Well, I had quite a week of 90s exploration:
1. Independence Day
For all my 90s naïveté, Independence Day is one movie I have loved since childhood and watched almost every July 4th. This year I was fortunate to join the company of two friends who had never seen it before, making the experience all the better. I was glad to see Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum save the planet from aliens again this year:
HT: Seth Putnam, Katie Stipanovich, Anthony Flora
2. The End of Seinfeld
As the credits for Independence Day began to roll, my friends and I discussed what we should do before it was dark enough for fireworks. Somehow we all decided that I must finish Seinfeld. Soon we had plowed through the remaining three episodes, and my year-long run at the greatest sitcom of all time had ended. It was bitter-sweet, the satisfaction of taking a big step toward catching up with my generation but knowing I could never watch a new episode again. In many ways, Seinfeld was the backbone of my 90s exploration, and I don’t think anything else can replace it.
As for the finale, I’ve heard a lot of people who were disappointed by it. In my ideal ending, the gang walks out of Jerry’s apartment to go see him perform, and he closes the door behind them. The screen fades to black, and a final scene shows a few of his jokes. However, I took no issue with how the finale actually played out. I enjoyed seeing all the minor characters give testimony in court which served something of a tribute to their work in the show.
The last lines of the show are a reference back to its first dialog. During the final scene, Jerry looks across the jail cell to George and makes a comment about the buttons on his shirt. I thought it seemed awkward but must refer to something:
Jerry: See, now, to me that button is in the worst possible spot.
Jerry: Oh yea! The second button is the key button. It literally makes or breaks the shirt. Look at it. It’s too high. It’s in no man’s land.
George: Haven’t we had this conversation before?
Jerry: You think?
George: I think we have.
Jerry: Yea, maybe we have.
Jerry repeats the first line of the show almost word for word, bringing it to an end where it began:
3. National Geographic’s 90s Special
On Sunday night, National Geographic aired the first of the three part special called: The 90s: The Last Great Decade? The first episode, Great Expectations, begins with America’s involvement in the Gulf War and discusses how it, along with public obsession over celebrities like Anna Nicole Smith, and televised trials (Lorena Bobbitt/Jeffery Dahmer/Clarence Thomas) laid the groundwork for reality TV shows like The Real World. The episode also chronicled socio-political events like Bill Clinton’s rise to the presidency and the bombing of the World Trade Center, as well as Microsoft and the beginning of the internet.
“Great Expectations” covered a fair amount of pop culture from Vanilla Ice (who’s hit “Ice Ice Baby” was originally a B-side) to Rosanne. Ironically, during a segment on Nirvana, the special doesn’t play any of their music (perhaps they didn’t get the rights). While the narrator discusses “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” some unknown riff of power chords plays in the background without vocals. It was almost hilarious. Despite that fact, I thought the special was informative and well done, and I plan on watching the last two episodes before the end of the week.
Here are the videos for episodes two (“Friends and Enemies”) and three (“Politically Incorrect”) which aired Monday and Tuesday respectfully. View episode one above.
HT: Adria Lambert
4. Matthew Perry & Jennifer Aniston’s Windows 95 Instructional Video
First of all, stop for a minute and appreciate that this exists: Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston star in a bizarre sitcomish attempt at an instructional video for Windows 95. Their Microsoft adventure lasts for the first half hour before the video dips into more formal instructions for using the new software which you can safely ignore.
The video features the following gems from Jennifer:
And this dialog:
J: “We don’t have any CD’s or flappies.”
M: “I believe those are called floppies.”
J: “That’s what I said.”
M: “No, no, you said flappies.”
J: “I did not!”
But seriously, Windows 95 was revolutionary. Here are some of its new features we now take for granted:
-Creating file names larger than 8.3 characters.
-Plug and play installation for devices.
-Right clicking for “power user features.”
-Drag and drop file moving.
-Loading items onto the taskbar.
Do yourself a favor and carve out a half hour for this 90s gold: