The Nineties on CNN

New series on CNN starts today. The Nineties. Following on their previous takes on the decades of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, all of which I’ve enjoyed for he most part.

I’m looking forward to this, because the 1990s were a banner decade for me despite having lost one grandmother and my father during the course of it. I was still only in my 30s for the most of them. Started them in Thailand, then the wonderful experience of living in Albuquerque for 15 months, then grad school here in Hawaii and courting my future wife. Grad school was wonderful in this place and at that time. Then back to Thailand for what would turn into another 23 years almost, getting married, starting to explore the wider Southeast and to some extend East and South Asia, getting to know a large and colorful cast of characters and experiencing the Bangkok bar scene while it was still in its heyday. I loved the Nineties.

Starts at 9pm EST, which is 3pm here, but I’m not sure I can catch all of it today. They tend to repeat these a lot.

Having binged all the other decades, I’ll definitely watch this one too…once it gets to Netflix anyway.

I really liked The 60s. That is, the actually time and the series on CNN. :slight_smile:

90s will be the Clinton years and the break-up of the Soviet Union. And the proliferation of cell phones and… coming up blank after that.

Grunge music…and interwebs

For each decade, they’ve also done entertainment and music. I already know that for the 1990s, Seinfeld and Friends will figure large.

For Friends, we saw only a single episode during the 1990s. That was in the railway hotel in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur in April 1996. Reruns were already on every day on TV there, but shortly after watching that the TV set in our room literally blew up, and they didn’t have a replacement. They showed it in Thailand but only on cable, which we didn’t subscribe to.

I have fond memories of the 1992 election, having served as an election official at the polling station up in Honolulu’s Manoa Valley. It was a fun day. After the polls closed and the last ballot was cast at our station, it fell to me to call election headquarters to tell them we were ready for them to come pick up the ballots. When I told them, the guy on the other end of the line said: “Okay. Do you want to know who won?” Clinton had already won and Bush conceded even without Hawaii’s votes.

Shortly after winning, Clinton and family took a brief vacation here before he had to take up his duties. I remember live coverage of everyone crowding in to shake his hand on the beach. I was not far away at the U of Hawaii campus but decided it would be too crowded to make my way down there. I regret a little that I didn’t.

Heh, I remember the future Mrs. Siam Sam trying to show me how to use e-mail in the campus computer room and me thinking: “This is stupid! This will never catch on.”

Rodney King and OJ Simpson. The latter occurred during my first year back in Thailand, but the Rodney King beating happened while I was in Albuquerque. Living there, I had no TV, no telephone, no computer (those last were not at all common yet). I had a small radio and each and every night would fall asleep listening to Larry King, so he was a big part of my '90s experience. My apartment in Albuquerque was all bills paid, and I did not have a car (rode a bicycle) or credit cards. I received no bills whatsoever, unlike many of my friends, who were afraid to look in their mail box.

I was in Hawaii for Waco, and the date of the Columbine massacre is forever stamped into my brain, because my father died that same day (unrelated and in another state). The beginnings of the Columbine saga I watched on live TV in Bangkok airport, and it was still going on almost a day later as I continued watching it in my Motel 6 room near LAX before continuing my journey the next day.

I graduated in 1997 so the 90s really were the meat of my life (heh heh).

I’ll check it out if I can find it somewhere.

The 90’s definitely qualified as my time, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on this one. My main concern isn’t that there weren’t major events and big trends during that decade (there’s a world beyond the Military-Industrial Complex, guys), but whether there are sufficient major events and big trends that a mainstream news network is comfortable dealing with. Can an institution that at times seems it wished alternative rock began and ended with Kurt Cobain do it justice? Is an objective, even-handed take on the OJ Simpsons trial even possible? Are they prepared to say anything about Generation X other than “slackers” and “never had to sacrifice”? We’ll see.

Just got to the stuff about Beavis and Butthead and South Park, and man, talk about dredging up unhappy memories. I was one of the most vocal and utterly unapologetic critics of Beavis and Butthead for years for it being so ugly and disgusting and nasty, to the point where the simple act of looking at it could give me a headache, and worse, the ONLY viewers who did not absolutely love it and sing its praises to the moon were the usual reactionary numbnuts spewing out the usual bullcrap about corrupting our children and spiritual wastelands. Oh, and let’s not forget The Ren and Stimpy Show, which, while not nearly as repugnant, combined the nails-on-a-chalkboard screechiness of The Terrible Thunderlizards with the artistic sensibilities of a cranky four-year-old. (Oh, it was “high concept”, whatever the freak that means, and I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Son of Zorn was such a mess.) Needless to say, a 100% critical hit forever and ever. And that, for me, was the great sin of the 90’s, that you could put something HIDEOUS and REPULSIVE and A COMPLETE ASSAULT ON THE SENSES on the screen, and you’d never be called on it.

Other than that, good episode. A pretty tumultuous time for the small screen. Lots of torches passed.

You can bet they’ll have Gulf War I, after all, that’s the war that “made” CNN.

Like snfaulkner, I’ll watch this as soon as it’s on Netflix. :slight_smile: I’ve enjoyed all of the other decades, plus the '90s were my first decade of adulthood (I graduated from college in 1993).

Watched it. It was pretty good. Emphasis on Television shows and such. Often fun to take a trip down memory lane on that front.

I missed a lot of 1990s TV. Started out 1990 in Thailand. Then Albuquerque and no TV set. Then grad school in Hawaii and too busy for TV. Then back to Thailand. I did watch a little TV in the future Mrs. Siam Sam’s room at the U of Hawaii’s East-West Center, as she had bought a small portable set. It was her intro to American TV. We did always catch Northern Exposure, while she was also quite fond of Picket Fences and Roseanne.

I graduated in '98. I consider that more of a beginning than a pinnacle. Looking back, my world was so small. But it was an awesome decade. I got to enjoy adult activities without any of the awareness and/or fear of responsibilities and consequences that an adult brain would be saddled with. :smiley:

I feel like my musical tastes, if nothing else, were really defined in my teens. So what better time than the 90s to be a teen??? Yeah!

I had two young kids in the 90s. It’s mostly a blur.

You didn’t do enough bong hits. Then it became funny.

The 90s are my favorite decade of all time. I’ve only experienced 4 different decades, including the one we’re in now, but the 90s wins.

There was such an awesome confluence of musical styles. You had the emergence of alternative rock and grunge and the dynamic growth of rap and hip hop and dance music. The cell phone was relatively new, so not many people had them and nobody could track you down if you didn’t want them to. Great time to be in high school.

I would say the 1970s. But that’s just me.

One thing I noticed that wasn’t driven home; how the decade represented the final, pathetic last gasp for the entertainment moral censors having any influence whatsoever. Note how small those demonstrations were, how completely devoid of energy. Now Fox shows women getting decapitated and men undergoing horrific surgical experiments, and there hasn’t been a whiff of protest, or if there has, Fox has correctly decided to keep on ignoring them. Part of me wants to think that we’re steadily getting more enlightened as a nation, but, being an eternal cynic, I think the answer is a lot more basic: it became too hard. Ripping on Married With Children or NYPD Blue was no sweat when there were only about 3 or 4 channels showing that kind of stuff. Now we have an explosion of cable channels sprouting all over the place. Just too much territory, too much…work. Abortion clinics are simply much easier targets.

Just watched episode 2 about the Clinton administration. Even-handed; fairly interesting but didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know. Kinda disappointing they glossed over his role in the Somalia mission turning into such a clusterfrag (he refused a general’s plea for a stronger force, thinking that it’d be too provocative), but I guess nobody really wants to talk about that one anymore. It is kinda funny to see gays in the military as this INCREDIBLY DIVISIVE HOT-BUTTON ISSUE, another sobering reminder that the reactionaries have always had way, way, way, way too much power.

Barkis - YMMV. For me, the best that can be said was that online social media networks that make only the most token efforts at curbing reprehensible behavior didn’t exist yet, so the never-ending apocalyptic nightmare that was my high school experience would not haunt me every single minute for the rest of my life. I wasn’t able to get into awesome bands like Pearl Jam and Vertical Horizon until well after I put that living hell behind me.

Adding on to/riffing on this: I remember the short, ignominious life of the worst parts of the Communications Decency Act, the attempt to impose mass-media-style censorship on the Internet. It was my first real political cause, even though I was too young and too isolated to do much about it, and I think its demise was the demise of the previous regime: Cable channels are well and good, but they’re still, fundamentally, controlled and scarce, in that it’s technologically and economically impossible for everyone to have their own cable channel, but it’s entirely possible for everyone to have their own website, or to upload video to YouTube, or so on.

You can potentially keep up with cable, but not even Google can keep up with YouTube, and Google owns YouTube.

Another part of the CDA enables the freedom of the Internet: Section 230 states that owners of websites are not legally responsible for the stuff posted or uploaded to their sites by their users. That enables pretty much all of the Internet as we currently know it, and is a large part of why those protests you mentioned would be utterly pointless today.

That’s why I get hopeful, in a strange, cockeyed way, when some new facet of human existence becomes a huge flashpoint: Once the topic has become a massive battleground, the battle lines have been drawn, and all of a sudden the status quo has to put up a fight over something which was just implicit not too long ago. It’s pretty much impossible to fight the implicit, whereas a heated war usually seems to end with the side of progress winning the day.