When I think about growing up in the '90s, I think about my collection of Beanie Babies I swore would be an investment, along with my virtual pet Tamagotchi. It may have never lived, but my heart was in the right place. These items are things I naively thought would be in my life forever. They came before I understood the non-static nature of trends and growing up. Now when I think of the '90s, I’m faced with both the wave of nostalgia and this question: What was I thinking?
Beyond the number of styles and toys the '90s bestowed upon us, it also was a time for quality media consumption. If you grew up in the '90s, you know how good television was. Before streaming services or fast internet, you could count on a solid lineup on Friday nights on ABC.
These were the kind of shows you’d arrange your day to watch or stick a VHS tape in the VCR to record. Fortunately for us, Netflix has resurrected a number of our favorite TV shows from the '90s, so you can binge them without commercials or having to wait a week between episodes, like when they first ran. Whether you're a '90s kid like me or not, you'll love these '90s TV shows on Netflix right now.
Perhaps the ultimate '90s show, Friends revolves around six friends living in Manhattan, who are all 20- and 30-somethings. The episodes follow the typical struggles of those in that age bracket: career issues and romantic and comedic adventures. After its 10-season run, we’re all pretty familiar with Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Joey, and Chandler, even if we’ve never seen the show.
That '70s Show
While it ran in the '90s, this show was all '70s. Set in the suburbs of Wisconsin, That '70s Show follows the lives of an eclectic group of friends who are on the verge of adulthood. As the show unfolds, issues of the time, like sexism, generational divides, the recession, underage drinking, and general drug use are explored. Stars like Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are alums of the show.
Freaks and Geeks
High school can be a tricky place to navigate, and Freaks and Geeks tells the story of a pair of siblings as they each befriend groups of "freaks" and "geeks." When academic all-star Lindsay tries to fit in with the slackers, and her brother Sam and his "geek" friends are busy with technology, a wide range of the social universe is exposed. Freaks and Geeks launched the careers of James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jason Segel, and Linda Cardellini.
Created as a spinoff of Cheers, Frasier continues the story of Dr. Frasier Crane, a psychiatrist who returns to his hometown of Seattle to launch a radio advice program and connect with his family. The series picks up where Cheers left off—after Frasier’s divorce in Boston as he starts a new life. A winner of 37 Emmy awards, the series ran for 11 seasons.
A trio of witch sisters who strive to do good, and protect innocent lives are known as The Charmed Ones in the series Charmed. While the sisters aim to maintain typical non-magical lives in San Francisco, each of them continues to evolve in their powers. While they try to conceal their identities it becomes increasingly more difficult as the series goes on.
The West Wing
While The West Wing came out at the tail-end of the '90s, it remains remembered for its contribution to the era's TV menu. The political drama set in the White House’s West Wing covers the cutthroat nature of life in Washington, D.C., as political advisors tangle up their personal lives in professional duties. The show won 26 Primetime Emmys along with a number of other accolades during its run.
Party of Five
After their parents are killed by a drunk driver, five siblings are left to find their way in the world in Party of Five. When the oldest brother, Charlie, is made the adult guardian, personal goals must be set aside for the good of the group. The show won TV Guide's "Best Show You’re Not Watching" title in 1995 and prompted the 1999 spinoff, Time of Your Life.
When seemingly innocent high schooler Laura Palmer is murdered, the FBI is called in to help solve the mystery in Twin Peaks. As the investigation continues, it’s as if nothing is truly as it seems in the small logging town of Twin Peaks. In 2017, Showtime released Twin Peaks: The Return, in which many of the original cast members returned, including FBI agent Dale Cooper, played by Kyle Maclachlan.