Every generation has its own understandable prejudices regarding what the best decade was to come of age. They all say their own, because childhood and teen years are often the most fun and carefree in life. So invariably, whichever decade one was born in, that’s the one they consider to have lived some of the best years of their lives. In this article I will explain why the 1990’s were the best decade to grow up in. There was something of a special aura about those carefree and breezy years, before the time of toxic political cynicism, war and economic stress and general pessimism that invades our everyday world. They were the golden years of our youth.
Fashion in the 90’s; it had a distinct air of being laid back. From flannel shirts to denim overalls. Sure it sort of made you look like hip farmer but there was a general feel that people didn’t try so hard back then that it was OK to take chances regarding wardrobe. And there was more color, more flamboyancy in fashion in the 90’s, almost as if people’s clothes reflected their mood during the decade. If there is one way I can describe fashion during that awesome decade, it would be casual nonchalance. I hear it’s making a comeback.
4. TV Shows
Alright this had got to be the best argument as to why the 90’s ruled. There’s nothing today that can even come close to matching the supremacy 90’s TV shows had. I mean what show today can realistically compete with the wit and humor of Friends, Seinfeld, Frasier, Becker, Fresh Prince, Boy Meets World, Full House, Step by Step, Family Matters, etc. No show today comes close, especially kids shows that have degenerated into zany antics. Back then, kids shows had a plot and a life lesson to impart. Sure they had plenty of humor, but they also tried to teach kids about what’s important in life. Even cartoons had more depth to them back then. Can any kids cartoon show today live up to the greatness of say, X-Men, Spiderman, Batman Beyond etc.? Of Course not. Hell, we don’t even have cartoons for grown ups anymore, all those currently running like The Simpsons, Family Guy and Futurama are all shows stemming from the 90’s. And you can tell that some of the recent trends in TV shows are obvious attempts at trying to harness the 90’s. Take the vampire craze these days, it’s beyond obvious that it’s trying to to tap into the success of shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel. It’s a sad state of affairs today…..gone are the days of great television, they’ve been replaced by one “reality” show after another.
3. Motion Pictures
Alright this is pretty much a continuation of the previous reason as to why the 90’s were the best decade, but here goes. Movies! They were simply better in the 90’s. Maybe it’s just me, and maybe I’m starting to get old and act like all previous generations where I get stuck in nostalgia and refuse to budge, there might be some truth in that. Still….it’s hard to argue that movies today..laden with CGI and declining screenwriting are better than the movies of the 90’s. I don’t know, it just seems to me that you don’t see the great epics anymore, the movies that might help change lives.
Movies like The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, and Goodwill Hunting that have a powerful message of hope, movies like Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Goodfellas that explore the gritty world of organized crime and gangster-ism through the lens of entertainment but also that of subtle critique. And as a young adult growing up during that era, you felt it was special due to the 90’s teen craze in movies, almost as if some of those movies were specifically geared for you. These days studios are merely content with mindless gore, over the top CGI and stale comedy, and why not? They’re still raking it in. I guess I just feel there ought to be more to Motion Pictures than that.
2. Play Time
This is another great activity children and young adults seem to have lost in the era of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Alright, admittedly I too use those aforementioned social media sites so I may sound a bit hypocritical but I also recall when growing up, we played outside until the sun set, we skinned our knees playing fun and challenging physical games, and used our imagination when it came to keeping ourselves entertained.
These days, we keep hearing about burgeoning obesity rates among children and how unhealthy it has become for them to sit inside all day in front of a computer. Yeah we had computers and video games in the 90’s, but we balanced it, we made time for face to face interaction with our peers, instead now we have kids, this is something I myself have witnessed to my horror….. sitting next to one another and conversing via text. They weren’t separated by long distance, they were next to each other and couldn’t even hold a real conversation. Now get ready for me to sound like an old fart…back in my day that was called insanity. Now it’s the new norm.
1. The Economy
This number one reason as to why the 90’s were the best decade is simple…it wasn’t just great for kids, it was awesome for adults too. The 1990’s experienced the largest economic expansion in American history, from March 1991 to March 2001 the U.S. economy grew exponentially. The economic boom was the foundation of the feel good factor for that decade. Everything else followed, more money in people’s pockets meant they could spend that extra cash on fun and entertainment. A strong growth in employment meant less people bickering over money, kids got a reprieve from hearing their parents argue over finances…making them happier. A deficit turned into a record surplus, a surplus that the government could and did use on social services, increasing the standard of living for people. It was a time of peace and prosperity. The golden 90’s.