It's hard to find a bad decade in entertainment. That goes for music, movies, and television alike. Oh, sure ... there are some dry spells here and there; but certainly not for an entire decade at a time. There are certainly some up and downs, like Hollywood scandals, writer's strikes, that sort of thing. Again, things may slow down a bit, but our entertainment has never come to a full stop. That's just one of the great things about America. And, as technology advances, so do the number of ways for us to enjoy it all. Now-a-days we can stream it, watch it, subscribe to it, DVR it ... heck we can pretty much watch anything we want, while on the go.
Television is no exception. But, it definitely goes through its trends as it goes through the decades. We've had westerns and shows that take place during the war. We've had numerous daytime and nighttime dramas; shows about law and some about medicine. We've had a never-ending supply of game shows where you can win lots and lots of money. There's news shows, documentaries, and mini-series. There's animated prime-time entertainment and reality shows ... oh the reality shows. Cooking shows, fashion shows, and shows about special effects, just to name a few more. But right now, we're focusing on the 1990s. So, let's take a few minutes and check out this quiz!
Who is this guy?
Now-a-days, people communicate on a mobile level. Call it new, call it innovative, call it what you want; but, it's the newest trend and looks like it's here to stay (at least for the moment, anyway). But there was a time when people communicated face-to-face, and it wasn't all that long ago. It was just a time when we didn't have all the texts and tweets available to us. This guy is from that generation. Do you remember him? Or his name?
Who is this Italian tough guy?
At some point in television history (well, even today) the idea of independent networks coming up with their own original series really began to become the trend. And why not? Come awards show time you and your network get to take all the glory. But, award-winning or not, such an idea has really given us, the viewing public, some great shows to watch. Most were week-to-week like the other major networks, but they were just as good and just as addictive!
Can you BELIEVE who this man is?
Oooo ... sometimes we get shows (or documentaries) that make us wonder where the fiction stops and facts begin! Some are just for our viewing pleasure and some want to make us believe. Well, maybe not so much believe as ... just question. That's one of the many great things about TV. It's all up to you; and up to what ever mood you might happen to be in at any given time. As they say, it's all right there- at the click of a button!
Can you name this young man?
Being a kid in school and living at home can be a real chore (oh yeah, that's a pun). It doesn't matter what the time period it is, it's pretty much been the same all along. Everyone's had parents who've had rules. And this guy is no exception. Same kind of problems we've all had at some time or another; girls, jobs, school, curfews, cars (basically just wanting one), and then trying to juggle it all at the same time.
What the deuce; who is this?
How interesting is it that, at some point, even animation made it's big break into the prime-time scheduling? Shows like "The Flintstones," and "The Wonderful World of Disney" were just some of the front-runners. Now, animated shows are just as common on the small screen as animated movies are on the silver screen. Just because you don't sit in front of the T.V. on Saturday mornings anymore, doesn't mean that cartoons can't still appeal to the kid in all of us.
Who is this lady?
Sitcoms have been around for a long, long, time. All the way back to when our T.V.s were only in black and white. Back then there weren't quite as many different genres or channels to choose from. And that wasn't necessarily a bad thing, either. There were sitcoms and there dramas. And news shows. And a game show, maybe two. Alright, maybe it was never quite as simple as just choosing one or the other. But the situation comedy has been a main staple ever since we started watching T.V.
Do you know this radio personality?
Spin-offs have also given us some of our favorite series as well. Sometimes we've even been fortunate enough to get more than one spin-off from a single show. "Happy Days" gave us "Mork & Mindy," and "Laverne and Shirley." It's always nice to be able to follow up on likeable, secondary characters beyond their occasional appearance here and there. Admittedly though, some are more successful than others; and, in rare cases, a select few even been even more successful than their predecessors.
Who is this noble gentleman?
As stated before, there is just an amazing variety of shows to choose from out there, especially today. And, no, that's not a pun on variety shows. Some take place in the past, some take place in the future, and some take place in the present and may even reflect (or satire) the times we live in today. These shows can be both entertaining and informative. So long as the balance doesn't shift too much in one direction or the other, we all seem to stay pretty satisfied.
Can you name this fourth grader?
Occasionally, there are those shows that love to push the boundaries. Granted this may not appeal to as big of an audience, but it also seems to be what helps a series truly make it's mark. Some argue that rules are made to be broken, while others firmly believe that standards are set in place for a reason. But, again, that's the beauty of television; if you don't like what's on ... you can just turn it off or change the channel.
Who's this delightful young man?
Some stars have gotten there start on the small screen before they ever even hit the big time. But, perhaps that's just the life of an actor. You take what you can get when you're first starting out; and then, when the bigger deals start rolling in, you can make the transition to that larger venue. Although, there are also some actors (for whatever reason) who have done just the reverse, and gone from the big screen to the smaller one.
Name this handsome High-Schooler.
The life of any series seems to be a toss up. Of course one can never predict how long or why one show will remain popular and another won't. Sometimes there may be budgetary concerns; while, at other times, some actors may have the opportunity to move on to bigger and better things. And, there are some instances where the telling of one story can be done in just five or six seasons, while another may follow it's characters for ten or eleven seasons or even beyond.
Who is that manly man?
Some comedians have been successful enough to have some of their own, unique comedic style formatted into their very own weekly series. Like any other genre on our set, some are more successful than others. Some stick some don't. Some maybe great satire on stage AND screen; while others are simply better enjoyed on one or the other. However, it is this king of ingenuity that keeps things interesting. Let the bigwigs take all the chances; we just want to tune in and be entertained.
Name this underwater proprietor.
In some instances, some shows are good enough or interesting enough, that we just want more even after the show has ended. This has actually led to some series actually getting their own big budget production up on the silver screen. For some shows, like "The Simpsons," it may take quite a few years to make it to the big screen. Then, with others like "South Park," the show is simply so popular, it may actually make the jump after the first few seasons.
Do you know this TV personality?
There are characters and/or story lines that are sometimes so original, it's hard not to like them. One of the reasons we probably enjoy T.V. so much is that one night we can watch a bunch of people who know exactly what it's like to walk in our shoes; while, on another night, we can watch and get a peek into how the other half lives as well. Through the magic of television, we can be just about anywhere at anytime.
Could this man be ... king?
The animation. Oh, the animation. Animation is just another medium that lets us take our imagination to the outer limits and beyond. With animation we can create things we couldn't normally create. It goes beyond special effects Animation makes the improbable possible. Because of this style, a bunny can tunnel his way to Albuquerque (and then take a left). A duck can take a ton of buckshot to the tush and keep on going. With animation, anybody can be just about anything. And everybody and everything can talk.
Can you remember this baby reptile?
Even modern day shows can take place in a different time period. Shows like that can be funny, or sad, or they can be a weird and wacky interpretation of a time long gone. Be it sitcom or mini-series, we love 'em all anyway. The quirky characters, the oddball situations; and, sure, some might even be a little predictable. But we still love to tune in anyway. After all, like we said before ... it's all about us wanting to be entertained.
Who's the pretty lady lawyer?
This one goes back a little bit earlier, but not too early. Like the intro says, there have been lots of trends over the years. And, for some reason, the medical dramas and the legal dramas seem to go hand in hand (most of the time). So there's also been years when one or the other was riding high as king of the cable shows. And this girl is definitely known for one of those. We just can't tell you exactly which one.
Can you name this handsome gent?
Oh, there's not just drama, there's western drama, war-torn drama, legal drama, and medical drama. But, one thing they all have in common is the grit. Gritty drama. Gritty = gripping? Probably. There are so many things that make any show a good show. No one person or one thing does it alone. Without the writing, there'd be no story to tell. With no director, there'd be no one to flesh out the vision. And without the actors, there'd be no one to bring the vision to life
Name this TV character, STAT!
Medical shows, or medical dramas (if you will) have been around almost as long as television itself. Some of today's biggest or well known stars began their careers on successful medical series. Denzel Washington, Howie Mandel, and Mark Harmon all starrred on St. Elsewhere at some some point or another; and that's just naming a few. This guy is no exception. He may have flown with Tom Cruise or battled the Alpha Betas with the rest of the nerds, but he ceratinly made is mark on television in the '90s.
What's this sexy lady's name?
Some shows are literally a social commentary within a social commentary. And, that's exactly what this little lady's job was on her show. She wrote about the problems and perplexities facing both men and women in the modern dating world. Okay, mostly what the women were facing. But, that was one of the things that made it such a great series. It gave us all (guys included) a more realistic, but humorous view of just what some women were actually having to deal with these days.
Can you name this convict?
Like so many of it's HBO predecessors, here came another hard-hitting show from a completely untapped point of view. Inside the prison walls of the Oswald State Penitentiary, we were introduced to so many, unique characters, it's hard to narrow it down to just one. Each man (and even a woman or two) was struggling with their own beliefs and prejudices; all of which were challenged on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the very system itself was constantly changing around them.
Who is this rascally robot?
Ah, yes ... another futuristic look at our own world, centuries from now. But this one (including the robots) was much different from "The Jetsons" or anything else we'd ever seen before. Sure there's still transportation tubes and flying machines and underground civilizations. Why wouldn't there be? Isn't that how we've all pictured it? Then there's this guy ... the alcohol-guzzling, cigar-smoking, foul-mouthed robot that we all came to know and love. Just because it's someone else's vision, doesn't make it any less entertaining.
Is it a bird, or a plane; who is it?
Okay, okay ... this question is pretty much a "gimmie." As soon as you look at the picture, it's pretty hard NOT to know who it is. And, once you know who it is, the answer is pretty obvious. Hmmm ... what else can you say? He's faster than a speeding bullet? More powerful than a locomotive? Or what about the fact that he can leap tall buildings in a single bound? The truth is, there have been T.V. shows about this guy about as long as there's been T.V.
Which character is this, anyway?
Variety shows really are their own kind of animal; and it takes just the right kind of performer(s) to pull it off. Well, pull it off and keep it interesting, anyway. Variety shows keep us laughing, keep us guessing and keep us tuning in. Variety shows have also been a great outlet for past musicians as well. We had Sonny and Cher, and The Jackson Five and The Monkees. Some were a bit more short lived than others, but we loved them just the same.
Who's that girl ... or guy?
Then there are variety shows that are a bit more out there ... or just a bit more extreme. But, sometimes the gamble pays off like it did in this instance; and proves that even the weirdest ideas can be hilarious. Variety or sketch comedy shows like this one can also serve as a springboard for some actor's careers. Such is the case for this gentleman here. He played many different characters and eventually went onto star on the big screen and win himself an academy award for a leading role.
Who remembers this wild warrior?
That's right folks, these guys have been around and have been fighting for right for a long time. This team of mutant superheros have certainly undergone several different incarnations over the years in both the comic books and on television. But, that hasn't ever changed the message or the main theme of good battling evil. And this character is no exception when it comes to using his might for right. This so-called freak has endured more than his fair share of grief over the decades, but continues to do the right thing.
Who's the crazy kitty-cat?!?
Nickelodeon really went out on a limb with this one, but that didn't stop it from entertaining us and making us laugh 'till our sides hurt. This was just a zany, twisted side of humor that no one had really thought to explore before. With a lot of wack-a-doo characters like "Powdered Toast Man," "Muddy Mudskipper" and the "Magic Yak," we just couldn't help but keep tuning in to see what outlandish (but awfully funny) thing they'd think of next!
Can you put a name to this toddler?
Face it. Cartoons have a way of bringing out the child in all of us. And, again, Nickelodeon seems to have a real knack for doing just that. With their endless supply of animated series created to entertain (and distract) our children, it can be hard sometimes not to get caught up in the simple humor of some of them. Adults have got a lot of real-world problems to deal with and sometimes, just sometimes, a little animated humor can be just what you need.
Do you recall this man?
Military and combat stories don't all have to be fought in submarines and on battleships. Arial attacks certainly aren't limited to bi-planes and bombers anymore. More often than not, when we take to the skies to do battle anymore, it's usually in a star ship. Instead of bullets and missiles, now we have phasers and photon torpedoes. We're armed now with cloaking devices and anti-penetration shields. We have brave men, like this one to lead us into battle or to find the more diplomatic way out of a bad situation.
Do you know the caped crusader?
This last one, like question #23, is really not all that hard if you just pay attention to the picture. It does not, however make it any less important of a character. He may not be Superman, but he's just as recognizable. One of the important things about some of these shows and some of their featured players, is that they're what we grew up on. Some of them, not all of them, helped to shape some of our very ideals and helped us decide who we wanted to be.