Let’s take a walk down memory lane. Long gone are the days of cassette tapes, video players, curly straws, beanbag races and relatively exciting prizes in McDonald’s Happy Meals. Yes, I am indeed talking about the good old days of the 90s.
The nostalgia we have for the 90s seems to be making a huge comeback as of late. The obscene shirts with overprint seamless patterns have returned to clothing stores, snapbacks are now one of the top accessories to dress up your head and the hipsters within us wish to own a record player and have a kickass collection of vinyl.
Being a 90s kid I can relate to the nostalgia. Times seemed a lot simpler back then, and I’m not just saying that because I now live a grown up adult life – things were genuinely less complicated. You would probably have one television set in the whole house and it would probably be 15 inches, and you secretly enjoyed the back and forth bickering with your siblings about control of the remote. Now anything less than a 32-inch television and you feel like you’re squinting at the screen like you’ve got the eyes of your grandparents, and the bickering no longer happens a everything is available to watch on your computer.
Music has changed so much too. I remember the first cassette I bought was Conershop’s Brimful of Asher and watching it on Top of the Pops – a whole 99p it cost me in Woolworths when that still existed. Today it’s all about downloads, or it was before streaming became revolutionary and increased our data plans on our phones and broadband. I don’t however mind this change so much as music is such a big part of my life, but I do miss physically owning CDs and getting excited about the packaging and smelling the paper – yes I was one of those kids, and I’m proud to say that I still am. But with Top of the Pops now being a Christmas special and Woolworth’s gone, how else am I supposed to find the music I want to buy while also sneaking in an extra purchase of pick ‘n mix? Luckily I find music very easily, but I no longer have an excuse to buy a pick ‘n mix, especially since the jelly snakes seem to be extinct the majority of the time.
However, I can’t grumble too much about what once was because I was too young to fully appreciate the sanctity of the 90s. Now I have the time and inclination to make myself culturally aware of the decade I was brought into. The 90s was a fantastic decade for sitcoms. Who doesn’t love a marathon event of Friends, Mad About You, and Seinfeld? I for one know I do and have since begun binge watching Will and Grace to keep the 90s vibe alive. I know Americans are known for their lack of sense of humour and inability to understand sarcasm, but Chandler Bing and Jerry Seinfeld nail my taste completely. There’s nothing that a 90s TV session cannot fix. Bad day at work? Friends. Going through a break up? Mad About You. Lost a sock in the wash? Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Just because? Doogie Howser. Point is, the 90s produced such great television that it makes me nostalgic for those simpler times characters lived in this fictional world
The hardest part of being so consumed by this 90s television culture is recognising the reality of the noughties in your twenties. Your best friends don’t live across the hall, and you were not born a genius to be a doctor at sixteen. If you walk around the streets with your jacket inside out like Will Smith, chances are you’ll draw attention to yourself for the wrong reasons.
So we now live in a world where we don’t have to rewind our movies and return them to the local Blockbuster, but going to the video store used to be something to get excited about. Now everything is so readily available what do we have to get excited for? The new iPhone or Playstation? Sure, but I’d much rather rent a few movies from the store and have a good old-fashioned sleepover with my girl band.
Life does change, but some of the changes I’m not always happy to get on board with. The 90s set the bar very high for idyllic standards of living. Bring back Woolworths and the jelly snakes and let’s all rent a movie like the good old days without having to wait hours for it to download on a poor broadband connection.
Viva la 90s. May you live on forever!