Turning on the TV in the 1990’s enabled viewers to see the previous decade’s comedy geniuses pass the torch to the new masters who were set to emerge and turn broadcasting on its ear. While 80’s stalwarts like Cheers and the Cosby Show were still around, they would soon bow out to let innovative sitcoms like The Simpsons and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air rise to prominence with a new brand of cutting edge humor, sarcasm and style. In another vein, dramas would tackle the day to day of 1990s teenage existence (Beverly Hills 90210 andMy So-Called Life), but they also mirrored society’s fascination with doctors and medicine (ER and Chicago Hope). The traditional cop show got its own 1990s spin, taking on a harder edge with gritty programs like NYPD Blue and Homicide: Life on the Street that pushed the boundaries of broadcast television.
The silver screen would also see its own fair dose of genre-busting, standard-setting performances. Quentin Tarantino and John Woo would turn the violence up to 11, but balance it out with smart dialogue and incredible mis-en-scene that would elevate the action film to an art form. Teens got a slice of American Pie and other excellent comedies like Can’t Hardly Wait and Wayne’s World, but they also had their pants scared off by the equally youth-oriented Scream series. Of course, who could forget films like Titanic, The English Patient and Jurassic Park that touched audiences around the world and created a phenomenon too big to be contained in a movie theater. The 1990’s were an entertainment renaissance and displayed a burst of creativity rarely matched in the annals of film and television.