Flicking through the television on a Saturday morning I can’t help but feel sorry for the children today. 3D animation and a lack of excitement make me glad for the generation I grew up in. Born in ’93, I spent the majority of my weekends watching Badger throw Mashed potatoes about and attempting to copy one of Neil Buchanan’s masterpieces for the tenth time.
I may be biased, but I honestly believe my generation has had the best children’s TV ever. At a time when television was already popular and technology was becoming more and more advanced, the variety of new shows being born meant Saturday morning was prime time for kids. Cartoons had been popular since the 50’s, however cable channels like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network picked up some of the most famous examples, like ‘Arthur’ and ‘Rugrats’, which are personal favourites.
Some people who experienced the 90’s in its full grandeur may argue I’m not a proper 90’s kid, however I disagree, as thanks to having a sister six years my senior, I also experienced the earlier magic made in the 80s. Shows like Postman Pat and Pingu are close to my heart as well. Programmes even older such as Rainbow, Bill and Ben the Flower pot men (the original version) and my all time favourite, The Herbs still bring back happy memories. The story lines are simple, the characters are lovable, and although the production may be awful, you simply never noticed or even cared.
It wasn’t just the television, I can’t be the only kid who hoped and dreamed to be part of the Spice Girls or the Backstreet Boys. The pop invasion of the late 90’s mean that I shamelessly know the whole dance to ‘’5,6,7,8’’ by Steps. Don’t judge me, you know it too. At the time I was completely unaware of the evolution of Brit Pop, much to my dismay now. Some of the most famous and well loved songs were born in this era, ‘Smells like teen spirit’ and ‘Wonderwall’ were thoroughly enjoyed by the punks of the 90s, or so I’m told.
It may be completely embarrassing, looking back at the quality and content of songs we so loved, but classics like ‘Hit me baby one more time’ and ‘Livin’ la vida loca’ are still played in clubs today, and the dance floor immediately fills. You simply cannot deny yourself the pleasure of singing along at the top of your lungs.
Also am I the only one whose listened back to a certain song and realised now just how raunchy it is?! Innocently singing along to Busted when I was 10, I never realised I was actually singing about wanting to have intercourse with a teacher.
Game boy, Pogs, Beanie Babies, Furby, Tamigotchi, Pokémon, Jelly Aliens, Bop it, Super Soakers, Polly Pocket, Slinky. If you haven’t smiled or at least nodded at any of these, what kind of deprived childhood did you have? From memories of my dad shutting my Furby in the larder because it wouldn’t stop shouting ‘FEED ME’ or mourning the death of my 5th Tamigotchi, the toys we had are just incomparable to the absolute junk kids play with now. I honestly don’t know how I’d cope having a Blackberry when I was nine, I couldn’t even remember to charge my Game Boy Colour and would break down in tears when I hadn’t saved my Pokémon Blue game and I’d finally reached Indigo Plateau. Heartbreaking.
We were the generation of the ultimate video game. Sega, Nintendo 64, Gameboy, Gamecube and even the Playstation 1 were aimed at us. Saving Princess Peach and evolving my Charmander were my main goals in life. Call of Duty or Halo or whatever have got nothing on Zelda or Sonic.
I miss the days when the person with the shiny Pokemon card was the envy of the school, not the kid with the newest phone. Life was so much simpler for us and I do believe kids now have a lot more pressure on them to have the best stuff. We may have faced that as kids, but Pokemon cards and massive conkers are a lot easier to come by than a Blackberry or an iPad.
Look through anyone of this generations old family photo’s, and all you will find is an abundance of dungarees, jelly shoes, flashing trainers and pedal pushers. If I had the courage I would quite genuinely install flashing lights into all of my shoes. I felt like the absolute boss whenever I wore those babies.
I’m genuinely sad that society has moved on from the awesomeness of the 90’s. The world would be a better place if the government wore flashing brogues and traded Pokemon cards to solve issues. Okay maybe it wouldn’t but it’s just an idea.