There’s something to be said about specific time periods, what they offered the world, how it impacted the future. In my current lifetime, much of said influence took place during the 1990’s.
At a time where controversial concepts were becoming more mainstream, it was a catalyst for change. Because of this, the time period carried with it a weird amalgamation of strong conservative beliefs, mixed with the liberal hopes of a more accepting future. Yes many were still without the rights and freedoms they currently have (an eventual change for the better), but on the other hand people were a little less extreme than they are now; not having every word or action carry with it the weight of a world.
This post however, while saturated in political undertones, is not focused on anything of great meaning or depth. Instead, it’s about movies and television.
Shows like Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Cowboy Bebop, Recess or Doug. Movies staring a delightful Arnold Schwarzenegger before he switched to politics, where one minute he was a fake school teacher surrounded by curious children, the next he played a pregnant male who did one of the best female representations I’ve seen to date.
We had Ninja Turtles without the atrocious remakes, and a medium-aged Robin Williams reminding everyone that all we need is one happy thought in order to fly.
The 90’s was a time of future possibility. Where issues with race, sex, gender were being confronted with humour and relaxed demeanour, as if to say “can you believe we used to have problems with this?” It wasn’t perfect, by any means. Like with any time period it had good moments and bad, hate conflicting with love. Yet, it housed a lightheartedness, a hopefulness that could be seen throughout most forms of entertainment.
Currently, many shows and movies are too afraid to offer context they used to, in fear people will take things the “wrong way”. Where viewers look for hate and prejudice when neither intention was present in its creation. One mistake leads to thousands of twitter posts, harassment letters, even news articles destroying one’s reputation and livelihood.
Somewhere along the way within the last 30 years, we forgot our happy thought…
A huge shame (in my opinion), is the wasted potential and groundwork from the previous generations. The 80’s challenged our views of the handicapable with movies like See no Evil Hear no Evil. It had us in stitches with strong, comedic but respected characters from movies like Beverly Hills Cop, Die Hard, and Ghostbusters. Then, off the cusp of such boundary pushing, the 90’s takes many important lessons and ideologies and runs with them. Unfortunately, they failed to notice the 21st century cliff.
I’m sure many will debate me, defending their time periods with more eagerness or gusto. It’s not like I dislike the 21st century either. Why 25 years ago I would have received many more rolled eyes or even crude comments regarding my lifestyle choices.
There’s a heaviness in the air which never used to be, along a fear of prosecution for beliefs. It can be seen in our shows and movies, where the industry is trying too hard to be all inclusive, to the point where it’s gone well past acceptance and right into pandering.
The 90’s, while far from perfect, was fun in many ways, and didn’t seem to take itself so seriously. At the very least, it carried a type charm that many could benefit from now a days; even if it’ll probably get misconstrued as prejudice or a lack of understanding.