Tuesday, July 24, 2018

For the Love of the 80s...

I've been having a bit of an 80's binge the last couple weeks, specifically with Netflix's Stranger Things and the novel Ready Player One.

Calm down no spoilers.

The fact is both of these pieces are fixated on the pop culture of the 80's. Now I was born in '86 so I didn't really have the He-Man experience, or remember when Ghostbusters came out. What I think is interesting is the popularity of both these properties and therefore the 80's themselves.

I get it. The 80's was when geek culture first started actually making real money, both with the film industry and the budding video game world. It was an exciting time with Transformers, aforementioned He-Man and Ghostbusters, and the beginnings of the Anime wave on the horizon. We even got two good Star Wars movies out of the decade (Ugh what a time!). So while I didn't grow up cognitively in the era I get why those who did would remember it fondly for its contribution to geek culture.

There's a theory that every generation gets fixated on a previous generation. The theory usually says it goes 50 years back but I think that with the advent of the Internet and the growing power of geek culture that the nostalgia fixation is starting to get shorter since the purse holders are getting younger and are enraptured with the newer stuff. A good example of this is from the 80's itself, which went through a period of nostalgia with the 50's (Who Framed Roger Rabbit to cite an example). 90's saw a bit of a 60's and 70's throwback, mainly through Austin Powers and the string of TV shows made into movies (Adam's Family, Beverly Hillbillies, Brady Bunch), but we didn't see much of it in the 2000's. Now we're in an 80's throwback and I think it's pretty tubular.

Thinking about it if I were to make a big nostalgia song and dance I'd do a tribute to the 90's personally. This decade is in the transitioning position where those who grew up in it don't want to think of it as nostalgia because frankly it makes us feel old, but here's a painful stab for you: Batman the Animated Series is 23 years old right now.

Yeah, let that sink in.

We're getting two movies coming up in the next year that's going to emphasize a love of nostalgia. First is Wonder Woman 1984, which will be set in the titular year and hopefully explain where she was for 70 some odd years. Then we're going to get Marvel's Ms. Marvel, which is set in the 90's. Could this be the transition into a 90's nostalgia? Will the Oasis 2.0 have to feature Tiny Toons world and Pokemon world? Will we get some supernatural Lovecraftian horror taking place inside a Blockbuster video and starring a cast of kids with Pogs and Giga Pets?

We'll just have to wait and see.


What's your favorite part about the 80's or 90's? Which kid are you?

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