Tag Archives: tv

The Sexual Power of Just the Ten of Us

Falling asleep last night, I started to dream of a family of daffy sisters who lived in an attic . . . and then I remembered it was a TV show! From the ’90s! Or from ’89 and ’90 and then syndicated through the ’90s! And watching some clips on YouTube today I realized that even though I haven’t thought about it in twenty years, “Just the Ten of Us” totally influenced my idea of hot womanhood. They were nymphomaniacal, scheming, ambitious, wore lots of ’80s-Gap-esque flower prints, and had rich fantasy lives. They spent a lot of time talknig to each other in their bedrooms and dreaming about boys and escape. It was like The Virgin Suicides with big hair. If my idea of sexiness is three parts the Blondie video for “Heart of Glass,”  it’s one part the oldest four daughters on this show.

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“Lisa, You’re Not Sprinkling Your Sparkles”

Kara, a smart reader just wrote in and said,

I’m biased because I’m only 20 now, but Lisa Simpson was my favourite 90s feminist icon, although I didn’t really understand feminism until I was about fourteen. Is Lisa Simpson a 90swoman? I mean, what about this?

I’m going to say yes, Lisa Simpson would qualify as a ’90s woman, even though she didn’t get to grow up and flourish into a Liz Phair-listening, cracked-nailpolish-wearing Antioch-Rules-discussing young lady. She was well on her way.

Jezebel called her a feminist hero, and ran this (great but slightly volume-wonky) montage of her most feminist moments. Best is when Malibu Stacy’s vacuousness radicalizes Lisa and she gets in trouble for smarting off and avoiding glitter. Continue reading

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We Need to Talk About TV

Buzzfeed had a reader contest for the most ’90s image. The one of Kathleen in the telephone onesie that Brendan posted is the clear winner, right? But I was struck by how much TV stuff got put on there. Like this one (remember high-rise jeans?!). And I realized we still haven’t talked about TV. Maybe we should, cause Friends and Seinfeld in particular were SO ’90s.

Am I crazy or does Friends in particular totally reflect the evil “hook-up culture”? I mean, all these guys and girls are friends and sometimes they sleep together and there’s some drama and then they go back to being friends again. The ladies are ambitious in their careers and have strong friendships and theoretically want marriage and kids eventually but that’s not their main drive. I mean, they’re pretty bougie and not exactly radical, but maybe there’s something to how that show normalized co-ed city life?

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Stars of ’90s TV are on a Sexy-Photoshoot Kick

E.G.: Winnie Cooper (of Wonder Years, very early ’90s) in Maxim.

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Is the World Becoming More Co-Ed?

From the LATimes. Kara, we need to pose like this the next time someone wants to take our picture. Also, is it just me or is Selena Gomez the hottest of the tween stars?

Hey Kara, long time no talk.

I just wrote this piece for the LA Times called “Is Tween TV Skewed Toward Girls?” about how tween entertainment is super girl-centric.

But what all the Nick and Disney execs I spoke to insisted was that boys are just different now. They LIKE watching shows about relationships, and have no problem identifying with a female lead character.

Ironically, I have been advocating for this idea for a while, that in this regard at least, 90s women triumphed, but lately my confidence in the Great Co-Ed Revolution had flagged. I think it was the Super Bowl ads.

Anyway, I’m still not 100% sure what’s going on here. I really loved the writer Peg Tyre’s thoughts on the subject. (She wrote The Trouble With Boys.) She made me see that a lot of boys need traditional “boy” stuff for their psychological development. And that is why my three-year-old son has so many awesome plastic swords and knight and pirate costumes right now. Peg, Oliver says, “thanks!”

I guess it’s just another extension of the “did we win” question… When it comes to having TV execs pay attention to girls, the answer is yes.

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