Top 10 Best Things of the 1990s

The 1990s has been some of the most remembered and most talked about decade of the modern-era. If you met someone that experienced most of the decade (or is at least interested) they’ll often talk about it (whether they love it or hate it). So why do we still keep talking about the 1990s? Well, it’s simple! We’re the people who care about history and we can always look a back at any other decade such as the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, or 00’s, but in comparison to the others, I find the 1990s the most interesting. We’re talking about a time where the Cold War is finally over and the rest of the free world has opened doors to new excitement.  Many of the best things in life came out in the 1990s like Pulp Fiction, Grunge, Electronic Music, CGI special effects like the Matrix, Anime was coming to popularity, computers became the norm (and we’re still using these electronics today), the there was something to watch for everyone on tv & movies, the video games are evolving faster than any decade before and after it, music was feeling more down to Earth and less cheesy like glam rock/pop and hair metal, and so many more! Sure every year and decade has their bad days, but for me personally, I never had as much fun as I did in the 90s decade as there has been a lot of things to be excited about. There is no argument that growing up in the 90’s remains the best days to have a childhood and so many people on the internet agrees with me because they still talk about it and relive those beautiful moments that gives us all a warm feeling. But I won’t act like this decade was perfect, that’s why I made the Top 10 Worst Things in the 1990s, but it’s now time to finally end all of those 1990’s lists with the best things that came out the 1990s! These are the things that given us the biggest impression and made us cherish them for the rest of our lives!

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Cold War Is Over

Once the Berlin Wall was destroyed it showed that we were entering a new era in life. No longer do we have to worry about Nuclear warfare (except for North Korea) and the free world spread like a miracle. The 1980’s did a lot of significant things to beat the Soviets, great example was to win against them in a hockey game in the Miracle on Ice. Then the German reunification started in July 1, 1990 Germany was split in two following World War II. West Germany prospered while East Germany fell behind and experienced economic turmoil and dislocation. Some westerners wished to reunite the two countries, but the Soviet Union always refused. By 1989, the Soviets could no longer afford their empire and let Germany go. The following year, the two Germanys reunited. France quickly surrendered. Later, we no longer called the biggest country in the world the U.S.S.R. any more, but instead call it Russia once more. This was something that free world strived to live for and it was decades in the making. Our forefathers would have been proud on what we American had to do for the free world! This was the perfect way to start the 1990s decade. I know historically this should be higher, but for the fact that there are a lot more personal reasons why to love the 1990s, it should be understood why this is mentioned.

Vampire: The Masquerade 

The first edition of Vampire: The Masquerade was published in 1991, introducing the concept of “Storytelling” to the rpg world. Storytelling is roleplaying using streamlined rules that strip out most of the loot and adventuring of games like D&D and then using those simpler rules to resolve pretentious arguments about who is in charge of vampires in Milwaukee. Vampire should also be credited with mainstreaming gays in roleplaying games. Even elves in games like D&D were macho men, but in Vampire even the macho men wear leather daddy gear and carry around braces of twinks on leashes. To call Vampire’s art overwrought is to miss the entire point of the game. This is the role-playing game that introduced the World of Darkness franchise such as Warewolf: The Apocalypse, Mummy: The Resurrection, and so many more! Obviously, Vampire: The Masquerade started it all and it earn some recognition of being some of the best things released in the 1990s.

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Number 10.  –  Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon

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Though there were still Saturday Morning Cartoons going around in the 1990s, it was life-giver to actually have a channel dedicated to cartoons and children’s programming. Never had we ever had this much time of animated programming and constantly as a child I grew obsessive with watching these two channels.

For Nickelodeon, the 90s were a decade filled with entertainment that was ironic and cynical. After the hollow optimism of the 80s, it’s only logical that things would take a dramatic turn in the opposite direction. Goodbye Family Ties and Bananarama, hello Seinfeld and Nirvana. I think that in a lot of ways, children’s television programming reflects that change in mood. If you grew up in the 90s, you watched some weird shows for kids. So really, is it any wonder that as adults, a lot of us have an offbeat, eccentric sense of humor? If you were exposed to Ren & Stimpy as a child, that’s going to affect how you see the world. Shows that always comes tomind are Rugrother06ats, Aah! Real Monsters, CatDog, Ren and Stimpy, Doug, Yeah Arnold, Angry Beavers and Kablam that always gets us joyous whenever it’s on. But anyway, 90s television was awesome, and Nickelodeon really cornered the market in the US on kids programming. It didn’t talk down to us, and somehow found a way to come up with bizzard stories that entertained both us and our parents. There was also multiple structures of the channel where it not only showed cartoons but also gameshows like Legends of the Hidden Temple and Saturday Night Live knock-offs for kids like Keenen and Kel, All That, Snick, and many more!

While Cartoon Network started out as a channel where Ted Turner wanted to bring back his childhood favorite Hanna Barbera somewhere to mid to late-90s we were given original exclusive shows like Dexter’s Laboratory that was a dawn of a new era of cartoons. Then later more cartoons that was started from “What-a-cartoon show” started having their own animated series like Powerpuff Girls, Cow and Chicken, I Am Weasel, Ed, Edd, and Eddy, and Johnny Bravo! Not only that, but the channel has given us a great variety of animation like Toonami’s anime programming hour that introduced many to anime and also Adult Swim because adult animated shows like the Simpsons wasn’t enough. Personally I favor for Cartoon Network much more than Nickelodeon, but they both made it on the list because they were some of the best parts of growing up in the 1990s and no other generation before had ever had the privilege to have this much amount of cartoons.

Number 9.  –  Anime World-Wide Popularity

Personally I would just love to put Cowboy Bebop on the list, but I have a REALLY soft spot for anime from the 1990s so I have to put them all together in one pick on the list. Anime in the mid to late-1990s was actually the best time to get into anime. This was the time where the creative forces behind anime began pulling themselves away from the ultra violence that gave anime a bad reputation and began pushing themselves for great stories that has withstood the test of time. Some of the most beloved and most recognized anime came out of this era; it was truly a renaissance (one we haven’t seen before or since)! This was also the time where anime crawled itself out of the dark corners of just being available for blockbuster video to now being aired on television, creating such worldwide acclaim and how we all first watched anime for the first time. For the longest time, the marketing for East and West has always been something that both cultures couldn’t appeal to one another, then all of the sudden, shows like Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon started selling merchandise and we couldn’t get out of the door without even hearing of the franchise. It as well opened doors to anime that had much more mature content than your standard cartoon that we seen in Saturday Mornings children’s broadcasting and Adult Animation late at night. Also, I prefer this era of anime more so than modern anime because they had a sense of realism and humanity instead of being too shiny, sharp, and overboard with the design & storytelling that lost the appeal that I felt so many years ago. There are anime today that I enjoy, but somehow the anime that came out from this era has that everlasting appeal that even future generations of Otaku will appreciate and enjoy! This was the panicle of what anime achieved and I still await to see if anime would ever be this good again. Click here to see the ten best animes that I certainly enjoyed watching from this era!

Number 8.  –  Microsoft Windows

Back in the 1980’s, computers entered the home market, but the problem is that they were all divided into different operating computers such as DOS, Macintosh, Commedore 64, and many more. That all of the sudden changed when Bill Gates given us Microsoft Windows in the mid 1980s and began getting good in the 1990s. Since then it gotten better and better until Windows XP being the last good one. Everyone in the 1990s needed to get themselves a computer for many reasons, but Microsoft Windows influenced everyone and their families to get one. Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world’s personal computer market with over 90% market share, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced in 1984. We were able to write documents, put in information, play better games, and even “surf on the net.”

Bill Gates introduces Windows 95 on launch day

That’s all thanks to Windows 95 selling a record-setting 7 million copies in the first five weeks. It’s the most publicized launch Microsoft has ever taken on. Windows 95 features the first appearance of the Start menu, taskbar, and minimize, maximize, and close buttons on each window. Windows 95 has built-in Internet support, dial-up networking, and new Plug and Play capabilities that make it easy to install hardware and software. The 32-bit operating system also offers enhanced multimedia capabilities, more powerful features for mobile computing, and integrated networking. At the time of the Windows 95 release, the previous Windows and MS–DOS operating systems are running on about 80 percent of the world’s PCs. Windows 95 is the upgrade to these operating systems. To run Windows 95, you need a PC with a 386DX or higher processor (486 recommended) and at least 4 MB of RAM (8 MB of RAM recommended). Upgrade versions are available for both floppy disk and CD-ROM formats. It’s available in 12 languages.

Released on June 25, 1998, Windows 98 is the first version of Windows designed specifically for consumers. PCs are common at work and home, and Internet cafes where you can get online are popping up. Windows 98 is described as an operating system that “Works Better, Plays Better.” With Windows 98, you can find information more easily on your PC as well as the Internet. Other improvements include the ability to open and close programs more quickly, and support for reading DVD discs and universal serial bus (USB) devices. Another first appearance is the Quick Launch bar, which lets you run programs without having to browse the Start menu or look for them on the desktop. Now the whole world uses computers and it has became the standard in society, no longer a thing to be ashamed of owning. You can say that this stuff is so outdated that it’s not worth coming back, but you have to appreciate this technology otherwise you wouldn’t be using your smart phone to look stuff up on the internet! Bill Gates has got to be the most important figure (yes more so than Bill Clinton, Kurt Cobain, and everyone else) of the whole decade of the 1990s

Number 7.  –  Disney Renaissance

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From 1970 through to 1989, Disney struggled to produce a major cinematic hit. While their movies continued to perform acceptably at the box office, it was widely suggested that they were a studio in decline. That all changed in the early ’90s however when the studio entered into one of the most commercially successful periods in its history now known as ‘The Disney Renaissance’. It lasted from 1989 to 1990 and these animated musicals are the best part of growing up as a child because it was Disney’s time to finally get out of their horrid era into a different direction. It all started with the Little Mermaid that began the Disney Renaissance that started in very late 1989 (so that counts as a 1990s film) that lasted an entire decade. This is considered as Disney’s best years because they all were so brilliantly integrated from the soundtracks, atmosphere, artistry, characters, charm and even appeal that I have seize to see any other era in animation to do the same. These are the films are as good, if not, better than the original Disney classics. The stories and characters (though they were borrowed by other tales) had been better than they’ve had been in years, and there was a substantial philosophy change in which these films were approached. Rather than just making films with just songs in them, Disney started making broadway musicals that had the most relatable characters. The quality of storytelling has been changed drastically where they like to give a valuable lesson in the end, but it combines the fantastic to the everyday relatable. We still deal with love, magic, and whimsical worlds, but there’s a down to Earth and moral story being told and they all have hit on something that we all can relate to; especially children. We’ve all been there and we can all feel what these characters are going through. We, just like the character, want to break free from the mundane and be part of something better. If you watch these movies an adult you understand what this is like for all of these protagonists, but if you seen these films as a child, you’re already there! The saddest part is that this has been Disney’s absolute best and that makes it hard to believe that can be pulled off once again. But for now, let’s countdown the ten best Disney animated movies from 1989-1990!

Number 6.  –  Musical Innovations

Despite that popular music in the 1990s saw the continuation of teen pop and dance-pop trends which had emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, there were brand new take on music that forever changed the way we approach music. Hip hop grew and continued to be highly successful in the decade, with the continuation of the genre’s golden age. Aside from rap, contemporary R&B and urban music in general remained extremely popular throughout the decade; urban music in the late-1980s and 1990s often blended with styles such as soul, funk and jazz, resulting in fusion genres such as new jack swing, neo-soul, hip hop soul and g-funk which were popular.

Similarly to the 1980s, rock music was also very popular in the 1990s, yet, unlike the New Wave and glam metal-dominated scene of the time, grunge, Britpop, industrial rock and other alternative rock music emerged and took over as the most popular of the decade, as well as punk rock, ska punk and nu-metal, amongst others, which attained a high level of success at different points throughout the years. Electronic music, which had risen in popularity in the 1980s, grew highly popular in the 1990s; house and techno rose to international success in this decade, as well as new electronic dance music genres such as trance, happy hardcore, drum and bass, intelligent dance and trip hop. In Europe, Eurodance and Europop music were highly successful, while also finding some international success. The decade also featured the rise of contemporary country music as a major genre, which had started in the 1980s.

No other decade has thrown up more variety and diversity. You can’t look at that decade and define it by anything; there was simply too much going on. Rock and pop bestrode the entire planet like rarely before or since. With grunge, guitar music enjoyed possibly its last true innovation. The decade wins for ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ alone, but the heady college rock scene that surrounded it created one of the most glorious eras in all of pop culture; a world of Reality Bites and Generation X and My So-Called Life and even Beavis And Butthead. The vision of living in an apartment block in 1993 Seattle talking about issues with short-film-making buddies at open mic nights in coffee houses remains a fantasy me and my friends cherish to this day. Of course the Grunge movement was a short lived musical movement, however music did continue to innovate and grow as other genres began to shine like electronic, trip hop, hip-hop/rap, alternative rock and other genres of music delivered great diversity to the many. Of course with growth of music, we also had to suffer through the awful pop music, britpop, and boy bands that tries to be special. At the height of 90′s pop, there were alternatives like indie rock that was getting recognition and violent music that rebel to the garbage that the valley girls were playing. Of course, no decade is perfect, but I would so love to go back in time and relive the 1990′s again.

Number 5.  –  The Smashing Pumpkins

Every decade needs a band or artist that represents the entire decade. We’ve had Elvis Presley in the 1950’s, The Beatles in the 60’s, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd in the ’70s, Metallica in the ’80s, and for the 1990s I hope that there’s no argument but it had to be The Smashing Pumpkins. Sure people would argue Nirvana, Radiohead, Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Blur, Brittany Spears, or any other band is better than the Pumpkins, but no matter how many points they would make, they can’t convince me otherwise. The Smashing Pumpkins was the versatile and varied band that I’ve ever seen and each time they release an album in the 90s, it was a new era of the band. Once was considered “The Next Nirvana” the Pumpkins went beyond it and proved their quality of music. Throughout the entire decade, they’ve given the music world masterpiece, after masterpiece, after masterpiece! They’re not just one thing, they were alternative, grunge, punk, heavy metal, pop, shoegaze, gothic rock, electronic, and many more! Form in Chicago, Illinois by Billy Corgan, the Smashing Pumpkins put out many amazing albums such as “Gish,” “Siamese Dream,” and the brilliant double album “Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness,” “Adore,” to their final two albums “Michina” I and II in 2000. When you’re thinking of the Smashing Pumpkins, you’re thinking of a childhood dream come to life and I continue to find it ever inspiring to see Billy Corgan and the Pumpkins live-out magic to everyone listening to music. The band is just incomparable to anything else out there; they’re pure and child-like that continues to inspire so many out there. Nothing could ever be better than their time in the 1990s when they were flourishing musical delight to anyone who can hear. That’s why they are the fourth greatest thing that ever happened in the 1990s!

Number 4.  –  The Simpsons

No room for argument, so don’t even try.  Twenty-three years down the line and the writing is sharp, the jokes are fresh, the themes are challenging and, well, everything having to do with artistic expression is riding higher than any other show on TV. This is the very cartoon that not only made adult animation a popular television programming, but it also changed our society! It was like an underground comic strip come to prime time and it ruled North American television for the entirety of the 1990s decade.

For a show the shows represents the American dysfunctional family is completely relatable but much more mature than any other animated programming. It became so watchable that we all just kept watching it whenever it’s on the air and new never dared to change the channel after we see the couch gag because it was changing our lives.  Everyone who seen the show remembers the episodes, take note of each trivia, and even the cameos and references that forever imbedded in our memories! Even better was the HUGE cast of character that all have their own unique characteristics that makes the town of Springfield to have its own personality. It’s a cast that is so huge that still to this day writers are picking each one to based a full episode on them and fulfill the experience. Hell, even the special guest celebrities who only make it in one episode are very part of the cast. And speaking of Springfield, even the locations are so iconic from the Kwik e mart, Moe’s Tavern, to the Springfield Elementary school, to even the Power Plant. And you thought that Disneyland was magical just watch any episode and you can see how creative they can go with each setting of Springfield.

Not only that, but the Simpsons did a lot of things that are considered too mature for young audiences such as family fight, abuse, alcoholism/drugs, religion, suggestive themes, and so many more. These episodes from the 1990s really gets better as we get older because we start to notice things that we didn’t catch around the time that it was new making it a wonderful time to watch. We had characters hurt/die, controversial topics, and deep subject matter that ingeniously made a great laugh out of it & at the same time relate to it. For an animated show that focused so much on referencing and becoming the most entertaining thing to watch, it was more human than anything airing on television.

Who knew that a cartoon about a dysfunctional family can had some of the wildest, most creative, and funniest adventures that any show can get. Everyone is always anticipated for the couch gag in the opening, the plots that somehow changes in the course of the episodes, the once-a-year special “Treehouse of Horrors,” the catchphrases, see favorite characters & the recurring gags, and so many more that makes us take the show very seriously and at the same time have the best laughs of our lives! For those who still believes that the Simpsons lost their magic, go ahead and rewatch the entire series and see why The Simpsons has such a reputation! By almost any measurement, The Simpsons is the most influential television comedy ever created.

Number 3.  –  Nintendo, Sega, & Sony in the Console Wars

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This entire decade of gaming has always been regarded as the best era of gaming. This entire decade has gone through the 4th, 5th, and 6th (Sega Dreamcast) Generation of consoles and it was the most evolutionary and innovative moment of our interactive media. We’re talking about jumping from the 8-bit graphics, to 16-bit technology, to 3D graphics. No doubt it was the most daring and the fastest-growing times that any industry has ever had. I did however said that there were too many consoles flooding the entire industry in the 1990s in my Top 10 Worst Things of the 1990s, but the only thing that was worth a damn is Nintendo, Sega, and Sony’s consoles and other gaming products. Many of us kids who grew up in the 1990s had the privilege to experience the transformation of the industry and as we grow older we nostalgic ones have nothing but full appreciation for what has happened in the industry.

It was started with the Nintendo Entertainment System that saved the game industry from the gaming market crash of 1983 and also it made the industry as a whole for what it is today. Towards the end of the 1980’s Nintendo owned the whole gaming industry offering a dawn of a new era of 8-bit graphics. As a result of Nintendo saving the gaming market in the 1980′s, it spawned rivalries during the 1990′s and there was no bigger competitor than Sega. It wasn’t the first time that console manufactures and companies were in competition with each other, but it was the dawn of what we call the “Console Wars” that gave competition a new name after that vicious ad-campaign, “Sega Does What Nintendon’t” to grab an audience for the Sega Genesis. Now all of the sudden, not only the companies had to face intense rivalries but also owners of both consoles had to start rivalries as well (or so I heard because I was a Nintendo fan and whenever I wanted to play the Sega Genesis, I just go to my friend’s house). It started out as a brand new direction with video games and managing to have equal graphics seen in the arcades in the early 1990s that made it a must own at the time. Nintendo knew that they had to evolve by making a successor for the NES called the Super Nintendo. Back in 1991, you had a gamble to either own a Sega Genesis or a Super Nintendo because either one of the consoles could have been the best console of all time. But either way, you were offered some of the most entertaining machines to ever fulfill human’s enjoyment.

The 16-bit era was some of the most iconic time in gaming because it was like Pepsi vs. Coke, Tupac vs. B.I.G., and Hatfields vs. McCoys. All the other consoles that was Sega or Nintendo products were either disappeared out of the face of the Earth (Turbografx-16) or a laughingstock of a console that could not grow much of an audience (Atari Jaguar). From the early to the mid-1990s, it was nothing more than Sega and Nintendo that had all the success and for good reason, they had quality games from Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog trilogy, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy II and III (also known as IV and VI), Phantasy Star, Shining Force, and so many more. It wasn’t all perfect for both consoles because they both took too much risks like Nintendo’s redesign of the SNES zapper to look like oversize bazooka, the SNES mouse not compatible with most games, and even the Mario paint gimmick, while Genesis had horrible gimmicks like Sega Activator and confused the market by jumping back and forth to their Sega CD and cartridge add-ons (and later the 32-X) to show please the audience with better graphics and technology. But with so much money to spend, Nintendo made a graphically impressive game called Donkey Kong Country to prove that you don’t need add-ons to make better graphics and gameplay. DKC single handedly saved the SNES from being toast and today Nintendo still stands today.

It’s no wonder why after all the failed gimmicks that Sega has made, they couldn’t be as successful with their later consoles the Sega Saturn and the Dreamcast. However, Nintendo had to face another competitor who they humiliated to not support the SNES-CD and instead got Philip’s CD-i to use their Nintendo license on their system (and it won’t be their last bone headed move till we get to the Virtua Boy). Sony decided to get in the gaming industry and compete against Nintendo using the SNES-CD technology calling it the “Playstation.” They had a really rough start because there was no audience who was giving Sony a chance. Then Nintendo jumped to the Nintendo 64 but stuck with cartridge, but that caused a lot of developers to jump to a different console that uses CD technology to do a lot more than the limited cartridge. Sega Saturn dissatisfied consumes by releasing it too early and it was too expensive to make. There was no better CD based console than the Playstation as a result all of the third party support that Nintendo and Sega had jump shift to Sony’s new console. All of the sudden, Playstation was getting major classic franchises making an installment on their system like Final Fantasy VII, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Mega Man, Strider, and Metal Gear Solid new titles that gave Sony an identity like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Parappa, Gran Torismo, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Syphon Filter, Oddworld, Tekken, and many more! Nintendo 64  wasn’t far behind Playstation with awesome titles like Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, Turok trilogy, GoldenEye 007, Star Fox 64 and many more to show the the 64-bit technology and offer a 4-player party machine.

You can take a look at any of the best titles from these systems and you can see why they are remembered for their greatness regardless of age.

As graphics and technology continues to evolve, developers were able to give us brand new video game genres that got us out of the 2D plane like Survival Horror, First-Person Shooters, Stealth-Action games, flight shooters, and The fighting game boom that made the industry bigger than it already is. Today, we’re still following those game genres by evolving to new ideas but wouldn’t get anywhere without the amazing ideas that started in the 1990s. There a was a big enthuses of multiplayer that was uprising since Street Fighter II became a game for 1-on-1 fights, then later FPS’s started warfare with players that’s still growing today, 4-player competition with N64 and Dreamcast, and even the very first online multiplayer titles like Quake on PC and many more on the Sega Dreamcast. I really miss those times when we were able to invite a friend over just to play with us and have tournaments when it’s a competitive fight. Also let’s not forget the evolution of storytelling in video games. All of the sudden, as gamers got older, they are in need for titles that are taken more seriously and significant on what they’re doing. We started to have RPG games from the SNES to the Playstation like Final Fantasy IV, VI, and VII, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, that made watching cutscenes fell more important than before. No longer were adventure games from the PC the only game genre that offered great stories in video games because they showed that any game genre is capable to tell a good story, at best.

Going back to these games makes me more and more appreciative on what was offered in the 1990s and it continues to make us wish that we were back in those times. Sure we can go back to these old machines at any given time, but what makes going back to those days when they are new so desiring is because we miss the society where they believed that they were realistic and had the same enthusiasm to check out what’s offered in video games at the time. Gladly, there are still people out there that still gives a lot of appreciation and love for gaming in 1990s and it should tell you tell you the reputation this era deserved if the majority of the games still entertains people today.

 

Number 2.  –  Terminator 2: Judgement Day

This is the best movie sequel of all time and no doubt the best movie of the whole 1990s! It far surpasses The Terminator by a milestone. The first one, strange as it seems, was more B-horror-movie than action movie, a sort of slasher film with sci-fi trimmings. The second sees Cameron pull the same trick he did with Aliens, switching genre, upping the ante and producing something entirely different (the bad guy’s now the good guy!) while still feeling like part of the same franchise. This time around, a young and rebellious John Connor is pursued by the T-1000, a liquid-metal cyborg that can morph into anyone or anything it comes in contact with. In a surprise plot twist, the original Terminator (Arnold “Governator” Schwarzenegger) becomes the lovable hero, spitting out memorable lines like “Hasta la vista, baby” while protecting John and his mother Sarah Connor (also reprising her role from the first film).

The movie, which marked the first time human motion was used for a computer-generated character, which is why our main villain, the T-1000 still looks so amazing to this very day. The T-1000 is a very intimidating villain; one of the most memorable in movie history and in my book he’s simply the best of all time. It seems the trend that sequels find a great villain or supporting character who steals the audience away from the protagonist the first film spent so much time exploring. Such is true of Terminator 2.  I can’t imagine how hard it was for moviegoers in 1991 to believe anybody could top the Terminator, but Robert Patrick’s T-1000 not only instilled fear in the viewers, James Cameron’s CGI villain was unprecedented from an effects standpoint. Cold, calculating and relentless, the T-1000 still remains one of the coolest bad guys ever. But it isn’t the villain, or even the Arnold back as the T-800 that elevated T2 to glory. Instead, Sarah Connor is the essence of of the film.

The scared-but-tough woman puts on the vest and provides the firepower of the film. There are endless amounts of toughness in this second installment, but it is somehow balanced with an uncanny amount of heart. I can list all the great things that made Terminator 2 just the best movie of all time – the epic opening, the future war scene, the reverse father-son-relationship between John and the Terminator, lighting and cinematography, the viaduct chase, the best biblical quotes Arnie has ever said, T-1000 transformation, it’s philosophical, the character development, tying up loose ends, intelligent action, dark humor, the best climatic ending, and hundred of reasons more!

This is the best narrative, production, and experience I’ve ever had with a singular film. Everyone deserves to see this film! Terminator 2 impressed me so much that it became my most re-watched film ever. I lost count of all the times I’ve watched Terminator 2 and I still can’t get enough of it. Even with the Extended Cut version I still want more of Terminator 2 because it sucks so much ass that the sequels are so inferior to the original two films that makes wrapping your entire life obsessing Terminator 2 to feel so fulfilling. Terminator 2 was at its most insane with their effects, action, direction, and storytelling that the there is no other film that is marginally equivalent to its sheer level of awesomeness. By the end, no matter how tough and badass the characters and action really are, it can still make a grown man cry towards the end. If you want more reasons why Terminator 2 is simply the greatest film of all time, click here to understand why it’s so damn good! Thumbs up to you Terminator 2 for being not only the best movie of the 1990s, but the best movie of all fucking time!!

thumbsup Terminator 2

 

Number 1.  –  The Attitude Era!

There was never a better time to be a pro wrestling fan, let alone a fan of television programming than during the period from 1996-2002, when WWF was in the midst of its legendary Attitude Era. TV ratings were at an all-time high, it was cool to be a fan and you could find a good wrestling product on TV just about any time you wanted to. Contrast that with today’s WWE product. Now, fans are inundated with hours of mindless, and often meaningless, WWE programming.  Sit through one three-hour episode of Monday Night Raw, and you’ll be longing for the old days, even if you weren’t a wrestling fan in the old days. There was no better matches, better shows, and better cast of characters/wrestlers than the ones from the attitude era!

Attitude; the name say it all.  Gone were the days of the family-friendly, cartoon characters that WWF had been presenting since the 1980s & mid 1990s. Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage were replaced by guys like Steve Austin, The Rock and Mankind.  And old names like Undertaker transformed into more diminutional characters. The stars at the top of the card could be babyfaces, heels or fall somewhere in between. The biggest star of the Attitude Era saluted the crowd with his middle fingers, and he was a wildly popular baby face. The moment where Stone Cold Steve Austin first swore in King of the Ring 1996 and said Austin 3:16, it was the birth of a new era. Even the good guys weren’t the kind of people that your parents wanted you to hang around with. In the Attitude Era, WWE fans needed a scorecard to tell which grapplers were babyfaces, and which were heels.  You certainly couldn’t tell by watching.

As mentioned, the top babyface in the company was a beer-drinking, trash-talking, bird-flipping redneck.  The Rock, who proclaimed himself The People’s Champion with one breath, told the crowd to shut up and start chanting with him in the next.  He went from face to heel to face again with startling regularity.  The No. 1 faction of the era, D-Generation X, broke every rule in the book, told the fans to “Suck It” and made lewd hand gestures with every ring appearance that started its own sexual revolution on national television.  The crowd couldn’t have loved them more. The No. 1 heel in the company was the boss, Vince McMahon.  Crowds booed him for trying to stop his stars from drinking in the ring, running off with the divas and painting their logo on anything that didn’t move. The Attitude Era was compelling because the stars had nuance.  No one was purely good or purely bad, they were human, exciting, and entertaining all the way.  Mankind was a babyface who supposedly spent most of his off hours locked in a basement somewhere, talking to himself or to a sock puppet.  Austin would flip off the fans before his matches and drink “Steveweiser” toasts to them after.

During the Attitude Era, the biggest names were consistently atop the card and fighting for some title or principle. Rock, whether babyface or heel, was constantly in contention for the Intercontinental Championship, the WWE title or in pursuit of some other guy who had done him wrong.  D-Generation-X took turns holding the WWE, Intercontinental, Tag Team and European titles. Austin chased the gold and stunned anybody who stood in his way. The top tag teams—The Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian, DX, The Dudleys and the APA—were constantly battling one another, and the outcomes were never predictable. The variations were many, but the names at the top of the card seldom changed.  Fans knew when they tuned in that they’d see Rock, Austin, McMahon, DX and the rest of the top stars battling over issues or titles.  There just weren’t any transitional champions.  The top stars held the gold and dared anyone to come and take it.

The one thing I really miss in Pro Wrestling is proper storytelling, not these in-ring work garbage where people make flips and choreographic moves to keep people interested but looks so fake.  During the Attitude Era, fans tuned in because the matches told stories. Austin wanted to beat the hell out of Rock because he wanted the WWE title.  DX was chasing Vince’s daughter so that they would have a hold over the CEO of the company. Mick Foley had three different characters going because he wanted to break through to the top of the card and wasn’t sure if his best chance was as Cactus Jack, Mankind or Dude Love. Kane interferes Undertaker for his revenge for burning his face. Kane fought with XPac over a girl (Tori).  Outlandish things were happening, but there was always a reason behind them, and the stories were most often very interesting. In the Attitude Era, it took Austin months to finally get his hands on Vince McMahon and The Rock took most of a year to take over the Nation of Domination.  These are not just story lines, these were epic sagas that was happening in wrestling and never again did we ever felt the same with the media again.

If that’s not enough, the matches in this era took risks. In the Attitude Era, WWE climbed back to the top of the wrestling world by taking chances. Letting Austin swill beer and flip off the fans was risky.  Putting the WWE Championship on Mankind was a huge leap of faith in Hell in a Cell. The Hardy Boyz, Dudley Boys and Edge and Christian made the tag team division relevant by destroying each other and just about everyone else with tables, ladders and chairs.  Jeff Hardy appeared willing to leap off of just about anything, including the top rope, a 20-foot ladder and the TitanTron in order to spark the crowd. WWE put belts on almost all of the McMahons at one time or another.  At one point, Shane, Vince and Stephanie all held some form of a WWE title within a 12-month span. Speaking of McMahon, the boss of the company was painted as the company’s top heel.  He was bulked up beyond belief and used whatever means he could think of to get his way. People got hit with chairs, set on fire, thrown off the top of gigantic structures and run over by cars on a weekly basis. All of these things kept my interest and mixed that up with a good story, you’re presented with the most awesome moments in life!

Sure, The Attitude Era ripped off Extreme Championship Wrestling’s hardcore wrestling phenomenon, but for the fact that this single era brought the highest ratings that the WWE has ever had should tell you about the success and reception it deserved. And who do we have to thank for all that was given to us in the Attitude Era? None other than Vince McMahon. Sure, the man has done some of the most questionable decisions in the business, but starting this trend in wrestling was the best thing he’s ever done for the company and wrestling itself.  Vince McMahon had more to do with the attitude era success than anyone. This era of wrestling literally did rule the world, killing off the corporate giant WCW which they competed directly with on Monday nights. McMahon’s business acumen and creative vision had a ton to do with this. He was the one who scripted feuds between himself and Steve Austin which engaged fans so dramatically. Vince was the one who saw the potential of The Rock and encouraged him to push further. It was Vince who identified merchandise opportunities and business strategy which saw his company grow hugely in the attitude era. But it wasn’t just McMahon’s off screen greatness that turned the WWF from a joke into world dominance. It was the swagger and delivery of the Mr. McMahon television character which really made the attitude era what it was. Steve Austin would have been nothing close to as huge a star had he not had the right foil to bounce off of. Vince was that man, he played the Mr. McMahon character better than any talent has ever played a gimmick. The hammed up performances of Mr. McMahon made WWF must see, and sold thousands of pay per views as viewers longed for Steve Austin to kick his ass.

This was an era of wrestling that was so innovative and captivating and so entertaining, that it’s always worth coming back to. Wrestling fans to this day are still waiting for another era like this but unfortunately since WWE went back to the times of PG, not giving two shits about telling good stories, and over enthuses on pointless in-ring work more-so than anything else. As a result of seeing wrestling getting worse and worse, it makes going back to the Attitude Era a lot better than we remembered. And that’s one of the big reasons why the Attitude Era was so damn, good, but many of the story lines were actually better well told than any movie and televisions since and after. It always culminate in a one-on-one match or any other stipulation in a Pay Per View and more times than not, they always deliver. It really makes you wish that WWE today has big name competition like WCW and ECW so that way they can put as much effort to beat the competition. It’s true the the whole purpose of Attitude was to beat WCW in the Monday Night Wars, but that’s the whole point in this business. The Attitude Era’s product was so good that it not only caught up with the times, but the times were living with the wrestling world. It became cool to be a wrestling fan and almost everything that was going on in WWF was twice the size of Hollywood. Never again will WWE or Vince McMahon ever be living in such successful and harmonious times as much as they were in the Attitude Era!

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