In response to an overwhelming demand for television of the nineties, this fall nickelodeon will launch a block of nighttime programming called ‘The Nineties Are All That’. This will include old favorites like All That, Clarissa Explains it All, The Adventures of Pete & Pete,Rugrats, Salute Your Shorts and Kenan & Kel. But they’re not trying to save today’s tweens from iCarly here because the shows are going to run in the 12 to 2am time slot. So the intended demographic is clearly, appropriately and graciously targeted as us twenty-somethings.
Nick execs caught wind of the millions of facebook fansites dedicated to their nineties programming and decided to throw us a bone/make money. Senior VP at Nick acknowledged that “[the 9-11 age range programming] was groundbreaking and, for the young viewers, a powerful and pivotal time in their lives. Those kids who are now 22, 23, and 24 want to bring that back.”
And hell yea we want to bring back that pivotal time. We’re up to our eyeballs in irony, fatigued, hung over, bored, and not exactly on the cover of Forbes. Maybe by we I mean me, but I’m not a unique snowflake around here. We’re all growing up and having to constantly negotiate our realities. The worst-case scenario used to be getting grounded, but now we face the overwhelming consequences-of-our-actions buffet and it’s not exactly lobster tail. In fact, it’s dick salad and in fact, it sucks. We get along, but it’s hard and we’re tired.
And if that weren’t enough, we are living in a generation that thrives on irony. So it’s a nice change of pace when we appreciate something with the same sincerity we had when we were nine. And it’s not like these shows weren’t ahead of their time. Clarissa, a born leader in fashion and technology, predated the blog by some fifteen years, and yet had struck her personal brand in the hearts of millions before we even knew enough not care about the douchey futility of personal brands. We let her have it because it feels good.
And it feels good to walk with the virginal Pete who has yet to find himself in a sticky chokehold of post coitus desperation, at the height of summer, feeling cold and complicated with nothing to give [having given too much already]. That’s our lot, and we hate it, need it, and something in between. But we want him to get the girl because it harkens us back to a time when we could fall deeply and happily in love with someone over something like mutual attraction and a common interest in Green Day. The prospect of puppy love for us old dogs— the mean, the tired, the hungry—well, it makes us wanna shit rainbows.
When we watch these shows, the kid inside of us comes out. That little Pete who longs only to rock, bless him, reminds us that it doesn’t matter who doubts us or what comes in our way because, “Hey, Blowhole, wherever you are, in forty-five minutes I’m going to be famous. And you know what you’re going to be? A blowhole!”
So thanks Nickelodeon, I officially forgive you for the George Lopez show.
[First piece I did for Synthesis that I am proud of„,]