For this blogfest, hosted by Dave, we are supposed to list one favorite thing for each year of the 90s decade: film, television show, song/album, book, whatever. So without further ado, here are some of mine:
To put it in perspective, this is the year I finished junior high (May) and started high school (August). I’d say the book Good Omens is a favorite from this year, but I didn’t discover that book until years later. I can tell you in all nerdiness, however, that Star Trek: The Next Generation was my favorite television show at the time, with MacGyver a close second.
I was still watching ST:TNG and MacGyver. In fact, I was that utterly uncool kid who brought in a VHS tape of “Good Knight MacGyver” for my Honors English Lit class to watch during our unit on King Arthur. Yes, you can thank me for the fact that you got two “free” days of no work. I am equally sorry to admit I really liked Richard Marx’s Rush Street. Balance that against the fact that I also enjoyed the Spin Doctors, and Genesis’ I Can’t Dance album.
It was my “annus horribilis” as much as Queen Elizabeth II’s. For personal reasons. Meanwhile, I do recall sneaking into Dracula . . . And suffering a giggle fit in the middle of it that irritated my friends. But come on, when Anthony Hopkins looks up and says, “Dracule,” it’s just silly. School Ties was more my thing. And New Miserable Experience by Gin Blossoms. Because I was having a miserable experience.
My bad year continued until the spring, when I finished my junior year of high school. Meanwhile, my reading continued to be largely defined by curriculum. However, Jurassic Park burst onto screens that summer, prompting me to read the book as well as repeatedly view the film. (JP holds my personal record for number of times I’ve seen a movie in the cinema: 10). I went to see Sting in concert—second-row seats for the Ten Summoner’s Tales tour. I was as much a nerd as ever, and the same Spielberg-loving girl I’d been all my life, but I’d also broken through some kind of invisible barrier, making 1993 a banner year for me.
The year I graduated from high school and went away to uni. The year of Stargate and Interview with the Vampire. A good year.
I met a lot of my best friends this year. We bonded over Highlander: The Series and The X-Files and Jeremy Brett’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes (even though it was older). I had the best job I’ve ever had. I loved the show American Gothic with Gary Cole as a pseudo-Satan. I was introduced to Neil Gaiman’s work, so 1995 counts as the year I discovered Sandman. It was also the year I started watching some anime like Fushigi Yuugi and reading things like Tokyo Babylon. I was going dark but in a good way.
The Pretender aired on NBC. I remember my dorm mate’s boyfriend calling and asking (much to both our surprise) to speak with me instead of her. He said, “Turn on this show, I think you’ll like it.” And he was right. I was also late to the Babylon 5 party but a friend clued me in and I was able to catch up in reruns and friends’ recordings. Meanwhile, film school meant I wasn’t seeing many first-run movies at the time. But I was loving Matchbox Twenty’s Yourself or Someone Like You and Sting’s Mercury Falling. And I enjoyed Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones.
The summer I interned on the set of Hope Floats. The year of living in just about the worst place I’ve ever lived (it’s at least on par with a basement apartment I once inhabited in Boston). I had crazy Evangelical roommates that were angry when I went out with friends instead of having a group dinner with them. I almost lost that awesome job I’d held since 1995 due to budget cuts, but they found a way to keep me (though I was making next to nothing and almost couldn’t live on my income). Were there any bright spots to all this? Anastasia, which remains one of my favorite animated feature films of all time. And I got to attend the premiere of Contact. Also, Anne Rice’s novel Violin really spoke to me. And Shoujo Kakumei Utena was awesome, as was the manga Cardcaptor Sakura.
I graduated from university as a Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film studies. I traveled to Europe for the first time. I had the luxury of moving to a brand new apartment. I held on to that great job. But had no idea what to do with the rest of my life. In the meantime, though, I was devouring quantities of Cartoon Planet reruns and reading more Anne Rice (Pandora, The Vampire Armand).
The year I changed my life by moving to Boston for graduate school. I met the man I would marry. He introduced me to bands like Marillion and The Refreshments. Our first date was to see Princess Mononoke, followed shortly by a viewing of Being John Malkovich. But of course the big movie of that year was The Matrix, which holds the second-place record for movies I’ve seen most in a cinema (7x). That one remains a favorite of mine, the two terrible sequels notwithstanding.
That was my 90s. I’m sure I’ve missed or forgotten a lot of stuff here, but it was a big time in my life, a coming-of-age era with many ups and downs and ins and outs. Life now is boring in comparison. (Some days that’s a good thing.)