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Subject: What part of the 90s does 1997 sit in?

Written By: 90s Guy on 01/18/18 at 12:57 pm

I feel like 1997 was a weird transitional year;
Like the first half of 1997 was the last gasp of the mid 90s (The Gargoyles, Roseanne, Freakazoid!, The X-Men Animated Series, Ahh! Real Monsters, and Beavis & Butthead all ended this year). Meanwhile, shows that would've fit in very well in the mid 90s like The Angry Beavers, Buff the Vampire Slayer and such debuted. Shows that would define the late 90s feel Ally McBeal, South Park, King of the Hill, and Johnny Bravo all debut this year.

Musically, Hip Hop is slowly becoming more and more mainstream (as it has since around 1994), but Alternative Rock still has a big place among teens, with No Doubt having one of the biggest hit singles of the year. Nu-Metal is popular but it hasn't taken over yet, same with the Industrial sludge of Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson, which would be one of the dominant forms of teen music within the next year.

No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom" is the number one album on the charts from January 1st through February 4th of 1997. Mid year, in May, the Spice Girls hit #1 on the American charts, beginning the boyband/girl group era. Prodigy's The Fat of the Land hits #1 in July 1997, signifying the rapid rise of industrial rock.

Disney has now fully entered the end of its Renaissance period. A year prior, Hunchback of Notre Dame, while not as successful as Pochahontas or the Lion King, still managed to be within the Top 10 films of the year at the Box Office. Disney's offering in 1997, Hercules, fails to make the top 10 - the first Disney film since 1988's Oliver & Company to not make the Top 10 at the Box office. The biggest features of the year are Titanic, which, released at the end of the year, is more of a 1998 hit than a 1997 one. The real king of 1997 was The Lost World. Dumb action movies, like The Lost World and Men in Black, are all the rage - another legacy of the mid 90s. Batman & Robin drops in 1997 and heralds the seeming death of comic book films as box office successes, as it, along with other DC and Marvel film releases, underperform at the box office.

For the 1996-1997 TV season, the following are the top rated shows:
1 ER NBC 21.2
2 Seinfeld 20.5
3 Suddenly Susan 17.0
4 Friends 16.8
The Naked Truth
6 Fired Up 16.5
7 Monday Night Football ABC 16.0
8 The Single Guy NBC 14.1
9 Home Improvement ABC 14.0
10 Touched by an Ange

For the 1997-1998 TV season,
Seinfield, ER, Veronica's Closet, Friends, Monday Night Football, Touched by an Angel, 60 Minutes, Union Square, CBS Sunday Movie, Fraiser, and Home Improvement are the Top Ten highest rated shows.

Longish hair is still in, but by the end of the year, conservative buzzcuts will be all the rage. Flannel and ripped jeans and big hair are way out, except in perhaps more rural areas of the US. The Rachel still dominates for the first half of 1997, and women are still seen wearing overalls.

It just seems to me 1997 is a transition year.

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