Friday, July 29, 2011

The 90s Are All That Celebratory Recaps Continue--Please Welcome Part 2

Based on all the buzz on Facebook, Twitter, and in the news, TeenNick's new The 90s are All That is a major hit. We children of the 90s have braved the wee hours of the night (or, more likely, braved the complicated recording-settings on our DVR) in record ratings numbers to land these 15-year old shows in the top ten for their late-night timeslots. The block has started with Kenan and Kel, Clarissa Explains it All, All That, and Doug, but Nickelodeon has been heavily hinting that viewer response could add many more shows to the mix.

The hilarious Andy Shaw (@wildarschase) and I teamed up earlier this week to reminisce about some of our favorites here. We're back today to discuss three new shows. You can catch the full content on Andy's blog at but just in case you're so eager you can't wait the time it takes a new page to load, here's a little preview of what you can find there:

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

WildARSChase: The answer is yes, because of this show. Good God, was it creepy. There was always that magic shop they went to with the guy who I later thought was Hagrid from “Harry Potter”. It was genius of Nickelodeon to make a scary show for kids. There was nothing else like it on TV.

They had that whole “Midnight Society” thing going on, too. Very cult-ish. I always wondered what the hazing ritual was to get into that group. Did you have to wear the red bucket on your head? Did you have to tell a ghost story in Spanish? Was there an orgy (Wait, that’s the plot of “Vanilla Sky”)? I think more kids should get together in the woods and tell ghost stories. Of course, saying, “I think more kids should get together in the woods” doesn’t sound good these days.

Fun fact: One of the Midnight Society members grew up to be the very attractive and very charming Joanna Garcia.

Children of the 90s: I will be the first to admit I was absolutely terrified of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” I do, however, like a show so conversational that its very title is an opening to learn more about you and your most intimate fears and phobias. In my case, the answer to “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” was “Yes, absolutely. But especially that thing that was in the pool. That was pretty gross, and I’m probably only going to be able to sleep with a nightlight on until I’m about 22.*”

(*Age exaggerated for comedic effect. I’d say it actually was closer to 21.)

Hop on over and visit the post on Andy's blog for more 90s Nickelodeon goodness about Doug, Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Salute Your Shorts! We've had a lot of fun with this series and we'd love to put out a few more installments, but we need some reader input to help us decide what should come next. Check out the blog, send some comment love our way, or tweet us at @wildarschase and @childrenof90s to find out what we’re up to next.

Monday, July 25, 2011

To discuss an exciting 90s TV development with a very funny guest blogger

In honor of tonight’s very exciting TeenNick premiere of “The 90s Are All That” programming block, a fellow blogger and I thought it would be fun to combine forces to reminisce about some of the shows that will be rebroadcast after years in the Nickelodeon vault. For those of you who are unaware of the impending television greatness in our midst, behold, the glory of The 90s Are All that promo:

You should probably set your Tivo or DVR immediately so you can enjoy this amazing 90s Nick lineup at your leisure. Go ahead, we’ll wait. Done? Okay, great.

For readers who have not yet met the hilarious Andy, here’s your formal introduction:

Andy Shaw, known on Twitter as @WildARSChase, now runs, where he's combined forces Captain Planet-style to show his improv and stand up performances as well as his WildARSChase blog. He also wonders why Tori was ever on Saved By the Bell.

Now that we all know each other, I think we’re ready to begin. We could go on and on about our memories and the collective greatness of these shows, so we just picked a few of our favorites to start with. Be sure to stop back by Andy’s blog later this week for the next installment!

Legends of the Hidden Temple:

Children of the 90s take: Looking back, Legends of the Hidden Temple is a gold mine of highly transferable life lessons. For one, always wear a helmet and a mouthguard for all activities. I don’t care if you’re walking your dog or baking up a hearty batch of oatmeal cookies: you never know what kind of dangerous obstacles you could encounter that could potential damage your cranium or cause you to unsuspectingly swallow a molar. That’s just basic safety.

I also learned never to count my pendants before I’ve exited the temple gates. In life, it seems just when you think you’re about to run out of the temple scott free with the Walking Stick of Harriet Tubman, a terrifying and vaguely Mayan temple guard pops up and you’re back at square one. A figurative temple guard, of course. I think I’ve let this life lesson metaphor get away from me, but hopefully you’re still along for the ride. Bonus points if you’re wearing your helmet and mouthguard.

Legends of the Hidden Temple is also a classic example of how loosely we defined shows as “educational” in the 90s. By defining the stories as “legends,” the level of research integrity required by LotHT producers dropped significantly. I’m also a tad suspicious that Olmec was just a primer to prep us for subsequent years of gleaning our news from talking heads on TV. To be fair, though, many of those cable news pundits come off more stone-faced than Olmec.

WildARSChase take: Children, it all comes down to which team were you rooting for? A Silver Snake? A Blue Barracuda? Or were you cheering for a super slutty Red Jaguar?*
* Based on vague memories. Not scientific.

And might I add, Olmec was a douche. He was completely full of himself and very judgmental. I am quite sure host Kirk Fogg wanted to punch Olmec in his fat face.

Let me get to my biggest gripe, though: Why couldn’t those stupid kids assemble the Shrine of the Silver Monkey faster? My God, it was three pieces! And then they would waste so much time giving the temple guards the pendants. Drove me crazy. Kirk Fogg would scream at them. I’d scream at them. It was rough.

Children of the 90s: I was a Blue Barracuda girl all the way. I never quite understood how they came up with the color/creature combos for team names. Orange Iguanas? Red Jaguars? It just doesn’t add up.

I’m with you about Olmec. Can you imagine Kirk and Olmec’s off-screen relationship? I feel like there was some serious tension there when the cameras were off.

Speaking of the temple guards, it kind of makes me wonder who exactly was showing up for work everyday to dress up in the full Mayan garb. Were these guys Nickelodeon interns? Or real actors? I’m trying to picture some poor aspiring actor padding out his resume with “Temple Guard #3,” or if he was feeling especially creative, maybe he even gave it an authentic Mayan name like “Ixchel.”

WildARSChase: My guess is Olmec used to date Kirk’s girlfriend and was still calling her because he felt lonely stuck on the side of a temple. And Kirk couldn’t handle it and would sometimes rub it in Olmec’s face how hot his girlfriend is. I imagine the girl was Lori Loughlin from “Full House.”

The Mayan thing cracks me up because I’m sure it was so completely historically inaccurate (as you astutely point out, it was “legends.”) I am sure there’s an IMDB page out there with Temple Guard #3 out there. And I’m also quite sure Keanu Reeves would be the one to do it.

Children of the 90s: So I actually went to look that up on IMDB, to no avail. Too bad. I did find out the host Kirk Fogg had a bit part as a district attorney in the Veronica Mars pilot, though.

All That:

Children of the 90s take: All That understood the difference between adult comedy and children’s comedy. How do I know? Because at the time, I thought each sketch was more brilliant than the last, but as an adult I question my very sanity for laughing out loud at some of this stuff. “He’s Earboy! Earboy! His Ears are really big!” Really? That’s your tagline? At least no one could argue it would go over kids’ heads.

I was also a big fan of the Goodburger fast food sketches, foreign exchange student Ishboo, crazy write-in advice dispenser Dear Ashley, and of course Vital Information for your Everyday Life. I credit Vital Information with teaching me the value of non-sequitor humor and building me a strong base of sarcasm. I never could nail a deadpan delivery quite like Lori Beth Denberg, though. Not every line was a winner, but the concept was pretty clever for a kid’s show.

Best of all, If I didn’t think something was funny, it was also incredibly brief-there was usually a ten minute wait at most to enjoy Coolio or Boyz II Men or whichever other top-billed musical artist the show managed to pull for a performance.

WildARSChase take: I can still remember that theme song. Did you know TLC performed it? RIP, Lisa Left Eye Lopez.

That show created a ton of spinoffs: Kenan & Kel (everytime I see SNL and see Kenan Thompson, I think of the “Goodburger” movie), The Amanda Show and more. Amanda Bynes was clearly gunning to be the star of All That. I never liked her as much.

I also forgot that Nick Cannon was on that show, preparing for a life ahead with Mariah Carey.
The best thing about All That may have been the music guests. I loved how culturally diverse it was - I am sure it is one reason I’m into R&B and hip hop today. Aaliyah, Erykah Badu, Da Brat, Busta Rhymes … and they weren’t singing kid-friendly songs, either. Actually, I can’t believe half of them were on a kids’ show.

Children of the 90s: ARS, you’re bringing back way too many memories here, I’d completely forgotten about Nick Cannon being on All That. Remember the spinoff Nick Cannon show? Now I just think of him as the well-dressed hipster host of America’s Got Talent who’s whipped enough by Mariah Carey to allow his children to have names like Moroccan and Monroe.

Looking at that list of musical guests, it’s definitely a far cry from the Disney-ified music in kids’ entertainment today. I actually went to see Busta Rhymes a few weeks ago and I can vouch that it is definitely not kid-friendly. Maybe the show’s content advisers just assumed he rapped so fast parents wouldn’t catch all the drug references.

And of course, I loved the TLC theme song. CrazySexyCool was one of the first CDs I owned. I’m pretty sure I spent a whole year deeming things I liked not just as cool, but as crazysexycool.

WildARSChase: You went to see Busta Rhymes? You just got bonus points in my book. That’s gangsta. Aaliyah sang “One In a Million” on All That, a song clearly about sex. By the way, how come I keep referring to dead 90s singers?

I had CrazySexyCool on cassette. I remember listening to “Red Light Special” and knowing it was dirty but not quite sure why.

I wonder if a show like “All That” would make it today. Since I’m not a kid anymore, I’m not sure what all is out there, but I’d be worried that someone like Miley Cyrus would be on a new “All That.” And that would be a tragedy.

Children of the 90s: You just reminded me I should go listen to Red Light Special so I can figure out what the heck I was misunderstanding as a child. Be back soon.


Children of the 90s take: As a child, I was certain the the culmination of life success was determined by one’s ability to navigate the treacherous terrain of a color-coded craggy mountain plagued by frequent glitter storms. For many years, my life’s major ambition was to someday own a piece of the famed aggro-crag. I certainly wasn’t athletic enough to ever make it as a contestant in the Extreme Arena, but that hasn’t stopped me from searching periodically for souvenir aggro crag trophies on eBay.

One of the best parts of the show was the little “Spill Your Guts” human interest segment. I spent hours brainstorming what my GUTS nickname might be. Did I exhibit the shiftiness and stealth of “The Jackal” or did I boast more of the grace and quick-footedness of “The Jaguar”? Plus, these kids knew how to celebrate their athletic achievements: I still think the best way to celebrate a milestone is to drape yourself proudly in your country’s flag and take a victory lap.

WildARSChase take: Mike O’Malley was introduced to me through GUTS, a show so awesome it demands a caps lock. DEMANDS IT. Who’s Mike O’Malley, you say? I’m guessing you don’t know him through his seminal work on “Yes, Dear,” which lives on in TBS infamy. I bet you know him as Kurt’s dad on “Glee.” Yep, that guy.

He was the host, always pushing kids to the limit and keeping sexual tension with Mo Quirk, the (female) referee. Mo went on to do great things, such as “My Life As a Teenage Robot” and an “additional voice” credit on Microsoft Flight Simulator X.

GUTS was all about the Agrocrag, wasn’t it? The Agrocrag makes Mount Doom in “Lord of the Rings” look like a sandcastle. It separated the men from the boys, the women from the girls and the destined to be a pro athlete from the destined to be an accountant.

Looking back, that show was great because it promoted physical activity and being adventurous. It’s the exact opposite of another old Nick show that evidently won’t be re-broadcast, Nick Arcade … clearly, that show doesn’t stand the test of time because the graphics would look horrendous.

Children of the 90s: I’ll admit I actually had a huge crush on Mike O’Malley in his GUTS days. What can I say, I like a guy in a hockey jersey. I was definitely not a Yes, Dear fan, but I do like him on Glee when I remember to watch it. I suppose if he has to be getting old and bald, at least he can be accepting of his gay son.

That kind of makes me sad about Mo, because I always admired her intensity and how serious she took this announcer gig that must have been, at best, her third choice show biz job. My fiance and I actually went one year for Halloween as Mo and a Guts Contestant...I’d highly recommend it if you’re ever in a market for a 90s costume idea.

I’m also all for the physical activity aspect, but I actually loved Nick Arcade. Didn’t you think it seemed cool at the time? Obviously the technology seems pretty crappy now, but back then I was amazed those kids were in the video games. All hail bluescreen technology.

WildARSChase: Mo and a GUTS contestant? You’re racking up bonus points left and right. I think you also were Mike O’Malley’s only groupie, so that’s minus points.

GUTS really did have an international flair. I almost had forgotten how they flew the country flag. Of course, then you also found yourself rooting for America, which seems a bit xenophobic in hindsight. Screw you, other countries! This here is America, and our kids are the best!

Nick Arcade did seem awesome at the time. I couldn’t believe how it was done. Actually, if they did a new version of that it would be amazing, wouldn’t it?

Children of the 90s: I’m not ashamed, I was totally a Mike O’Malley groupie. Try watching the video above and telling me he didn’t used to be pretty good-looking in his relative youth.

I would totally go for a new Nick Arcade. Are you out there, Nickelodeon executives? I’d watch that. Whip that up, please, with some new technology. And maybe they can make into Global Nick Arcade, just so I can continue to feel good about rooting for my American compatriots.

WildARSChase: Come over to on Friday for the next installment of our recap of Nickelodeon shows of yesteryear. What shows will we do next? You'll have to visit to find out! Follow us on Twitter to find out when our series is updated! @wildarschase and @childrenof90s

Children of the 90s: (Insert additional self-promotion links here)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Classic Children of the 90s Post: Lunchables

Your faithful Children of the 90s blogger is still on vacation...but in the meantime please enjoy this classic post about Lunchables:

In the late 80s and early 90s, the Oscar Mayer company was out to prove that they were more than just a catchy jingle and a Weinermobile. At this point, we were all fairly aware of Oscar Mayer's way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A. We were relatively proficient in identifying our bologna by both its first and second names. We even had general affection for ingesting the aforementioned mysterious lunch meat daily. What more could they want from us?

Perhaps they were upset were were packing non-Oscar Mayer brand products in our school lunches. Maybe it was that sometimes we favored Jennie-O Turkey Breast over our old mystery meat pal bologna. Or possibly they were just concerned we weren't meeting our daily sodium level potential. Whatever the instigator may have been, the quest to streamline the lunch-packing process had begun.

When it came to the 1990s elementary school cafeteria, brown bags and insulated coolers were out and prepackaged boxed lunches were in. Suddenly the height of cafeteria coolness revolved around snack-like, nutritionally devoid, candy toting yellow boxes. To pull out one of those signature Lunchables boxes at lunch time was to declare yourself party to the latest in food trends and blatantly flaunt your parents' reputable recalcitrance for wholesome nourishment. Those of us whose parents insisted on packing us a food pyramid-inspired balanced meal were forced to hang our heads in shame at our lack of preboxed lunchtime delights.

The Lunchables roster certainly expanded over the years, but it began with a simple savory formula: crackers, adorably miniature slices of lunchmeat, and overprocessed and suspiciously orange cheese slices. Later models included such awe-inspiringly nutrition-void amenities as Capri Sun drink pouches and a fun size portion of candy. Some of us, though I won't say who, learned the don't-put-metal-in-the-microwave lesson the hard way via the addition of the metallic Capri Sun pouches. Her parents may or may not have frozen Lunchables for posterity and future lunchability, and she was not quite patient enough to let it thaw. Again, I'm not naming names, but she may or may not have broken her family's brand new microwave through this ill-fated Lunchable venture*.

Lunchable varieties became increasingly questionable with each successive incarnation. Each model stayed true to the original formula of a collection of spare lunch parts complete with assembly instructions, but Oscar Meyer certainly weren't afraid to experiment with creativity. They churned out pizzas, nachos, mysterious forms of "dunkers," tacos, and nearly any other fathomable junk food-based product. Naturally (or as the case warranted, by means of artificial flavoring) it was only a matter of time before anti-childhood obesity groups and health advocates stormed the Lunchables bastille in the name of all things overly salty.

Yes, these salt-packed snacks were tasty, but it's largely due to the fact that they were often packing a whopping three quarters of a daily recommended value of sodium for an adult. Mind you, these were mainly consumed by children, so it's fairly simple to deduce that the sodium content more than exceeded their healthy daily dosage. This preservative-rich snack boxes came under fire for their absolute defiance in the face of rising health consciousness. Essentially, researchers looked on in horror as morbidly obese children waddled to their lunch tables, inhaled a Lunchable, chased it with the fun size candy, and went into a salt coma. These were kids walking through their elementary school hallways single file not out of obedience to teachers but out of necessity to fit through the cafeteria door.

The Oscar Meyer/Kraft people could only hold out for so long. There was really no adequate defense for the remarkably low nutrition levels of their products, other than that children adored them and their junk-foody contents. As long as there was a consumer demographic of parents still willing to poison their children with dangerous sodium levels, there was no reason for them to make any sort of adjustment. However, as the pressure from nutrition advocates mounted and led to devastatingly bad press for Oscar Meyer/Kraft, the company quickly changed their salty tune.

It may be a bit harsh to say they sold out, considering the admittedly poor levels of nutrition in the original product. However, they did oblige to their opposition and began offering options such as fruit juice and yogurt. While these new additions may have had some grounding in health food, it's pretty safe to say they didn't significantly alter the overall caloric content. Regardless, as long as the juvenile salt-related cardiac arrest subsided, they were able to quietly continue packing children chock full of delicious artificial additives.

That said, it's important to note that some of their current releases are highly questionable. Take this disturbingly fizzy pop-rocks knockoff meat+candy creation.It just goes to show you that change does not necessarily equal progress. To its credit, however, the packaging does herald the excellence of the meal's calcium content. Calcium or not, the whole thing seems pretty suspicious. It's safe to say that while contemporary children may not enjoy the same levels of salty deliciousness, Lunchables continue to outrage parents everywhere in a distinctly kid-pleasing manner.

And isn't that what really counts?

*In case you failed to gather from the heavy hints, this was clearly me. I never did own up to breaking the microwave.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In case you needed another sign Children of the 90s are getting older...

Just in case all of the reasons in this post weren't enough to bring your unstoppable pending adultification to light, here's one more to add to the pile. While hearing the songs we grew up with reduced to Muzak in waiting rooms, dentist offices, grocery stores, and elevators is certainly a step down from their once-hip status, now they're parodying our old favorites for less and less attractive causes. One day your song is an R&B top charter, and the next, well, it's in deep doo-doo.

Dog doo-doo, that is. The Puget Sound Starts Here environmental group ( released a Blackstreet "No Diggity" parody entitled--you guessed it--"Dog Doogity" to raise awareness about how picking up dog's poop can enhance the water quality in the city of Puget Sound. I remember skating to the original Blackstreet jam at roller rink birthday parties, and now it's been reduced to a dog poop awareness campaign anthem:

And the lyrics, for good measure:
You know what,
I like the Puget Sound,
Dog doogity, no doubt, uh!
Play on Puget
Play on Puget
Yo dog dropped a deuce!
Doggy get down, good dog
Baby got her walkin through Seatown
And all around the Puget Sound
Cover much ground, she ain't a hound from the pound
In the rain, it's a good day
Each and every day, the Northwest way
The girl and her dog, they were fine (wow)
Until they left a doodie, that's a crime (bow wow)
East side to the West side
Pushin I-5, take a ferry ride
I hope she got treats in the stash
Bacon gives her gas
Fast when it comes to the snacks
I noticed that dance
It's on when she kicks like a rabbit
Doggy, when you do your doo, I'm gonna help you
Can I get down so I can
I like the way you walk it
Dog doogity
We've got to bag it up (repeat 4x)
Hey yo x4
Hey yo, lets keep this clean
Hey yo x4
Pick it up! Pick it up! Keep it green
Hey yo x4
You don't want to swim in poo
Hey yo x4, Heeeeeey
I like the way you walk it
Dog doogity, we've got to bag it up (repeat 4x)

So there you have it. The once-cool songs we grew up with are morphing into some sort of public domain-owned joke song fodder. At least it's kind of funny, if you like lines like "Bacon gives her gas." I think the humor may be a little subjective. I do really like the dramatic way he appears in the shadows with a doody bag, though. That's just good citizenship.

In case you're thinking this is a cop-out of an excuse for a real post, it totally is. Thanks for noticing! More full posts coming soon, I promise.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Boy Band Party Playlist

Although I’m still a few months out from my wedding, this weekend I’m traveling to celebrate with some of my girlfriends for a bachelorette party. In the grand spirit of celebration, potential inebriation, silly sashes, and age-inappropriate tiaras, a collection of 90s mood music seemed in order. What better way, I figured, to get into the celebratory mood than with a boy band pregame playlist? No way better, of course.

Truthfully, the notion for this playlist stemmed from my friends’ slightly embarrassing request that I bring my iPod (my vintage pink 2004 mini model) to the weekend’s festivities. I warned my friend that since I lost the cord to update the iPod sometime around 2005, the playlists have been virtually frozen in time. While she assured me it would be fine and to bring it anyway, I mentally calculated the cheese factor of my carefully constructed party playlists. Deciding the nostalgia appeal outweighed the inevitably embarrassment of these decade plus-old songs, I figured I’d bring out the big guns. By guns, obviously, I mean synthesizers and impressively pitch-perfect prepubescent harmony compositions.

I’ve opted to share the most incriminating of these playlists here with you, with the understanding that you may feel free to mercilessly mock my musical mindset. Go ahead, I can take it. I also promise not to tell if you choose to reconstruct this playlist on your own music device and dance to it alone in your room in preparation for a night out, though I retain that you should probably cite you found the idea here somewhere in your footnotes or elsewhere in your music bibliography. Feel free to fear for my future wedding guests and the inevitable 90s pop-packed playlist I’ll probably roll out for the occasion. For now, though, get pumped up with some of these cornball boy band jams. You’re welcome.

Quit Playing Games with my Heart

This is the closest thing to a slow jam you’ll find on this list, and it serves as a nice transitional warm-up to build momentum for all the cheesy 90s dance music that’s to come. “Quit Playing Games” beat out several veritable contenders for this coveted warm-up spot, including 98 Degrees “I Do (Cherish You)” and All 4 One’s “I Swear.”

(You Got It) The Right Stuff

It’s physically impossible to hear this song without breaking into a hearty chorus of “oh-oh-oh-ohoh! oh-oh-oh-OH!” Seriously, try to stop yourself. It’s like a knee-jerk reflex for 90s children. This song is too magically catchy not to sing along, and that dancing in the video is just too ridiculous to hate on.

When the Lights Go Out

If I’m ever looking for inspiration for creative license for spelling, I should just remind myself of the 90s boy band 5ive. I may not agree that a number is an appropriate substitute for the first letter of that same number spelled out, but I will defend their right to make ridiculous faux-hip hop pop songs with inane lyrics and pulsating beats. That’s just common sense.

I Want it that Way

Judging by the 29 milllion YouTube views on a song that premiered long before we’d ever heard of YouTube, I’d say the Backstreet Boys have a pretty well-established 90s fan base. Their ability to gaze pensively into the camera while dressed in matching monochromatic ensembles isn’t bad, either.

Summer Girls

I’ve posted this video on this site exceedingly more times than is remotely justifiable, but I can’t deny my love for it. It never fails to put me in the mood for summer, plus it kind of makes me want to beg my parents for $79 for obscene cutoff shorts and overpriced shirts that simply read “Abercrombie.”

Tearin’ Up my Heart

NSync - Tearin' up my Heart by SUUZAN

These old *NSync videos are pretty compelling proof that if you’re as good looking as Justin Timberlake, you can someday recover from the corniness of being a teen boy band star and reinvent yourself as cool. To the other guys, sorry. At least you had your moment of looking soulfully into the camera for three seconds before the attention deficit music video director cut to a shot of one of your bandmates being more attractive and interesting than you.


This song fits in so well on this list, it’s almost difficult to remember that it’s a parody. The satire of MTV’s 2ge+her is so spot-on that without listening carefully to the lyrics, it’s tough to differentiate it from its allegedly serious real life boy band counterparts. Actually, the lyrics aren’t even that far off, if you go on cheesiness and generic content alone.

I Want you Back

Where exactly do I go about getting one of those super-cool zip-front crewnecks Justin and JC are sporting in the opening shot? Those are pure 90s goodness, though the shiny jackets in the next cutaway come in a close second. I imagine someday our kids will watch these videos and tease us mercilessly that we once idolized this kind of incredibly ridiculous dancing and even bought Darrin’s Dance Grooves to try to replicate them in the privacy of our own homes. Wait, who am I kidding? Our kids won’t even know what music videos are. Someday we’ll wax poetic on the virtues of TRL and they won’t understand a word of it.

Step by Step

Scratch that whole thing about the last video being the cheesiest in the bunch. Rewind a few years and the dancing gets much, much more cornball. This video also has a little cameo by Donny’s little bro, aka Mark Wahlberg, right around 3:45. You might miss it and get distracted by the miming of the violin that follows it, as that is pretty awesome as well.

Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)

This list has made it painfully obvious I was something of a BSB fan back in the day. What can I say, I appreciated their artful music videos. You know, like this one, where their tour bus breaks down and they stranded at a haunted house. It’s the very very poor man’s “Thriller,” except the song has nothing whatsoever to do with what’s going on visually in the video.(Note: the original music video was causing annoying ads on the blog, so please enjoy the lyrics in lieu of actual video.)

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