Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Post: Celebrating 20 Years of "Must See TV"

Greetings, Children of the ’90s! My name is Frank Anthony Polito and I’m the author of the recently-released novel Lost in the ’90s.
As you might imagine, I’ve been thinking a lot about the ’90s lately. It’s hard to believe the decade that gave us Blossom, Beavis and Butt-head, and Blink-182 began over 20 years ago!

One of my favorite (and long forgotten) TV shows will actually turn 20 this coming August. How many of you Children of the ’90s remember the FOX drama The Heights featuring teen heart throb and singing sensation Jamie Walters -- who later appeared on Beverly Hills, 902010 as Ray Pruit?

The Heights focused on a fictional band called (what else?) “The Heights” and starred Walters as lead singer Alex O’Brien. The show also featured Charlotte Ross, then known for her Emmy nominated role as troubled teen 
Eve Donovan on Days of our Lives. Take a look at a scene from The Heights’ first episode:




While we’re on the topic of 20-year anniversaries... Here are a few other TV classics that also debuted in 1992. How many of these shows do you Children of the ’90s remember watching when you were growing up?

Barney & Friends - First airing on April 6, 1992, and featuring everybody’s favorite singing purple T-Rex. This show served as the babysitter to many a Child of the ’90s!


Goof Troop - Single father, Goofy, moves back to his hometown of Spoonerville with 11-year-old son, Max. The show premiered on April 20, 1992 on The Disney Channel and was adapted into a feature film A Goofy Movie in 1995.

Melrose Place - This steamy primetime soap centered around a group of 20-somethings living in the same West Hollywood apartment complex, and was recently revived (and soon-after canceled) by The CW. Episodes began airing on July 8, 1992.  

California Dreams - another show about a band, this multi-ethnic teen-oriented sitcom aired on Saturday mornings on NBC beginning on September 12, 1992. Check out the pilot episode below:


Hard to believe it’s been 20 years! Where has the time gone?

FRANK ANTHONY POLITO is an award-winning author and playwright. He received his BFA in Theatre from Wayne State University and his MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon. He grew up in the Detroit suburb of Hazel Park and currently resides in Sunnyside, Queens, NY.

LOST IN THE ’90s tells the story of a teenage boy from 2012 who travels back in time to April 1994, on the eve of Kurt Cobain’s suicide. There, he meets his teenage parents and helps them fall in love so that he can born. (Think of it as a ’90s Back to the Future without Doc Brown or the DeLorean.) The book is chock-full of ’90s pop culture and musical references, including the #1 hit tune from November 1992, “How Do You Talk to an Angel” which plays an integral role in the plot.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Top 10 Vampire Movies from the 90s

Hey Children of the 90s! We are very excited that we have hit 3000 fans on Facebook. Thanks everyone for reading and for your support--y'all are all that and a bag of chips and the bomb dot com, all rolled into one. Remember--if you're interested in sharing your 90s content and reminisces, you can always pitch posts to us at childrenofthe90s@gmail.com. Today please enjoy this new guest post from author and vampire expert extraordinaire Vanessa Morgan!

The 90s were a pretty dry period for the vampire genre. With a few exceptions, major vampire movies were few and far between, and those that did make the multiplexes were fairly bloodless affairs. Although the vampire movies from the 90s did not have a real identity of their own, we saw new trends emerging: they marked a clear break from the commercial vampire movies from the 80s and paved the way for the stylish vampire action flicks that are common ground in the new millennium.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992)


The now overly popular vampire series Buffy The Vampire Slayer started as this cheesy little teen flick with eighties influences. The basis of the film story is the same as the TV series: a teenage girl learns that she is her generation's destined battler of vampires. The cast contained many popular actors from that period, including Kirsty Swanson, Luke Perry, Donald Sutherland, Rutger Hauer, David Arquette and Hillary Swank.


Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)



Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula is still one of the best vampire movies ever made thanks to its breathtaking photography, intriguing storyline, beguiling music and excellent performances from Gary Oldman, Keanu Reeves, Anthony Hopkins, Winona Ryder, Tom Waits, Sadie Frost and Richard E. Grant.


Innocent Blood (1992)




Innocent Blood is a modern vampire tale that mixes crime with comedy, originality, intelligence and creepiness. Directed by John Landis.


Interview With The Vampire (1994)



Author Anne Rice not only made vampires popular in literature, but also in the movies thanks to the immensely popular adaptation of her novel Interview With The Vampire. It's one of the best vampire movies ever made and has not lost any of its beauty and power. With Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst and Neil Jordan.


The Addiction (1995)



Philosophical tale in black and white about a grad student turned vampire who tries to come to terms with her frequent craving for human blood. Director Abel Ferrari links the need for blood with the need for drugs, turning The Addiction into a well-made film that was so depressing that it marked the end for the serious and dark vampire stories. With Lily Taylor, Christopher Walken and Annabella Sciorra.


Dracula, Dead and Loving It (1995)


After several years of overly serious vampire movies, the world needed to laugh again with the undead and introduced several rather silly vampires movies such as Vampire In Brooklyn, Bordella Of Blood and Dracula, Dead And Loving It. The latter was a vampire spoof from the mind of Mel Brooks that made one big joke out of the genre.


Vampire In Brooklyn (1995)



Wes Craven's politically correct vampire comedy about a black vampire (Eddie Murphie) who's looking for a female mate, but it was a big box office hit nevertheless.


Bordello Of Blood (1996)



Bordello Of Blood was part of the series Tales From The Crypt and focuses on a funeral parlor that moonlights as a vampire bordello.


From Dusk Till Dawn (1997)



Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in an establishment populated by vampires. The vampire twist halfway through the story was so unexpected and well-done, that From Dusk Till Dawn was on everyone's lips (although it did help that Quentin Tarantino directed the movie). From Dusk Till Dawn was also the movie that introduced George Clooney to an audience of cinema goers.


Blade (1998)


With Blade, released in 1998, a new era in vampire movie cinema began. Thanks to Blade, vampires now combined action with superhero powers and big-budget special effects. This story about a half-vampire, half-mortal that became the protector of the mortal race while slaying evil vampires, not only had several sequels, but also several big-budget clones such as Underworld and Daybreakers.


About Vanessa Morgan

Screenwriter and novelist Vanessa Morgan is known as the 'female version of Stephen King'. You can find out more about Vanessa Morgan and her work by going to her personal blog http://vanessa-morgan.blogspot.com. If you like cats, you might also like the web comic about her cat Avalon at http://avalon-lion.blogspot.com.

Books by Vanessa Morgan:
A Good Man (screenplay)
The Strangers Outside (short story)
Drowned Sorrow (novel)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Guest Post: Typical 90s Saturdays

Happy Friday, 90s fans! I must apologize for the lack of recent posts--as usual, I have a slew of readily available but totally honest excuses: we moved to a new city, I started a new job, I had a lot of wedding thank you notes to finish. You've probably heard them all before...

Anywho, have no fear--new posts should be on the way. Speaking of which, we are taking submissions for guest entries! With the demands of a new job, my recent writing availability has been few and far between. Here's where you come in: if you have an idea for a Children of the 90s post, feel free to pitch it. Not in the typical baseball sense, of course--that might smash my laptop screen. I'm thinking more of a dynamic e-mail conversation that characterizes what we consider an exciting interaction here in the 21st century.

Who knows--your post might just end up on our front page. We welcome submissions and pitches at childrenofthe90s(at)gmail(dot)com. Bring 'em on!


And now, without further ado: in honor of the impending weekend, the following post from guest writer Natalie celebrates a typical Saturday in the life of a 90s child:

The 90s: The Typical Child's Saturday

Think back to the day you turned 12 years old. What did you see around you? The television is on and undoubtedly turned to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air or maybe Rocko's Modern Life on Nickelodeon. Daniel Tosh wasn't even on the air yet, instead we had good old America's Funniest Home Videos to watch for hours on end.



It didn't just end with TV back in the 90s. Everything was different, everything was awesome. You could wake up to find great cartoons on first thing on a Saturday morning, have your favorite bowl of Fruity Pebbles and hop on your Super Nintendo or Sega for a morning of fun.

Maybe afterward you would gather your Beanie Babies (which at the time we all thought would one day be worth millions, but still aren't worth a thing) together with your price book and dream with the neighbor kid how rich you would be when you turned 16 and these things paid out.


After business was conducted for the day, it was time for lunch. Back then, we got our favorite toys at McDonalds. Guys got the action figures and girls go the dolls. Most importantly, they all had small and dangerous parts. We all survived one way or another. If we were lucky, Good Burger was on just as we returned from lunch. Could it get any better?



Afternoon

As the day started to roll away, it was time for a snack. Whether it was a Fruit by the Foot, a Fruit Roll-Up, or Gushers, every kid always had a favorite fruit snack. Everybody also knew that one kid at school whose family wouldn't buy the "cool" snacks, so we were always happy to throw him a couple Gushers or split off a piece of the Fruit Roll-Up. Once in a while, somebody would show up with a fancy GoGurt at school. But, hey- let's not get school involved on our ultimate Saturday afternoon.



One thing that no 90s kid will ever forget about Saturday's is Pokémon. Whether trading the cards and pretending to actually know how to play the game, watching it on TV or firing up the good old black and white Game Boy,Pokémon was a part of our everyday lives. The cards could almost be used as a currency, traded away for whatever you may want to make your afternoon perfect.

Evening

If you were lucky growing up, you almost always you had a friend sleep over or you were staying somewhere else other than your house on a Saturday night. With shows like Ahh! Real Monsters, The Wild Thornberry's, Hey! Arnold and Doug on SNICK, how could you possibly go wrong?

Not to mention all thetalking babies (think Rugrats) and animals we all had a thing for. If you were lucky, it was already nine o'clock and your young self was getting tired. Your friends would turn the TV volume all the way down and it was on. Whether Jet Force Gemini, Donkey Kong64 or any other game, it didn't matter. After an hour or so of intense gaming you'd find yourself drifting off... Then only to awake, 15 years later and to realize it was all a dream.

Don't you wish you could go back?

-----

Natalie Wilkins has been a professional writer and researcher for the last five years. Throughout this time she has worked for many weird and wonderful companies including an organic Tempurpedic mattress retailer and an elephant orphanage. The wide range of opportunities available is exactly why she loves her job.

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