Through the trials and tribulations of the '90s, mankind learned that bleached tips, chain wallets, ponytails tied back with scrunchies, middle parts, and entertainment from out of a VHS player with our Walkman CD players just within arm's reach was no way to live. Technological innovation bred a refined civilization that enjoys the finer pleasures in life as efficiently as possible, all without looking like ostracized members of a boy band that never made it.
From time to time we revisit those bleached out, neon-hued, technologically rudimentary days through instantly streamed screenings of our favorite '90s tv shows, all the while noting the various captured moments that just wouldn't happen today.
1) Friends, "The One With the Rumor" (click here for the clip)
This wouldn't happen today: Brad Pitt on a sitcom
Nowadays Mr. Pitt's too busy on the big screen saving the world from a zombie apocalypse, amidst quite literally saving the world through adopting and raising children from third world countries. Back in the '90s, the allure of Brad Pitt was unfathomably massive and it comes as no surprise the decade's most recognized sitcom brought the decade's most recognized beautiful man on to guest star for an episode. We're just never going to see such a prominent and established actor guest starring on a modern day sitcom.
2) Seinfeld, "Who Is This" (click here for the clip)
This wouldn't happen today: Answering calls from telemarketers
Think about how many telemarketers we'd unknowingly accept calls from if we had next to no clue who could be calling at any given time. This compilation of frantic phone calls perfectly depicts an era marked by irritable phone users tired of having to announce their identities every time they go to make a call to a friend. Nowadays, when our smart phones aren't too busy having engaging conversations with us through the odd medium of Siri, they're definitely letting us know when pestilent telemarketers are making their daily rounds.
3) Click, Gameshow (September 1997-1999) (click here for the clip)
This wouldn't happen today: Ryan Seacrest sporting a head of frosted tips playing host to a kids game-show with obnoxious internet dial-up sound effects
Mr. Seacrest has apparently been a gameshow go-getter for quite some time now, with an early start hosting a nonsensical kids gameshow. And in case you were wondering, he did indeed sport frosted tips back in the day. Even better, the show includes a blow-up "computer screen" that, yes, uses sound effects indicating a dial-up Internet connection. Gotta start somewhere, though, right? Nowadays Seacrest stands head and shoulders above his fellow TV show hosts with prior gigs hosting shows such as American Idol and American Gladiators. You know you've made it as a gameshow host when you're cast as yourself in movies.
4) Friends, "The One With Ross's Sandwich" (click here for the clip)
This wouldn't happen today: Getting caught by your friends with a scandalous Polaroid photo in hand
Joey is caught red-handed, mouth agape, over a sensual polaroid of Monica, which in turn inspires a "sex addict"-inspired intervention by his friends. There's plenty of regrettably revealing pictures floating around these days; the good news is their existence is usually limited to a five to 10-second interval before they disappear forever. Hence the whole Polaroid, caught-in-the-act scenario is a rarity at worst, but it's immortalized forever in '90s TV shows. What a decade.
5) Friends, "The One With The Videotape" (click here for the clip)
This wouldn't happen today: Watching a sex tape... on your VHS player
Gathered around an archaic TV that could only ever exist in the '90s, our favorite crew settles in to watch quite possibly the weakest "sex tape" of all time. This is that scary era when a "sex tape" was a literal "tape," and mankind accepted VHS players as the best means to entertainment.