Revisit the 90′s!

December 16, 2010 • Garrett Cimina, Humor and Leisure Editor  
Filed under Senior Section

Seniors undoubtedly have fond memories of growing up in the 90’s, watching Thomas the Tank Engine and Barney the Purple Dinosaur, as well as the ubiquitous Pokemon.  But more relevant to seniors today are those shows they did not watch because of their adult themes, which grown-up seniors can now enjoy.

For 90’s television shows, none were better than Seinfeld.  Through its hilarious depictions of real-life scenarios gone to the extreme, Seinfeld made audiences laugh from its debut in 1989 to “The Finale,” the two-part closer to the series in 1998 that reeled in the third-largest audience ever for a TV series finale (Wikipedia.com).

Seinfeld endeared itself to audiences with its fresh and unencumbered take on everyday life, where just grabbing lunch at the corner soup kitchen or taking the car to the garage can turn into a war of words against a wannabe Nazi or a mad pursuit through Ohio on a mail truck.  Seinfeld led the Nielsen ratings twice during its nine-year run, is still in syndication on both FOX and TBS, and was rated the #1 show of all time by TV Guide in 2002 (tvguide.com).

`               As opposed to the NBC-based Seinfeld, ABC’s iconic sitcom Home Improvement rarely dealt with subject matter too inappropriate for younger viewers, but seniors may still have yet to experience the joys of Tool Time. Home Improvement followed the trials of a family living in a suburb of Detroit, especially the father, played by Tim Allen, who hosted his own show-within-the-show (crazyabouttv.com).  The show began with lighthearted clowning around and hilariously destructive construction accidents, but by the end had lost most of its charm with more mature, dark themes as the cast grew older.  Still, the show is syndicated on TBS for those who are interested.

While the 90’s were a fertile era for successful sitcoms, other shows also gained mass followings during that time.  The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was a series on ABC that lasted from 1992-1996 and spun off several made-for-TV movies.  While old enough to actually predate most USC seniors this year, the show garnered some acclaim including ten Emmy Awards.  Series creator George Lucas intended that the series be implementable as “films for a modern day high school history class,” so the show could even stage a comeback in USC high school itself someday (theforce.net).

Whether it’s a hilarious comedy or swashbuckling adventure with an educational edge, 90’s shows can fulfill anyone’s appetite for entertainment.  So watch a show about nothing, about tools, or about the world’s greatest action hero.  And be glad you’re old enough to.


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