Blast from the Past: Legendary Childhood Entertainment

By Katie Larson on January 30, 2013

 Seinfeld. Friends. Spice girls. Mario Kart. All of these are what we call iconic in the 1990’s from our childhood years. All of these pop culture icons have affected our generation in some way.

A couple of the major films that came out in this decade were Star Wars Phantom of the Menace and Jurassic Park. Our adolescent years were known for being a revolutionary time in technology. Lightsabers, Jedis, and Jar Jar Binks oh my! In Star Wars Phantom of the Menace, George Lucas claimed that he was waiting for the technology and the digital effects to finally catch up with his vision for the prequel to the Star Wars series. Jurassic Park is known for being the first movie to contain figures that were digitized. Recreating creatures that have not inhabited the earth for centuries marked the beginning of technological history. The digital creators had to imagine the movements and habits of these creatures and set them into motion. Both of these films from the 90’s have evolved our generation’s technological mindset. Growing up in this evolutionary digital age perpetuated our generation to reach greater heights in the tech world. There are now more computer science majors and Engineers than ever before. Technology has revolutionized the way we study medicine and improved our communication with the world. Many of the modern advancements from our time have stemmed from these films.

Television shows are another major contributor to society.  The two most influential shows of the 1990’s were Seinfeld and Friends. With characters such as Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer, the viewers could only expect a sitcom about the “petty injustices of life”. Seinfeld was deemed the best show of all time. The show invented the idea that a whole episode could focus on small subjects that do not necessarily have to make a plot. They set the tone for future comedic sitcoms such as How I met Your Mother, Parks and Recreation, and Community. Seinfeld also explored the dark side of television by pushing the boundaries of what could and could not be said on TV. After Seinfeld, television became very expressive and put everything out on the table. The show Friends exemplified the inner most thoughts of the female and male psyche. It was one of the first shows to influence society through comedy and self-image. After the show aired, more women became concerned with their outwardly appearance. An article written by Deanna Sellnow and Jonna Ziniel states, “Essentially, viewers learn how they ‘ought to’ look and act based on the perceived rewards and punishments of the characters.” Viewers became a lot more concerned with body satisfaction and fashion. With both of these popular television shows form the 90’s, our culture has learned to be more explicit with our humor and more concerned with the way we look. Our generation was bombarded at a young age with the pressure to look and dress a certain way. Some of these stigmas came from our childhood television shows. We were also told that it’s alright to make racy jokes and inappropriate talk at the expense of getting a few laughs.  

What we saw and heard as a child in the 90’s obviously impacted our perceptions of the world. From technology to fashion we have learned from the past and brought it to the future. Experiencing our youth during the 1990’s has given us the good, the bad, and the ugly of shaping ourselves today.


By Katie Larson

Uloop Writer
Howdy! My name is Katie Larson and I am a Communications major and business minor at Texas A&M university. I was born and raised in Katy, Texas. My hobbies include watching my guilty pleasure Keeping up with the Kardashians, shopping, playing any kind of sport, and traveling the world.

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