Last Friday evening, I settled down to watch (with a slice of my new creation, Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake, no less) the one-off return of 90s entertainment show TFI Friday. The show’s revival, whilst it may have had mixed reviews, provided a nostalgic trip down memory lane for its fans, mixing live features with flashbacks to its hey-day. The following evening, Channel 4 aired the documentary, ‘The 90s: Ten Years That Changed the World.’
The weekend’s viewing schedule was clearly all part of Channel 4’s plan to get us feeling nostalgic for the 90s and let me tell you, it certainly worked on me, although it wasn’t my version of the 90s that I wanted to go back and experience. I wasn’t old enough to go out partying in the 90s – I only hit 16 in the year 2000 – so I spent the decade listening to Take That and sharing stolen kisses with my Mark Owen poster (well, at least I’m honest…!), dreaming of being the sixth Spice Girl and spending Saturday afternoons sat in the attic, waiting patiently for ‘Ooh Ahh… Just a Little Bit’ by Gina G to come on Atlantic 252 so that I could hit record on my cassette player.
So, whilst I have no burning desire to go back in time and do all that again, watching these two programmes at the weekend really made me wish I’d been older in the 90s to really experience all that it had to offer. Maybe it was all just cleverly edited, but the snapshots shown on TV this weekend illustrated a decade of eclectic music, vibrant public personalities, and a little bit of anarchy still left over from previous decades. Compared to the celebrity culture of today, where magazines will pore over the slightest imperfection on a celeb’s skin, or people will line up to be ridiculed on reality TV, the 90s seemed much more honest, much more REAL. Not afraid to do something original for fear of being lambasted on a social media platform that didn’t yet exist.
It made me question what we’ll have to look back on and feel misty-eyed over when we, as a collective, look back on the current decade in years to come. Will a nostalgic programme on the era just be a montage of selfies?… Will we reminisce over the escapades of our favourite perma-tanned ‘stars’ from the likes of TOWIE, Made in Chelsea, Geordie Shore or Big Brother? (Can I add here that I do NOT watch any of these programmes!)…. Will we look back and laugh at that simple time when we only had Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Google+, WhatsApp ( the list goes on…) to chat to each other over?…
There’s no denying that digital technologies are increasingly becoming a part of our everyday lives and fast changing the way we live, so maybe that will be the headline from this decade, but I can’t help wondering where this digital boom will take us?
Maybe in 20 years we’ll look back on this decade as a society and think, ‘ah, that was a great time.’ I hope so. But sometimes, I really do wonder.
What do you think? Do you think the current decade will be a defining one for us? Were you, unlike myself, old enough to experience the 90s as an adult? Was it as good as Channel 4 seemed to remember, or was it not all it cracked up to be? Please do share your thoughts with me!