Internet Explorer Stoops to a New Level of Low: Getting on the 90s Nostalgia Bandwagon

This is probably the one time on this site I’ve analyzed something I truly hate. And it’s less than two minutes long.

While I’m sure it will inevitably bite me in the ass saying it, I just have to say that there is nothing wrong with nostalgia. It’s the direction that my generation has taken the term to, however, which really brings my piss to a boil. Unlike children of the ‘80s, it seems as if children of the ‘90s are not only nostalgic about certain aspects that made their childhood, but feel the need to assert themselves as the “dominant childhood,” going as far as appropriating aspects from earlier and later eras into their own (the earlier seasons of the first Ninja Turtles; the latter half of Hillary Duff’s acting/singing career)—“claiming” what technically isn’t theirs to “claim” in the first place.

Perhaps it has something to do with our common upbringing under said era—something about becoming an adult in a time where a crappy job market makes seeking out solace from your childhood toys and such that much more desirable. Enter: Internet Explorer’s latest ploy to get people to use their browser for more than just downloading Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

Never have I seen a commercial so blatantly pander to such a specific demographic before, and I have to say: How dare they. How dare Microsoft take advantage of people’s rose-tinted memories for the sake of advertising a product that many people have decided time and time before was just not for them. Yes, advertisements are notorious and essentially meant for pandering to certain demographics through use of pop music, celebrity endorsements and the like, but to have this commercial relate to people on such a specific level of their childhood is just despicable. It’s like if McDonalds paid off your kindly old grandma so she would personally remind you about the McRib.

But what really puzzles me about this commercial is how it ends with the voice-over saying, “You grew up; so did we.” It spent the first minute and twenty-ish seconds speaking fondly of all these old things and how they will remain the same no matter how old you get, so suddenly speaking about improvements when you just talked about stagnancy seemed… flip-floppy.

Everyone coming out of the woodwork about their secret obsession over the ‘90s was nice at first, but to have said group continue to clamor on about their love for the culture to the point that everyone’s noses have become so stuck up that they were failing to see past simple advertising tactics like this is annoying… and obnoxious.

Also, the commercial’s depiction of pogs is vastly wrong from what I remember. Anyone with a slammer could tell you that.

TV Block Progress Report: The ’90s Are All That

I’ll admit it. I probably stopped watching this block for a couple months by this point.

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Initial Thoughts: The ’90s Are All That

If you were to tell me ten years ago, that Nickelodeon made a programming block solely for their ‘90s hits, I would slap you in the face for trying to make me believe such lies. Well the day has finally come. I have just watched Nickelodeon’s first airing of their programming block appropriately called “The ‘90s Are All That,” and I must say… aw cheah.

Ever since Nick’s failed attempt at bringing some of their better known titles to DVD under the title of the Rewind Collection, my main complaint about Nick’s handling of their older titles wasn’t just acknowledging them, but acknowledging them as well as hyping them up properly. Let’s be honest. Who actually heard of the Nick Rewind DVD line? Or Nick’s half-assed attempt at Nicktoons Season sets via amazon exclusive “burn on-demand” DVDs? What Nickelodeon needed was to hype up their older series in this newfangled time when everyone knows everything about something through the crapton of news being spewed out through our various warring social networking sites… and that’s just what happened.

At the start of the month, my twitter feed had a forum-buddy of mine mention the ‘90s Nick block, linking to a commercial for the block on YouTube, and subsequently leading to their facebook page. It’s this crazy-stupid way the internet works—one site repeating what several other sites already repeated—that word begins to spread and how many other Classic Nick fans got word of the news, marking July 22 at midnight Eastern, 9PM Pacific, on the TeenNick channel as the returning time of their good ol’ memories.

Promos for the block continue to show that their marketing campaign is taking a disgustingly yet understandably large amount of hype to the internet, trying to get the word out via hashtags (#90sAllThat, #thingsclarissadidntexplain) as well as linking to their facebook and main website. Their tumblr and official promos also seem to be geared to internet-type humor, with things like pie-charts and screencaps followed by captions in that oh so familiar Impact Font. For years people have been voicing their disappointment with Nickelodeon on their treatment of their older shows via the internet, and it finally looks like they’ve started to pay attention.

So far, the programming block is two hours long (short, but respectable) and contains in this order: All That, Kenan & Kel, Clarissa Explains it All, and Doug. While that’s good for a start, checking through future airings, it looks like those are the only titles we’ll be seeing for a while. However, it has been suggested that future airings will rely on fan opinion, and trailers for the programming block already contain footage from a plethora of other ‘90s Nick shows. The extreme (and ultimately desired) goal would be for the TeenNick channel (consisting of endless blocks of Ned’s Declassified, from what Comcast schedules say) to turn into what everyone expected the Noggin and Nicktoons channel to be prior to their extreme overhaul, consisting of nothing but ‘90s Nick shows 24/7 (:drools:). A more believable short-term goal would be to get something along the lines of an alternating schedule going for “The ‘90s Are All That.” Hell, even Toonami in its prime didn’t consist of solely Dragon Ball Z all week (well, there was the one time, but that was more like fan outcry resulting in the most homogenous thing possible). They could perhaps get something along the lines of a theme going, with Nicktoons and live action shows alternating to every other day, or even just get each day to have a good grab-bag of shows.

Regardless of what they do, it does seem like “The ‘90s Are All That” has taken a good first steps into the world, bringing in enough material to whet everyone’s appetites and leave them craving for more.

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