Friday, May 11, 2012

Are We Ready for Early-2000s Nostalgia?

A recent Slate story examined the cycles of nostalgia. Some observers believe in the "Golden 40-Year Rule," which posits that we feel most nostalgic about the period 40 years ago (hence the popularity of "Mad Men"). Others say the time frame is 20 years, or maybe 15.

I've been seeing a surge in 1990s nostalgia lately, so maybe the 15-year idea has some merit. Witness this video showing what Pinterest would look like if it had been created in the '90s.



This week's "Revenge" attempted something even more ambitious: early-2000s nostalgia.

Catering uniform, circa 2002

The episode was set in 2002, and clearly the writers had some fun with the trip back in time.

The episode included:
—the music of 50 Cent, Pete Yorn and Wilco (memba them?)
—a mention of the D.C. sniper
—a character reading "Who Moved My Cheese?"
—a discussion about whether the housing bubble would ever burst
—Dolce Gabbana
—a character name-dropping Puff Daddy (he'd changed his name to P. Diddy in 2001, so I'm not sure how authentic that one was)

There was no mention of Sept. 11, but maybe that's because the show's mythology centers on a fictitious terrorist plane crash in 1993. So the writers didn't want to muddle the issue.

At one point a character picks up an iPad. "That's not right," I thought. Then I realized it was actually a wooden board with pieces of paper on it.

I believe at the time this was called a "clipboard."