19 May 2018

NETWORK RELEASING PRESENTS: THE NINETIES. (2017) A DOCUMENTARY MINI-SERIES REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS.




THE NINETIES. (2017) A DOCUMENTARY MINI-SERIES. EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: TOM HANKS, GARY GOETZMAN AND MARK HERZOG.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

'I did NOT have sexual relations with that woman...'

If you can remember the 'Nineties, you clearly weren't there. Ah no, I'm only joking. That was the 'Sixties they were talking about there but, as I wasn't born then, I can't really comment. I can comment bucketloads on the 'Nineties, however, having at least been alive for all of them.

This is an excellent American documentary series that puts this decade under the microscope, concentrating on the areas of music, television, politics, Bill Clinton (yep, he gets his own programme!), world events, the advent of the World-Wide Web, terrorism and the struggle, not without its difficulties, for racial equality. The TV memories get two sections, lol, as the programme-makers obviously just have so many great memories of the TV of the day.

Most people you talk to nowadays do seem to have only good memories of the 'Nineties. Maybe it's because of all that great telly...! And when you talk to people about the 'Nineties, they'll invariably say that they can't believe it was twenty years ago. I wonder if the people back in 1918 did the same about their Nineties.

It's a common complaint, trust me. Watching this series is a bit like taking a trip back in time or dipping into a nice big luxury box of nostalgia chocolates. Nostalgia is the key word here, but believe me when I say that chocolate is a very important word too, dare I say even an essential word...

Let's start with the music of the 'Nineties. It was of course the time of MTV and the so-called 'grunge revolution' that originated in the rainy city of Seattle in 'Murica. Bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and others were all the rage.

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana was 'the closest that his generation came to a John Lennon.' Yeah, I'd buy that, although the only song of theirs I ever really liked was SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT, the video for which blew the freakin' doors and windows off of MTV when it first aired there.

Like any true leader of a generation of music fans, the man who 'had the ability to scream almost in tune' also had the business savvy to die young and become a legend overnight. Dave Grohl, Nirvana's drummer, created the Foo Fighters out of the ashes of Nirvana and, twenty or more years later, he's still doing very well indeed, thank you very much. Maybe he was the real Nirvana success story? He certainly turned out to have the longevity, anyway.

Britpop has often been termed a sort of 'hangover of grunge.' Over in Blighty, Oasis and Blur were slugging it out for supremacy of the pop charts and Radiohead released surely one of the greatest hits of all time, a little song called 'CREEP' which even featured on BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD on MTV, one of its more priceless moments.

The 'Nineties also saw the rise- and rise- of country music. Garth Brooks, described as 'a cross between John Wayne and Mick Jagger,' became the fastest-selling artist on the planet with hits like 'I've got friends in low places,' which I must admit I have a sneaking admiration for. That song is one of my little guilty pleasures, hee-hee. Don't y'all tell anyone, now!

Lady country music singers included Shania Twain and Reba McIntire. The 'Nineties saw a revolution in female music artists happen overall, with the growing popularity of chicks like Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette and Gwen Stefani. Ah well, I suppose it was nice for the lovely wee girlies to have something to do besides childbirth and crocheting little chair-backs...

What else was huge musically in the 'Nineties? Oh well, rap of course, with Death Row Records and lads like Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Biggie Smalls, Tupac Shakur, Puff Daddy, Coolio and, later on, Eminem, of whom the question was indirectly asked: 'What the hell's this white boy think he's doing?' He answered the question many times over with his body of work. Yes, I like him, okay? That song of his, STAN, reduces me to floods of tears every time I hear it, sniffle sniffle. Corny but true.

Then came the dance music 'electronica' phase, espoused by the likes of The Prodigy, Massive Attack, Moby and the Chemical Brothers. Girl-power went global with groups such as The Spice Girls, surely the most hyped band on the planet ever, and don't y'all dream of forgetting the Non-Threatening Boys, teenage pop idols such as Backstreet Boys and NSYNC featuring Justin Timberlake, who later went global all on his own.

Remember Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera? Sex-pot Britney, who single-handedly made the school uniform the sexiest outfit in pop history, was apparently the Madonna of pop while Christina, with that huge voice emanating from her tiny frame, was the Mariah.

The 'Nineties were a terrific decade for television, long considered the poor relation of films. During this decade, a lot more choice of viewing was being offered to people and television underwent a kind of revolution of its own, finishing up no longer as a poor relation but as a sort of sexy, glamorous cousin to films, a cousin who could do much more now than it ever could before.

The decade began with THE SIMPSONS and ended with HBO's magnificent Mob drama THE SOPRANOS, a ground-breaking TV series that had sex, swearing and the most terrible violence in it. And people loved it. They lapped it up.

And with THE SOPRANOS dawned a new era, the era of the brilliant-TV-series-which-you-would-later-buy-as-a-boxset-and-binge-watch-till-your-eyes-turned-square-and-your-wife-left-you-for-a-guy-who-had-better-hygiene. No longer was it considered 'a comedown' to work in television. A new Golden Age had come...

In between THE SIMPSONS and THE SOPRANOS, you had shows like TWIN PEAKS, NORTHERN EXPOSURE, NYPD BLUE, LAW AND ORDER, 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND and ER. I'm not going to mention George Clooney here because I literally don't know what women see in him and his bland, unremarkable kisser. 

300 million people tuned in to watch the final tearjerking episode of CHEERS in 1993, but Kelsey Grammer- aka Sideshow Bob from THE SIMPSONS- pulled a Dave Grohl and was reincarnated in his own hugely popular sitcom, FRASIER. Tossed salad and scrambled eggs, anyone...?

The 'Nineties also heralded the coming of real-life television such as the OJ Simpson trial, which some wags claim was 'the best television show of the 'Nineties,' and made-for-television movies and documentaries based on the real-life crimes of ladies like Amy Fisher and Lorena Bobbitt. What's up, guys, clutching your bits in terror there, lol...?

There was NICKELODEON, the much-loved childrens' channel which brought us programmes such as THE RUGRATS, REN AND STIMPY, ROCKO'S MODERN LIFE, COW AND CHICKEN, CAT-DOG, SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH, SISTER, SISTER, AAAAGH! REAL MONSTERS and HEY, ARNOLD!

Then of course, there was the humble offering of college students Trey Parker and Matt Stone, a little-known cartoon called SOUTH PARK that re-wrote the rule book about what you could and couldn't say on television. Suck my balls, Kyle...!

Then there was ROSEANNE, FRIENDS, THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR, BEVERLY HILLS 90210, MELROSE PLACE, BAYWATCH, SEX AND THE CITY, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, THE X FILES and Ellen DeGeneres's character coming out on her show ELLEN, which was HUMONGOUS back in the day.

Jay Leno took over from a retiring Johnny Carson, David Letterman got the hump and moved to another network, and then the late-night talk-show wars began in earnest. I would have been all tucked up in my little bed on the other side of the Atlantic at the time, but I'm sure that the craic was mighty for the 'Murican viewing public. Thank you all for watching and goodnight...

The complete series of 'THE NINETIES' will be available to buy from NETWORK RELEASING in conjunction with BLUE DOLPHIN PR & MARKETING on the 21st May, 2018.




AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com








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