31 entries categorized "The '90s"

Where Are They Now?

While I was watching an ad for Progressive Auto Insurance last night, something caught my eye.  See if you can figure out what it was.

Well?  Did you notice?

Hint: It has something to do with one of the actresses.  Watch it again. Does the woman playing "Shoe-Loving Prospective Progressive Customer" seem familiar?  Fans of Saved by the Bell might think so, because that's clearly Leanna Creel*, the actress who played Tori.

You know, her:


Almost threw me off with that hair, Tori, but you could never fool me.

I've Had So Many Awesome Theme Songs Running Through My Head Today


Nickelodeon is adding some of its classic 90s and early 2000s programming to the iTunes store.

As part of Nick Rewind, which catalogues its older programming, Nick will sell individual episodes for the standard iTunes price of $1.99 and “best-of” collections and seasons for $8.99-$19.99.

Among the shows available on Nick Rewind on iTunes will be Rugrats, Clarissa Explains It All, Doug, Hey Dude, Rocko’s Modern Life, The Amanda Show, Aaahhh! Real Monsters, Angry Beavers, As Told by Ginger, Rocket Power and The Wild Thornberrys. (source)


Signs of the Toypocalypse

Today's NYT included a very interesting (at least, it was interesting to my little born-in-'80s brain) article called "Beloved Characters as Reimagined for the 21st Century."  The best possible summary of it I can give is: LOOK WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE.


One of my favorite characters from childhood has been Bratzed.  According to the article, this is because "an unusually large number of classic characters for children are being freshened up and reintroduced as their corporate owners try to cater to parents' nostalgia and children's YouTube-era sensibilities."  Well thanks, but consider my nostalgia officially NOT catered to on this one.  I have no daughters, but I hardly feel like I could bond with one over her hussified version of my innocent childhood doll; in fact, the contrast between the two actually detracts from any sense of connectedness because it makes it so starkly apparent how much the concept of girlhood has changed and warped in the past couple decades.

Am I alone in my outrage here?  Part of me feels dangerously close to those nerds who come out of the woodwork every time a Star Wars re-make or a movie based on some geeky book comes out so they can rant, rant, rant about the injustices done to the original work.  Plus, it's not like all the dolls I had in the '80s and '90s were completely de-sexed and inoffensive (Barbie, anyone?).  I can't really make the argument that dolls have only just recently begun to reflect unrealistic body types and anti-feminist attributes, but I am disturbed nonetheless by the notion--whether true or untrue--that Strawberry Shortcake could not appeal to today's kids without a complete overhaul of her face, hair, and clothes. 

I guess my problem isn't so much that they are doing this to dolls in general, but that they are doing it to my dolls. Obviously it's an affront to my nostalgic sensibilities, but it also implies certain things I don't agree with.  Like, why does Strawberry Shortcake need to be more "today?"  It's not like we were all wearing bloomers and pinafores a la Strawberry in the '80s--her getup was outdated then, too.  Because she was a doll, with a whimsical back story and a gang of fruity friends who lived in a place called Strawberryland and required a little imagination to appreciate.

I'm hoping this trend just goes away, but it looks like it will claim at least one more of my favorite character lines before all is said and done--from the article: "American Greetings is dusting off another of its lines, the Care Bears, which will return with a fresh look this fall (less belly fat, longer eyelashes)."

Can Breakdancing with Belding Be Too Far Behind?

First I noticed that Mario Lopez (aka A.C. Slater) was hosting the America's Best Dance Crew, MTV's new elimination-based dancing competition.  Then I started seeing the commercials on Bravo for Step It Up and Dance, a new dance-off show hosted by none other than Elizabeth Berkley (aka Jessie Spano).  All I can say is that I really hope more networks will start copying the "Saved By the Bell cast member + dancing + weekly eliminations" format.  If I could just get one SBTB dance show per weeknight, that would more or less ensure that I never had time to be in a bad mood.

You Read That Right

B0000026t201lzzzzzzz With all the reality shows there are out there to get involved in, you'd think the ex-members of a boy band would never have to actually get back into performing; nevertheless, New Kids on the Block have an announcement to make:

After months of speculation and rumor, the Kids are coming back. A well-placed source tells PEOPLE exclusively that New Kids On The Block are indeed getting back together.

The band's Web site, www.nkotb.com, which had been dormant, is now back up and running in anticipation of the official announcement, which the source says will be made in the next few weeks. (Source)

The People article also notes that the group's ages now run from 35 on the low end (Joey McIntire) to 40 (Jonathan Knight).  That makes all of them plenty old enough to be Hannah Montana's father.

UPDATE: Could this "reunion" be merely a reality show, or even nothing at all?  And which would be worse?

The Perfect Costume for Those With an Excess of Red, White, and Blue Clothing and '90s Nostalgia

Those of you who have been following this blog regularly should not be surprised at my choice of Halloween costume this year.  Behold, the American Gladiators:


The boys are (back, L to R): Nick as Nitro, Kevin as Malibu, my brother as Viper and, in front, Ben as our "ref."  The girls are my sister Kate as Storm, Laura as Diamond, and me as Zap.  The pugile sticks were made by yours truly using red wrapping paper rolls, bubble wrap and electrician's tape.  My mom made our name belts.

Here I am with Pancake in his matching bandana:

Me and my doggie
And here is a jousting face-off between Storm and Diamond:

Wouldn't be Gladiators without our pugile sticks
Check us out here--Best costumes of the day: Wednesday--on USA Today's pop culture blog Pop Candy.  We're fourth from the bottom.

Happy Halloween!

It's Not Just Any Uterus--It's the Uterus of a '90s Child Star!

Yep, Jodie Sweetin is pregnant and TMZ has the sonogram pic to prove it:


It's hard being D-list!  All the A-list starlets can get by just showing their boring external private regions to the cameras, but when you're not as famous you have to up the ante sometimes to get attention.  Like, by showing them the actual inside of your body.  And by selling that first exploitative photo of your child when he/she's at the ripe age of, oh, negative six months old.

Little-Known Fact: Cathy Addison-Weemer Once Auditioned to Become a Contestant on This Show

Now that I have cable again, it's a little overwhelming--there are way too many options to choose from.  I'm having to make some painful choices, like if a rerun of a show I really like should take priority over a new episode of something I kinda like.  However, there is one piece of my TV viewing schedule that I have completely figured out: weeknights at 7 p.m., American Gladiators reruns on ESPN Classic are officially the way to go.  (It's also aired on Saturday and Sunday mornings, but that's a little early--even for the BEST SHOW EVER--so I am sticking to five nights a week for the time being.)

I am posting this information primarily because I want to let as many people as possible know that they can be watching American Gladiators every day of the week.  However, I have a secondary aim as well: posting gladiator pictures.

Here's Nitro, who was on the show from 1989-1992 and then again from 1994-1995.  No clue what he was doing in 1993--writing his memoirs?  Spending a year at the Grover Cleveland Institute for nonconsecutive terms?


He's not my fave, though--that distinction goes to hottie Laser, who was on the show from 1990 to 1996.


It is hard to tell whether the males or females on this show look more ridiculous.  One strong argument against the ladies is that they are always. picking. wedgies.  I mean, I don't blame them--look what they're wearing--but still.  Here's Zap on wedgie patrol:


Wikipedia's list of gladiators is fun to scan, especially because as the years go by, the names of the new gladiators get more and more insane:  Havoc.  Dallas.  Jazz. Rebel.  Tank.  Thor.

Finally, this post would not be complete without some video, so here is a great YouTube clip of Malibu, the gladiator with the super-cool surfer persona:

And here's a clip of two women facing off in the Eliminator:

Yep, it's good having cable again.

You Know I Can't Resist a Good Saved By the Bell Cast Update

Drugs, B-movies, crime, reality TV, etc.--we know what former child stars aren't supposed to do after their initial fame wanes.  But what are they supposed to do?  There are very few good examples.

[Thoughtful music plays as we all contemplate that point.] 

Oh well.  Here's one more for the "don't" pile.  From yesterday's Access Hollywood:

Twelve years after taking a bit of a career hit with the universally-panned "Showgirls," Elizabeth Berkley is concentrating on a different kind of "comeback" -- a spiritual one.

In fact, not only is Elizabeth still acting, but the former "Saved By The Bell" star is traveling across the country helping teenage girls suffering from low self-esteem.

After reading that, I wasn't sure why Elizabeth Berkley thinks she can help teenage girls.  After all, her  job history more or less exclusively includes (a) basically giving up her own teenage years to be on TV; and (b) playing a stripper, but hey--who am I to judge?  I thought.  Then I saw her website, ask-elizabeth.com.

The main components of Elizabeth Berkley's advice website for teens are butterflies, fairies, pink, and Comic Sans.  There are also Hello Kitty accents, rainbows, and clouds.  It is probably the most hideous website I have ever seen, and my friends will back me up when I say I have seen just about every single page on the Internet.


Actual screenshot from the webpage's intro, so you know I'm not lying.

The ugliness isn't even really the problem, though--it's that Berkley seems to have no concept of what teenage girls are like, which does not bode well for her ability to help them.  Today's teens are about as interested in clouds, rainbows and fairies as they are in doing their homework on typewriters. 

It may seem strange that someone who once played a teenager on television would be so clueless about adolescence, but think about it--would you ask someone from Grey's Anatomy to operate on you in real life?  Probably not.

Anyway, I'm just glad I developed my self esteem the old-fashioned way: by making fun of people.

For Those Who Watched Nickelodeon in the '90s

The XYZ Affair has produced a music video you will enjoy.  The plot is roughly that the band lives next door to a very grouchy Marc Summers (former host of Double Dare), so they enlist the help of three '90s Nickelodeon TV stars (Michael Maronna of The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Danny Cooksey of Salute Your Shorts and Jason Zimbler of Clarissa Explains It All) to help them get revenge on him.  See it here.