After one too many coffees and re-runs of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air my mind went wandering to a simpler time where adulting didn’t exist! After one magnificent brain burp I came up with this silly ditty in homage to my much loved 90s childhood. I’d love to go back to 1993 just for a day… and dream about what I want to be when I grow up! Sometimes a little bit of nostalgia is necessary to just tickle you in the feels for no real reason at all!
There were many superb TV comedies from the 80s, however if you were an 80s child like me, you were probably too young to watch them. Especially in front of your parents and the one giant television you had stationed in the sitting room!
It wasn’t until you hit your teens and somehow wangled a TV in your bedroom, that you were able to watch the classic sitcoms from the 90s. And probably Eurotrash! The show that boosted your teenage sexual awakening!
One thing I loved as a kid were the nights sat at home avoiding my homework and watching comedy shows. So here are 10 of the best TV sitcoms from the 90s if you fancy taking a stroll down memory lane!
Desmonds 1989 - 1994
Synopsis: Desmond and his wife Shirley own a barber shop in Peckham South East London. The Channel 4 comedy revolved around family life with his three children and his mates Porkpie and Matthew.
This program was huge in my household as there were not many mainstream black British shows on back in the early 1990s. My parents are also from the Caribbean, so my older brother and I basically felt like we were the Ambrose family, minus the barber shop!
Absolutely Fabulous 1992 - 2012
Synopsis: The fun, frolics and outlandish behaviour of best friends Edina and Patsy who were played amazingly by Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders. Watching middle aged women with full on alcohol addictions navigate the world of PR and their own personal lives, was always funny as hell!
Father Ted 1995 - 1998
Synopsis: The misadventures of three Irish catholic priests. Father Ted, Father Dougal and Father Jack and their housekeeper Mrs Doyle on the fictional Craggy Island.
I have a confession… I never watched this as a youth! I know I know!! Burn the witch! The first time I saw an episode was when I moved to Ireland as I felt like I was blaspheming if I didn’t!
2Point4 Children 1991 - 1999
Synopsis: Following the life of the Porter family who prove that there is nothing really ‘normal’ to their seemingly average family. Hilarity obviously ensues!
The Vicar of Dibley 1994 - 2007
Synopsis: The life of a female vicar Geraldine (played by the hilarious Dawn French) and the strange but loveable characters in her fictional Oxfordshire village Dibley.
Fun fact: Dawn French received hate mail from male religious folk/idiots who had issues with her character being… a her! **insert eye roll here**
Men Behaving Badly 1992 - 1998
Synopsis: Follows the juvenile exploits of flatmates Gary and Tony and their girlfriends Dorothy and Deborah. One of the innovators for typical 'lad behaviour’ in the 90s!
Keeping Up Appearances 1990 - 1995
Synopsis: Based around the eccentric character Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet!) portrayed by the brilliant Patricia Routledge, who is always desperately trying to prove her social class superiority even though her family are far from upper class.
One Foot in the Grave 1990 - 2000
Synopsis: Centred around the grumpy Victor Meldrew with his classic catchphrase, “I don’t believe it!”
(The older I get the more I can relate to this guy!)
Drop the Dead Donkey 1990 - 1998
Synopsis: Filmed close to transmission (to add a level of realism), this comedy show was about the fictional TV news company GlobeLink News where they would use real life contemporary events in the news as part of the funny storylines.
Bottom 1991 - 1995
Synopsis: Starring the late great Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson, as flatmates Eddie and Richie living in Hammersmith West London. The basic premise was watching the leads who are fairly gross with little morals, concoct crazy schemes to get women to have sex with them! The show was known for being all about slapstick (sometimes brutal!) comedy mixed with dodgy humour you probably shouldn’t have laughed at… or ever watched in front of your parents!
Home Alone is easily one of the best Christmas movies ever. Yes I’ve said. It’s out there! A family comedy classic that still makes me laugh out loud every time Marv gets smashed in the face with an iron! It was this 1990 film which made Macaulay Culkin super famous at such a young age which subsequently led to this…
That swiftly followed with this…
And then after years of not hearing his name and truly believing that you made up the entire existent of this once child film star… you get images like this!
BUT it would appear that Culkin is back looking healthier and fresher than ever with this new Google Assistant ad. Cue the childhood feels… NOW!!
I grew up watching action and martial arts movies because I had an older brother who would usually give me a dead leg/Chinese burn/fart on my head if I didn’t agree with his film choices! The thing is however, it wasn’t really the fear of being suplexed into my mother’s coffee table by my brother that made me watch copious VHS action films on loop, I actually enjoyed them! Yes, the plot was always highly ridiculous with as many loopholes and head scratching as The Matrix Reloaded (remember Neo’s chat with The Architect that made you scream “what the actual fuck is happening!” at the screen?!) and of course, the good guy usually and predictably triumphed over evil. YET we still lapped up the explosions, cringe with a large slice of cheese dialogue and unnecessary boob shots from the damsel in distress.
With this in mind, I decided to compile my top 10 action films from the decade I loved the most, the 1990s. Now as this is the internet, and everyone has opinions and the ability to smash out a few CAPS LOCK expletives when it comes to expressing these opinions, no doubt some of you may disagree… and that’s ok! I value your opinion… but just not as much as mine! :)
Demolition Man – 1993 – Starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes & Sandra Bullock
Plot: Stallone is tough, risk-taking cop John Spartan who along with homicidal but hilarious criminal Simon Phoenix (Snipes with a wicked bleached hairdo!) is cryogenically frozen in the year 1996 for a crime he didn't commit.
They are both finally thawed out in 2032 where Spartan has to catch Phoenix in a world that has dramatically changed.
Best Part: The pianist at Taco Bell singing the Green Giant advert and Stallone and Sandra Bullock having virtual reality sex with zero contact! (Fun fact - The first time I saw this scene my parents were watching it too and it was incredibly uncomfortable for all involved!)
Best Quote: “Send a maniac to catch one”
Face/Off – 1997 – Starring Nicolas Cage & John Travolta
Plot: An FBI agent Sean Archer (Travolta) and terrorist Castor Troy (Cage) are sworn enemies who through the power of ridiculous make-believe science stuff, swap physical appearance… by switching faces. *insert facepalm here*
Best Part: The shootout scene in the church… because violence and religion basically go hand in hand!
Best Quote: “Isn’t this religious, ah yes. The eternal battle between good and evil, saint and sinners… but you’re still not having any FUN!”
True Lies – 1994 – Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger & Jamie Lee Curtis
Plot: A remake of the French film La Totale, Arnie plays a US undercover agent Harry Tasker who tries (and fails amazingly) to balance his intense high-risk life as a spy with his dull suburban life. Of course, his wife (Lee Curtis) finds out he’s not a computer salesman and they somehow find themselves embroiled in saving the world/just America from a terror attack.
Best Part: When Jamie Lee Curtis does this sexy/cringe striptease in high cut underwear!
Best Quote: “I married Rambo!”
Terminator 2 Judgement Day – 1991 – Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong & Linda Hamilton
Plot: The sequel to the game changing first instalment of The Terminator saga. Sarah Connor (Hamilton) and her 10-year-old bit of a dickhead son John (Furlong) join forces with the original Terminator (Schwarzenegger) who is now less pissed off at them because he’s a reprogrammed goody sent from the future... to run the hell away from a new fancy pants Terminator that is a shapeshifting, liquid metal son of a bitch!
Best Part: Every time the scary music kicks in when the evil Terminator T-1000 runs!
Best Quote: “Hasta la vista, baby.”
Universal Soldier – 1992 – Starring Jean Claude Van Damme & Dolph Lundgren
Plot: Some kick ass soldiers who fought (and died!) in the Vietnam War, are brought back to life to help the military on some secret mission that has “FAIL” written all over it! Obviously one of the lethal soldiers, Andrew Scott (Lundgren) who likes to collect his victims ears as a strange souvenir goes rogue, and it takes Luc Deveraux (Van Damme) to stop the psycho.
Best Part: When Van Damme casually runs and smashes through three consecutive walls of a motel… because he’s technically a zombie muscle man who can do what he likes!
Best Quote: Scott – “Say good night, asshole.” Luc – “Good night, asshole.”
Bad Boys – 1995 – Starring Will Smith & Martin Lawrence
Plot: Two funny guy cops Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Smith) run around trying to take down a drug kingpin. There’s big explosions, gun fights and Will Smith has his shirt unbuttoned a lot of the time!
Best Part: When the date for Lawrence’s daughter comes to the front door and he gets roasted and aggressively threatened by both Smith and Lawrence! Hilarity ensues!
Best Quote: “He steals our shit, kidnaps Julie, shoots at my wife. Oh, we beatin’ him down. We beatin’ him DOWN!”
The Matrix – 1999 – Starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving & Laurence Fishburne
Plot: A sci-fi classic that popularised the visual effect of ‘bullet time’ that slowed down action shots (made dodging bullets look cool!) and spawned spoof movies and cartoons!
Computer programmer Neo (Reeves) learns the truth about “The Matrix” a simulated reality believed as the real world and the actual dystopian future of Zion which is bleak as feck! Neo with the help of Morpheus (Fishburne) and Trinity (Moss) has to fight Agents in sharp suits to figure out if he’s ‘the one’. Everyone looks like a cyberpunk dressed in either leather, latex and sunglasses!
Best Part: When Neo casually says “no” and stops the bullets flying towards him in mid-air and then proceeds to batter the shit out of Agent Smith with one hand!
Best Quote: “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
Under Siege – 1992 – Starring Steven Seagal & Tommy Lee Jones
Plot: Ex-Navy SEAL Casey Ryback (Seagal) who is now a cook, fights to stop a group of idiots/mercenaries fronted by bitter, unstable ex-CIA Bill Strannix (Lee Jones) on a battleship. An actress from Baywatch stars as the sassy blonde Tate who brings nothing to the story except randomly jumping out of cake in her underwear!
Best Part: Tommy Lee Jones’ bandana!
Best Quote: Tate – “So, who are you? Are you like some special forces guy or something?” Ryback – “Nah. I’m just a cook.” Tate – “A cook?” Ryback – “Just a lowly, lowly cook.” Tate – “Oh my god we’re gonna die!”
Speed – 1994 – Starring Keanu Reeves & Sandra Bullock
Plot: LAPD officer Jack Traven (Reeves) tries to save a load of folk on a bus that’s rigged with a bomb. Oh, and if the bus slows down below 50mph then BOOM! Passenger and obvious love interest Annie (Bullock with bad hair but we love her anyways!) takes the wheel while Keanu tries to diffuse the bomb, catch the killer and get the girl!
Best Part: When the bus jumps a ginormous gap in the road and nobody dies, AND it stays above 50mph.
Best Quote: Jack – “Miss, can you handle this bus?” Annie – “Oh sure. It’s just like driving a really big Pinto.”
Mission: Impossible – 1996 – Starring Tom Cruise, his handsome Scientology face and perfect teeth! (Everyone else is fairly insignificant!)
Plot: The first of many confusing Mission: Impossible films where Tom Cruise does his own stunts and somehow doesn’t kill himself! Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is a super-duper spy type person who is framed for the murder of all his agent mates. Gutted. Thus, proceeds crazy aerial tricks, impossible disguises and clever clues that not even Jessica Fletcher herself would ever find as Hunt tries to track down who betrayed him and why.
Best Part: Obviously the iconic dangling from the ceiling stunt.
Best Quote: (Ethan holding explosive chewing gum) “RED LIGHT! GREEN LIGHT!”
And there we have it! Big 90s action, explosions, corny lines, guns and incomprehensible storylines! I love it!
Adidas tracksuit bottoms with rip away poppers on the side? Check. A makeup bag composed of Rimmel Heather Shimmer, blue eye shadow and a foundation that was three shades darker than your actual skin colour? Check. And an array of teen magazines Sugar, Bliss, Just Seventeen, More, Smash Hits or Top of the Pops? Bitch please! CHECK! Here are the top 10 reasons why 90s magazines were honestly the best things.
One – Song Lyrics
Sorry? Googling the lyrics to songs? No no child. What you needed to do was pick up a copy of Smash Hits magazine and find the lyrics for all the latest boybands and solo artists who have since filed for bankruptcy or sold their Brit Award on eBay. I definitely had a neat collection of East 17 and NSYNC’s hits with a bit of Aqua “I’m a Barbie Girl.”
Two – Problem Page
If you wanted to feel better about yourself, then all you had to do was cast an eye over the problem pages of every teen magazine! From how to deal with bad breath and homework stress right the way to “How to know if it’s cool or not when your older boyfriend pressurises your fifteen year old self into having sex?’ *cue frantic 999 calls*
Three – Freebies
From glitter hair mascara (why?!) to stickers of your favourite Brookside TV character and a full size spray can of Charlie Red! 90s teen magazines provided endless fun!
Four – Celeb Interviews
How else were you supposed to find out about the Spice Girls favourite takeaway or the last phone call Peter Andre had? 90s teen mags offered an insight into the lives of those unattainable famous folk with aspirations that one day they would be our best friends/one night stand.
Five – Posters
My childhood bedroom walls were plastered with the faces of Take That, Peter Andre, MN8, and Shane from Home and Away! Did I actually care enough about these oiled-up hunks of burning love? Or was I just trying to mask the pangs of my throbbing homosexuality?! Who cares! Wrecking your bedroom walls with sellotape by sticking up a poster from your favourite 90s magazine was just mandatory.
Six – Position of the Fortnight
More magazine was scandalous! It was practically pornographic material for the innocent eyes of a thirteen-year-old who had barely seen a penis before! If you were feeling racy you would buy More, hide it from your parents and pretend that you knew what sex was!
Seven – Collecting all the copies
Like, why?! I remember my mother wanting to throw out all my Sugar magazines and I wailed telling her that I needed to keep each copy. I didn’t. Nobody needed them. But for some reason throwing them out and recycling them was just such a crazy notion to even consider. Fecking idiot.
Eight – Fashion and Makeup Tips
There would be at least a two page spread on how to make your face and your body look EXACTLY like malnourished, pubescent Caucasian girls in the magazines. However, I’m black and have thighs and hips for daaaaays! So, it sucked for me, but my mates loved it!
Nine – Quizzes
Before Buzzfeed quizzes that expertly calculated your favourite toothpaste flavour by how many shoes you own, 90s teen magazines sucked you in with all kinds of life affirming questionnaires. The subject matter mainly revolved around relationships, boys and periods. Winner!
Ten – Embarrassing Stories
90s magazines clearly copped on to the fact that we were basically buying them to make ourselves feel better about our adolescent meltdowns and screaming to the heavens "BUT WHY DOESN'T HE FANCY MEEEEEE?!" So, enters the cringe 'real life' stories of “that one time I got my period in P.E class and had to use my hockey sock as a sanitary towel!” Yes, they were completely made up, but at least we didn’t feel like we were failing that hard at life!
Streets of Rage on the Sega Mega Drive was my JAM!! I would play it all day every day until my eyes would bleed/my parents shouted at me to turn off the telly. I have completed it twice. Once when I was about 11 years old and again when I was 30 *cough cough* years old. I bought an old Mega Drive and salivated over the prospect of playing my favourite game all over again. When I was 11 I remember it taking me the entire day in between toilet breaks and my mum shouting at me for rotting my brain. The second time around 20-odd years later, there were WAY more temper tantrums and expletives in between eating pizza and drinking cider. However, one thing remained the same… the adrenaline and intense (possibly overly dramatic) emotions were the exact same. Here are my 6 legit thoughts I had before my muscle memory from 1993 kicked in and I won at life!
Oooooh it’s starting! The excitement is BEYOND anything I could ever imagine! Let’s do this!
Hmmm... which character will I choose? I should represent and be the black dude BUT strangely enough, his speed is crap! Blaze is looking cute... can't decide if I fancy her. No no must focus... I need some good old fashioned strong, white, manliness to save us all! Axel it is. Swoon.
Woooop! Off we go! Ah the strange technotronic soundtrack makes me feel like I'm in a 90s Japanese nightclub! Do I dance... do I beat the crap out of people with my huge menacing pipe?! What a time to be alive! Yay violence!
It's all getting a little bit fast and crazy. There's flames and shit EVERYWHERE! Plus some dudes with boomerangs are trying to kill me! Rude. If I just close my eyes and press all of the buttons really hard... does that help?
Nope. No it doesn't help. At all. Stop jumping in the air at nothing! I should've picked the black dude. Bollocks, I need back up! I'm calling my mate with the giant attention seeking bazooka. A little extreme but I'm happy to go with it.
oh i forgot about the super casual dominatrix trying to whip me to death. that's what's missing today... a touch of random sadomasochism in computer games! how was this ever suitable for my 11 year old self? Oh nevermind. I'm dead.
This game sucks. *sulking for approx 20 mins*
Let's play again!
I grew up in an age where the saying “I want never gets” was the absolute gospel truth. And sometimes depending on how horrific my school report was, “Pretty please may I have…” also got me feck all! The late 1980s early 1990s was a glorious time where the only worries that entered my murky mind was whether I could finish my homework before Baywatch and Gladiators started on a Saturday night. It was a time where I only became exhausted from playing ‘Bust 21’ with my brother and his mates around the council estate I grew up on. (Bust 21 was a version of ‘hide and seek’ where it was almost encouraged to push your friends into dog shite and stinging nettles... and then point and laugh!)
One thing that was true to being a youth 'back in the day' was when you wanted the newest toy (carefully selected in the Argos catalogue!) 9 times out of 10 you didn’t get it. Why? Because our parents weren’t morons who crumbled to the cries of a bratty child demanding a chimpanzee for her 7th birthday! (Absolutely true story!) The 90s were also notorious for manufacturing toys that were 1) flammable and dangerous (Polly Pocket and Micro Machines didn't mess about with their 'choking hazard' warnings) 2) pretty useless and broken after one go AND 3) required selling an internal organ as payment.
When I was about 8 years old I really wanted a Barbie on a pink mountain bike! The Barbie would live harmoniously with my Action Men. It was truly magnificent in all it's pink splendour and totally NOT a waste of money. I dropped a million and one hints leading up to my birthday, however it never arrived and I'm fairly certain that I sulked long enough to be distracted by cake. My mum clearly remembered this incident and for Christmas a couple of years ago… 26 whole years later… I got this from Santa:
My mum is a legend!
But I digress… Here are my 5 top toys we all probably wanted but ultimately never got. Ah nostalgia!
I was a massive tomboy but I was mad for this! Mainly because I needed a place to house my WWF wrestling figures when they were done playing/making sweet love with each other! I’m not sure what the fuzzy family of rabbits and bears were supposed to do… but this was a must for any young girls/boys bedroom.
I NEVER got this and it still upsets me today! Maybe because my parents knew how disappointed I would be seeing as it’s just crushed up ice with sickly sweet syrup crap which no doubt contained an ingredient similar to MDMA!
Oh my god I wanted this so much! But now I'm thinking... a 'cute' talking teddy? Yep... he definitely comes alive at night and drags you to hell!
Clarks Magic Steps Shoes
So ok this was not a toy… BUT oh my goodness these shoes were INCREDIBLE! I genuinely thought if you wore them you would turn into a princess and be transported on some Narnia like adventure to defeat an evil witch! But alas life has taught us… everything is a lie.
Tomy Racing Turbo
My cousin had this and I kinda hated him for it. The kind of jealousy where I was willing to break it just so he couldn't play with it! Jealousy is awesome as a kid. We would close all the curtains and pretend we were driving at night… whilst drinking a Panda Pop fizzy drink and cheese sandwiches. You actually felt like you were driving… because well… just look at it damn it!
What is that one toy you yearned for but never managed to get... because your parents didn't love you enough?!