Why Nostalgia Could End With the ’90s | NowThis Nerd

Hey guys, I’m Dev, and this one’s for the ‘90s kids From reboots of ‘Double Dare,’ ‘Rocko’s Modern Life,’ and ‘Power Rangers,’ to new shows like ‘Everything Sucks,’ and upcoming blockbusters like ‘Captain Marvel’ and ‘Dark Phoenix,’ the 1990’s are hot right now

A-thank you! We’ve lived through plenty of retro resurgences, but this ‘90s revival could be bigger than anything that came before Today, I want to talk about why the time is right for ‘90s to return, what makes our nostalgia for the era so powerful, and how it could be the last time we see such a unified obsession with a single moment in time This is Why Nostalgia Could End with the ‘90s Let’s start by looking at how we got here, because the ‘90s craze is just the next step in the Nostalgia Cycle Nostalgia isn’t anything new The term itself comes from the Greek words for ‘homecoming’ and ‘pain,’ and dates back to the 1600s, where it was used to describe the sadness felt by soldiers fighting abroad Humans have always longed for “the good old days,” but over the last 50 years, nostalgia has become a powerful, and profitable, force in pop culture

It started in the ‘70s, where baby boomers relived their childhoods in the ‘50 and ‘60s through ‘Grease,’ ‘Happy Days,’ and ‘American Graffiti’ ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘The Wonder Years’ kept the craze going through the ‘80s, and by the time the ‘90s rolled around, it was time to throw it back to the ‘70s, with ‘Dazed and Confused’ and ‘That ‘70s Show’ igniting a disco inferno of nostalgia for the days of pet rocks and roller disco As we entered the new millenium, our affections shifted to the 1980’s We began seeing blockbuster remakes of Saturday morning classics like ‘Transformers’ and ‘GI Joe,’ the childhood charms of shows like ‘Freaks and Geeks’ and ‘Stranger Things,’ and hit retrospectives like ‘I Love the ‘80s’ on VH1 Notice how there’s usually a 20 to 30-year gap between the original era and the retro craze? It makes you wonder: Why has there never been a 1920’s fad? Aren’t we due for a flagpole sitting revival? How come powdered wigs haven’t made a comeback? Well, the answer is actually pretty simple: People grow up consuming content, and when they become old enough to break into the entertainment business in their 20s and 30s, they make shows, movies and music inspired by the era that raised them

George Lucas spent his childhood obsessed with racing hot rods and rock and roll, I'm a '60s kinda guy I always have been And, uh which is why his first hit was a period piece set in ‘60s Southern California The Duffers grew up devouring ‘80s icons like Spielberg and Stephen King, so naturally they would channel that fondness into the foulmouthed kids of ‘Stranger Things’ Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap! And now that a new generation of tastemakers raised in the ‘90s has hit the scene, they’re busting open their binders to bring us a vision of the era that made them And the vision is going to be even clearer than what’s come before because the ‘90s have been extremely Well Preserved Older generations couldn’t stream all of their childhood favorites, they had to hope for a rerun, a theatrical re-release, or pray that their parents didn’t throw away their old records The folks behind the ‘50s revival didn’t have home video or digitized MP3s to base their throwbacks on, they mostly just had memories

But once VCRs entered the picture, our childhoods become way more accessible Thanks to tapes, CDs, and the early era of the Internet, the ‘90s has left a massive pop culture footprint, Nick Nick Nick, Na Nick Nick Nick, Nickelodeon! and I’m not just talking about commercially available stuff The past is more than just TV shows, movies, and music, it’s about the stuff in-between Creepy Crawlers commercials? The Fresh Prince performing on Arsenio Hall? The 1994 Super Toy Run? Go for the videogame!!! They’re all just a click away We won’t have to take Michael Ian Black’s word for it, we can just look them up on YouTube

Kids who set their VCRs to tape ‘Snick’ and left it going all night have become accidental historians, capturing a unique moment in time that’s more complete than any Blu-Ray release or album remaster Saturday night has arrived! And Saturday night belongs to Snick! Creators of ‘90s throwbacks will be able to paint a more perfect picture of the era than ever before, but that’s also a double-edged sword The power of nostalgia is in our own imperfect memories We can’t remember every single aspect of our pasts, but nostalgia isn’t about the details, It’s about the experience It’s about how those times felt, not how they actually happened

It’s that one song on your CD that never played because of scratches, the fuzzy static on the ‘Rocket Power’ episode because you taped over that old TV movie, the invisible dust on your Nintendo cartridges you knew you could get rid of if you blew a little harder Which you shouldn't do, because of the moisture and spit going into it Spit and motherboards don't mix But as technology improves, future generations won’t have to think back and remember how they felt as a kid, they can just look up their old Facebook statuses and see for themselves We can binge all of our childhood favorites in glorious 4K, and trade in our faded old photo albums for thousands of jpegs in the Cloud, When we can see the past with every ugly detail, our rose-colored glasses become a lot more clear

Take them off Stop! Put 'em back on! Please! Time will tell if our online archives will kill the fondness for days gone by, but nostalgia faces an even bigger threat in the years to come: The death of the Monoculture The digital revolution is keeping the past alive, but as the Internet became more embedded in our lives, it allowed us to create our own pop culture bubbles Before the internet, people didn’t have nearly as much choice about what content they consumed You watched whatever was on the few channels your antenna could receive, saw movies when they were in the theaters and then never again, and listened to the songs that were popular enough to be on the radio Happy happy, joy joy, happy happy, joy joy! Then, twenty years later when the retro craze hits, it hits hard because most people experienced the same things

‘American Crime Story’ was a phenomenon because everybody watched the OJ Simpson case, Nicktoons are a hot commodity because there weren’t that many other good cartoons for kids to watch back then, and ‘Jurassic World’ made bank because ‘Jurassic Park’ was THE movie to see in 1993 We used to share a single monoculture, and while an underground always existed, it wasn’t always accessible until the age of the Internet Napster hit the scene in 1999, and with the advent of the iPod a few years later, music that used to be a shared experience became something more personal We tailored playlists to our taste from the entire musical spectrum, and pumped it directly in our ears The same shift eventually happened with movies and TV

We were suddenly able to choose exactly what culture we wanted to consume, and go online and share our passions with likeminded people Through social media, online communities, and streaming, the mainstream has split into thousands of different subcultures, it's impossible to track What would a 2010’s throwback even look like? There’s no such thing as a zeitgeist anymore Everyone has experienced the decade differently, and it might not be possible for someone to capture it the same way ‘Stranger Things’ nailed the ‘80s There’s no telling what the future has in store for pop culture, but the ‘90s craze could be the end of nostalgia as we know it, and maybe it’s not such a bad thing

Maybe instead of stale reboots and quick cash-ins, we’ll start innovating with bold new visions and underrepresented voices who can move the culture forward, instead of living in the past Future! Future! CTA: Hey all thanks so much for watching What are your thoughts on the 90s being the final era of nostalgia do you agree or do you think we’ll still be fondly looking back at fidget spinners and “hoverboards” in the next decade Let us know in the comments and as always please subscribe to now this nerd… Thanks! [a]split

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