Shite I’ve Learned From 1990s TV


There seems to be much nostalgia for the 1990s floating around the interwebs these days but none of it is coming from me. According to nostalgia is:

a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time.

I don’t wish to return to the 1990s simply because I don’t remember them. I know I was there but seriously what happened? How can 10 years be kind of a blank? Anyhow I am scrapping the dim, dark recesses of my mind to give you this report on 1990s television.

Shite I’ve Learned From Melrose Place (1992 to 1999)

Melrose Place was a cheesily over the top drama about the tawdry lives and loves of a group of beautiful young people who lived in a stylish apartment complex on Los Angeles’ glamorous Melrose Avenue.  

Specifically this one.

Specifically this one.

The key takeaways.

1) Meet Jake. He is the leather clad, motor cycle riding bad boy with a penchant for taking his shirt off and fixing his Harley by the pool.

I could not find photographic evidence of Jake fixing his Harley shirtless by the pool but I know it happened. Trust me.

I could not find photographic evidence of Jake fixing his Harley shirtless by the pool but I know it happened. Trust me.

2) Amanda Woodward the advertising wunderkid and conniving nymphomaniac slept with bad boy Jake. Double thumbs up Amanda. Infact she slept with every male in the building regardless of relationship status except for the hawtest one.

because his character was gay.

because his character was gay. (BTW: Actor Doug Savant has aged rather well. Darned if I can remember the gay character’s name though)

3) In every group of hawties there’s always a ‘nice boy’ – the one you can happily bring home to your mother. At Melrose it was Andrew Shue  who played Billy. Billy was in a committed relationship with ‘nice girl’ Alison Parker. This did not stop Amanda from shagging him. Way to go Amanda!

Nice guy Billy succumbed to Amanda's charms.

Nice guy Billy succumbed to Amanda’s charms.

4) Everyone who lived in Melrose Place seemed to work for Amanda’s ad agency. That is not an ideal work/life balance in my book.

5) On the positive it taught me that the best way to deal with annoying colleagues and neighbours is to shag them.

6) I can’t remember whether Amanda shagged the nefarious Dr Michael Mancini who was married to the long suffering ‘nice girl’ Jane. My recollections are foggy but I am pretty sure that Michael shagged Jane’s malevolent younger sister Sydney. Sydney happened to be moonlighting as a high class call girl – an ideal career path for Amanda.

7) When I went to LA I was completely underwhelmed by Melrose Avenue.

Just how much hawtness can you cram into one apartment block?

Just how much hawtness can you cram into one apartment block?

Shite I’ve Learned From Beverly Hills 90210 (1990 to 2000)

Wholesome twins Brenda and Brandon Walsh navigate life in the fast lane when they move from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Beverly Hills. At West Beverly Hills the twins encounter  the offspring of the rich and famous like Tori Spelling. Fortunately Brenda and Brandon were both really, really, ridiculously good looking and achieved popularity in no time flat. Popularity is the ultimate litmus test of success after all?

The key takeaways.

1) Its High School Jim but not as we know it.

2) Actually the alpha chick at my high school did look alot like this.

A text book alpha female

A text book alpha female

3) Sadly none of the dudes at my school looked like this. There was a notable dearth of angst ridden, leather clad, motorcycle riding bad boys.

There were no  Dylan McKays at Kirrawee HIgh.

There were no Dylan McKays at Kirrawee High.

4) We did however have the equivalent of David Silver – the dude who started out in the dork camp but after handing out with Donna (Tori Spelling) became popular by osmosis. Our dux mysteriously became ‘cool’ by the end of year 12 after spending the preceding five years flying beneath the social radar. This proves that upward social mobility is possible. Unfortunately I am yet to experience it.

David Silver proved the upward social mobility is achievable

David Silver proved the upward social mobility is achievable

5) Meanwhile most of us wallflowers could relate to the plight of Andrea Zuckerman – the geek girl who pinned for the alpha male (Brandon). Whilst she had his  friendship, she was too dorky and unattractive win his heart or at least a date to the prom. Perhaps if Donna and Kelly gave her a makeover…….

Will the bookish Andrea ever get a date?

Will the bookish Andrea ever get a date?

6) When I went to LA was completely underwhelmed by Beverly Hills. I would argue that Mosman is superior (as no doubt would most Mosmanites).

So much to discuss and so little time. I haven’t even started on Dawsons Creek or Party of Five let alone the Seinfeld vs Friends debate which defined the era. This blog post will have a sequel.

Meanwhile do feel nostalgic for the 1990s? Can you fill me in on what actually happened during those ten years?

What 1990s show deserves the Mumabs treatment?











34 thoughts on “Shite I’ve Learned From 1990s TV

  1. I remember collecting 90210 cards! And sneakily watching Melrose Place because my mum wouldn’t let me. And Yes – Friends versus Sienfeld!!!

  2. Ooh I love this idea. I think I was too young to watch Melrose or 90210 but I did see them anyway because I think my mum watched them.

  3. Woah! I haven’t thought of Melrose Place or Beverly Hills 90210 (By the way, probably the only postcode I know off by heart) in aaaages!
    I hear you on the lack of Dylan McKay’s back in high school. None at Melrose High in Canberra (How ironic!)
    We had a couple of those…um, remind me…what’s the sporto jock’s name that went out with Donna (Tori Spelling)???
    My 90’s TV memory is fading!

  4. Oh yes, do Party of Five- those brothers were hotties. Also, Michael Mancini did bang Amanada, ending his marriage to psycho Kimberly 🙂

    • Why is no one asking for Twin Peaks or South Park?
      Thanks for filling us in re Michael and Amanda. That means that Amanda bagged every straight guy in the complex and is officially my role model 😉

  5. Wow, now that was a blast from the past. So glad that I finally find Billy attractive as I’m not sure his nice guy tactics really worked for me back then – phew! Gosh these shows were huge in their day; we would have weekly Melrose gatherings at ours…thanks for the memory lane.

  6. I had 5 kids between 1989 and 1996 so it’s all a bit of a blur for me. I watched 90211 a bit but Melrose interfered with my breastfeeding and nappy changing schedule. A wonderful blast from the past though Mumabs. i think the only thing I remember from the 90s was The Young and the Restless, Hey Hey It’s Saturday and the Gulf War reports.

  7. I tried to watch Dawson’s Creek last year. It was truly painful. I didn’t remember it being so bad. Guess I have grown up!

  8. Mostly all I remember from the 90s was work, work, work. Way too many hours of ladder climbing and extra hours. I do remember watching quite a bit of these two programs though, so clearly I prioritised them for my downtime. Dylan McKay. He was the business.

  9. I did love me some Billy from Melrose Place. I always found it hilarious that Heather Locklear was a “special guest star” in the opening credits yet she was on the show for a few seasons. And the reason there wasn’t anyone who looked like Dylan in our high schools was because there were no 30 year old guys pretending to be 17 year olds. That dude was old! Apart from 90210 and Melrose I was a big Twin Peaks fan (until it got freakish and scary with “Bob”). Also loved Northern Exposure and ER (which proved that George Clooney got better looking with age – he was such a dag in Rosanne and Facts of Life). And staying home on a Saturday night in Australia in the 90s was ok because The Late Show was on. So many memories. Thanks for the trip down memory lane Mumabs!

    • I’m saving Twin Peaks and my very favorite show of all time – Nothern Exposure for later.

      • Can’t wait for that post! I loved that show – the quirkiness, the town, the characters, Joel and Maggie and of course hunky Chris the DJ 🙂

  10. My two absolutely favourite shows when I was younger … I dreamed of living in Melrose place and shagging everyone. I use to pretend to be Kelly too… I lived in London for a few years… My postcode was 90210

  11. I was watching 910210 re-runs the other day (as you do when your baby won’t sleep and you hope a couch cuddle might encourage some zzzzzs) and I couldn’t get over how OLD everyone looked.

  12. Gold. As a 90s teen, I love the current nostalgic trend!

  13. That was a trip down memory lane! I loved both those shows. I don’t think I could watch them now though…..waaaaay too cheesy!!

  14. This post is brilliant! I saw you mention it in Aussie Bloggers and had to check it out. Nice work!

  15. Seinfeld…(and Friends) from me too…I’d also say Push,Nevada but I was apparently the only person that watched that (which is why it got axed mid season…)

  16. I was seriously addicted to those shows… like cry if I missed an episode kind of addicted. What about Party of Five… that was on around the same time and I loved that too!

  17. Damn it – I think my comment about how pathetically addicted I was to these shows might have just been swallowed up. Party of Five… that was on around the same time wasnt it?

  18. Love this. My pride and joy in 1993 was my Dylan t-shirt. Loved him. And for some reason, I want to say that the gay guy from Melrose Place’s name was Matt. Even though I wasn’t allowed to watch it and have never seen it. Do with that information what you will. x

  19. Oh, and I am team Seinfeld AND team Friends. Although the more I re-watch Friends, the more Ross’s (initially subtle) chauvinism and the obviousness of the jokes in later seasons gets to me. Still not as bad as THE NANNY. Oh Mister Sheffield!

  20. I watched both of those, Melrose Place thanks to my mum! How about Baywatch? That was another favourite 90’s drama (haha) over here. They introduced me to the B-52’s and the song Roam – everytime I see it I envision red swimsuit clad lifeguards in a lifeboat shooting out to an island. That song will have them living on in my imagination forever every time I hear it! And I can still name the actors off the top of my head. Aside from that, I was far too busy chasing boys (who did NOT look like Luke Perry but rather more like The Rock ‘Dwayne Johnson’)

  21. You totally nailed these shows. I tried to re-watch Melrose while on mat leave. What a total yawn-fest, but of course it was THE show at the time. You definitely have to do Dawson’s and Party of Five. Maybe even Buffy?!!

  22. I didin’t watch much Melrose Place as I was definitely not allowed, but I remember sneakily setting up our old Beta recorder to catch Models Inc. It was on the small TV in the back room so Mum had no idea, and I used to watch it in snippets when she would run down the road to get something she’d forgotten for dinner from the shops! Such a rebel!

  23. Loved Melrose Place!! We rushed home every week and never missed an episode. But the unanswered question still remains….why was Heather Locklear still a “Guest Star” each and every season??

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