back Appointment Viewing. And it is a good thing.

8. GOOD Hope for the future: Physical Game Shows

This is a slight contradiction to the above entry, but an important one. So important I'm willing to put my credibility on the line (my avatar's a picture I drew on a Post-It note in a meeting... so I'm not risking much). But I'm not looking to bring back a show... I'm looking to create a league.

But let's bring back physical game shows or "action television". And by that, I mean: "Guts".

But make it for adults.

Call it the NGL.

Send me all the money now.

America, nay, the world is ready for a revival of Guts and Global Guts. The Olympics and World Cup have shown us that the need to compete nation v. nation is there. Why not fill it more often?

Make regional tournaments to see who the best in each state is, make them go head to head with other states. How awesome would it be if the New York - Philadelphia - Boston rivalry all came down to the Crag?!

Plus, anyone can do it. There's no way you can train for these events (not yet anyways). So everyone has an equal playing field. It is the ultimate unify-er.

If that works I would be interested in bringing back Legends of the Hidden Temple. Again, for adults.

9. BAD Dread for the future: 90's Music

I just really hope 90's music does not come back.

We all like to think it was awesome. But it was pretty grim.

I could go through and list all of the bands that are way overrated now despite being at the right place at the right time (Sublime, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc.) but that would just make people upset.

So instead I'm going to list all of the popular types of music that found their popularity increase in the 1990's:

Ska, Rap/Metal, Pre-Wu Tang Clan Rap, Europop, Trip-Hop, Boy Bands, Power Pop, and the trend of let's make a song named accompanied with a dance.

That's a pretty terrible line up. Let's not make those mistakes again.

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