Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Nostalgia: Bringing Back the 90s - Netflix Style

As some of you have seen on Facebook, I recently found Goosebumps the TV series on Netflix. 13 episodes of about 21-22 minutes per episode. I worked Monday and Tuesday and I have other things going on (I've made some decent progress on Minor Demons, the novel I'm working on) so the Goosebumps marathon took me three days. The graphics were pretty bad and the attempt to scare was pretty laughable but I still like the series. I guess since I watched it as a kid and thought it was awesome, a part of me will always think it's awesome. I'll admit that I enjoyed all thirteen episodes. Part of the entertainment factor was the nostalgia it brings since I grew up in the 90s. The Goosebumps series is from 1995 and I was 9 at the time. If you haven't seen them... it's worth watching. Good for a few laughs but also for reminding you what things were like before technology hit us like it did.


There's a few things I realized when I watched the series. Things have changed a LOT for kids born in the 21st century. Here's a few of the noticeable ways that life has changed for kids:

-In Goosebumps, almost everything takes place outside. Kids are chased by monsters or run into weird situations outside. They usually have a dog. Dogs in the 90s were always part dog and part hero. Kids transitioned between video games and playing outside. They didn't just sit down and play video games all day. They went outside and played basketball and baseball and beat up other kids. They played with the dog. They rode their bikes. Some kids are still that way... but I don't think outside plays as big of a role in kid's lives now.

-None of the kids had a cell phone. I don't want to sound older than I am (remember that I'm only 27) but I think it's ridiculous that any kid under the age of 10 needs a cell phone. I understand them bringing one with them if they're going over to a friend's house but I don't see why 7 year olds need iPhones. That just doesn't make sense to me and I don't know if it ever will.

-Corny jokes and puns were apparently in. The friend who is deemed "the funny one" usually has a lot of kids that shake their heads at him. Mostly because he wasn't funny. His jokes were pretty terrible. Insults weren't all that great either. There was one episode where a little girl called her brother a "krej" and explained that it was jerk backwards. I heard people insult each other by calling them a geek a few times. Geek is not an insult now... it just means that you're smarter than lots of other people.

-SPOILERS BELOW if you plan on watching Goosebumps on Netflix. Shit didn't always end up tied with a nice little bow on top. There's an episode where a little kid is tormented by his little sister and he goes back in time using a cuckoo clock. He eventually goes back to the present but ends up erasing his little sister in the process. She doesn't exist anymore. He's cool with that. The episode ends with him just being cool with it and saying that he might go try to fix it eventually. I was pretty amused with that ending. There's another episode where two kids just accept that they're the children of two monsters. They're totally cool with it. I know some kids now would be ok with that but I've heard kids too many times say that something was bad because it didn't resolve itself all nice and neat. That's teaching kids poor life lessons. Stuff doesn't always resolve itself cleanly in real life and TV and books shouldn't always teach you that it does.

I'm sure there's more... but those are the big differences that I noticed. Don't get me wrong. I love Netflix and my iPhone and my sweet home theater system. I also miss the 90s a little bit. I'm betting some of you do too.

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