The '90s: a decade when crop tops were in, casted boy bands were hot and the internet was still in the early days of making its way into homes. On-demand streaming services like Netflix were still a far-off dream. But the media giant is turning its focus back to the last decade of the past millennium with its new series "That '90s Show" — a reboot of "That '70s show," the successful teen sitcom that aired on US broadcaster Fox from 1998 to 2006.
The original show focused on Eric and his girlfriend Donna, and many scenes featured the two of them smoking pot with their friends in the basement of Eric's parents' house. The series launched the film careers of Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.
In the sequel series, which starts streaming on January 19, it's 1996, and Leia, the daughter of Eric and Donna, is spending the summer with her grandparents. Their house, and thus the setting for the show, has remained unchanged.
But with the generational shift comes a change in fashion: '90s clothing trends included midriff-baring tops, leggings and distressed jeans. The show keeps the nostalgia vibe going by bringing back something that's gone out of fashion for sitcoms: a laugh track to simulate the reaction of a studio audience that is not present.
The '90s were also the heyday of boy bands and girl groups like New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls. Talented singers who usually didn't know each other beforehand were cast by record producers or talent managers into a single act, often over the course of a reality competition TV show.
Music fans increasingly abandoned cassette tapes and the once groundbreaking Sony Walkman, as well as vinyl albums. Both formats were made obsolete (at least temporarily) by the compact disc. It was small, transportable, not quite as delicate as vinyl and the sound quality was better than with cassettes. But who back then could have dreamed that one day, people would be able to carry their entire music collections in their pockets? Streaming technology eventually superseded the CD. But in an ironic twist, the nostalgic urge has revived the once-discarded vinyl album, as people too young to have used CDs discover its warm, analog sound.
The 90s film business was also eager to experiment with new technology. In 1993, Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" used the latest in digital special effects to tell a story about the dark side of reviving the past. It's since developed into a movie franchise, relying on nostalgia and ever-more realistic CGI dinosaurs to thrill audiences.
Also thrilling audiences in the 90s was director Quentin Tarantino, whose "Pulp Fiction" from 1994 became a cult favorite. Part of its appeal stemmed from how it dipped deep into the nostalgia well, from the film's retro soundtrack to the comeback of one-time heartthrob John Travolta.
The '90s were the decade of '70s-inspired fashion, including bell-bottoms and platform shoes. And they're making yet another comeback now, along with other '90s trends like hair clips, scrunchies and smoky eye makeup. As the saying goes, everything old is new again. So Netflix's "That '90s Show" is right on time.