You guys know how much I love TV right? I mean, I have written quite a few blog posts about it – like here, here, and here – it’s a deep love that has been around for awhile so when one of my old favorites showed up on Hulu, well, you know I had to binge watch and then another old favorite showed up and then…well, you get the idea. First, it was Perfect Strangers, then Blossom, then Full House….oh my! I was hardcore 1990s up in here for weeks, but it was funny – I kept having the same thoughts over and over again so here are 7 things I learned while watching old sitcoms.
- Cell phones would have made half the plot points moot. Seriously, in one episode of Blossom, she and Six are looking for Fresh Prince in a hotel and Blossom found him and was upset that Six wouldn’t believe her and I thought if this happened now, Blossom could text Six and then take a selfie with the celebrity for proof. In Friends, one episode has Chandler and Monica fighting over the time they said they would meet at a movie theatre – if they had cell phones they could have texted, bought tickets early, and wouldn’t have had a problem.
- Guest stars were the bomb! The aforementioned Fresh Prince was just one of many guest stars on Blossom, I mean I lost count of how many famous musicians and actors were on the show (and there were also a few before they were stars on the show as well – that’s always fun when watching old shows). Friends had big-name guest stars too. Full House had The Beach Boys all the time because of Uncle Jessie. I mean, I know there are guest stars on sitcoms today, but they’re usually big stars playing other characters, not always themselves. I know it happens, but it seems rarer, you know?
- Catchphrases!!! Whoa!, You Got it Dude, Don’t Be Ridiculous – if you watched TV in the 90s you know exactly where these phrases come from and I can think of half-dozen more – just from the ABC and NBC line-ups alone. Did I do that? How Rude!
- Theme songs are life. I miss TV shows having theme songs with lyrics that you could sing along with. The Perfect Strangers theme song is one of my all-time favorites (my other one, of course, was Greatest American Hero) – I love theme songs so much that when I did my solo cabaret show I did a medley of TV theme songs that started with Facts of Life and ended with Golden Girls’ theme song. Those were the days!
- Once a teenager gets too old to be cute, bring in a new cute kid! Actually, I think this has been a sitcom rule since The Brady Bunch but I noticed it a lot while watching Blossom (the last few seasons the dad was dating, then married, a woman with a cute kid – with a British accent) and even Full House did this with Uncle Jessie and Becky’s cute twins.
- Outside of houses never really have to match the inside. Full House again but come on that shot of the San Francisco house didn’t have a basement or an attic – that’s just nuts! Friends was like this, too, in a way since Monica and Rachel’s apartment was right across from Joey and Chandler’s apartment but they were insanely different – I’ve lived in a few NYC buildings and I haven’t noticed that big of a discrepancy in apartments just across the hall from each other – on a way higher floor, maybe, but on the same floor? I hope Chandler and Joey’s rent was way cheaper – but since Monica was basically pretending she was her Grandmother for cheap rent, I doubt it.
- Clothes were crazy! Fresh Prince, Six and Blossom, Cousin Balki – people did not dress like that in the 1990s in St. Louis. I saw more people dressed like Buffy or the people from Friends, sure – but not the crazy combinations and colors. Maybe that was just St. Louis? Who knows. PS – I had a Blossom hat (more than one actually)!
What is your favorite 1990’s sitcom? Did you know that all of these old shows were on Hulu? And Netflix has a new show called “Everything Sucks” which is set in 1996 – so apparently, the 90s are back baby!
Oh…and Will Smith was on the Late Show last night and he and Jimmy Fallon did a History of TV Theme Songs thing — LOVED IT!!!