One cool thing about being a parent of a “tween” is that I’m once again living my own “tween/teenhood” through my daughter Melanie. Thanks mainly to YouTube and Netflix, things that were once old are new again and 80’s pop culture is still alive and well in my household.
A few years ago my daughter was first exposed to the TV show “Full House” via re-runs on Nickelodeon. She couldn’t believe it when I told her that John Stamos started out playing a guy named “Blackie” on “General Hospital” and that Bob Saget was the first host of “America’s Funniest Videos”. So when “Fuller House” appeared on Netflix, it was a no-brainer that she would be watching it.
I viewed an episode with her where DJ, Stephanie and Kimmy have a girls’ night out at a club. While Stephanie sings a duet of “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” with Macy Gray, DJ and Kimmy do the “lift” part of the famous dance scene.
“Johnny and Baby did it much better”.
“Who?” My daughter asked.
I then explained that the song and dance were from the movie “Dirty Dancing” and that she wouldn’t be able to see the film until she was 15. But she loves the song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”.
Having OnDemand TV has allowed my daughter to see her fill of older kid-friendly movies. Thanks to the mediocre movie “Daddy Day Care” and a frequently seen television commercial, my daughter’s favorite song for a while last year was Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking On Sunshine”. Ugh. I didn’t even like this song the first time around.
My daughter also has a fascination with Weird Al Yanchovich and some of the parodies he’s created from popular 80’s songs. “Eat It”, “Girls Just Want To Have Lunch” and “Like a Surgeon” are her favorites.
Aside from “Full House” we can’t leave out many of the other TV shows and movies my daughter has discovered and come to love. She recently discovered a cartoon on YouTube that I vaguely remember seeing myself in the 80’s. It’s called “Just Say No” and it opens with an introduction from George and Barbara Bush, which certainly dates us. The first time Melanie showed me the video with the intro just so happened to be the day after Super Bowl LI, the very one where George and Barbara were carted out on to the field for the coin toss. I pointed this out to my daughter and asked her if she recognized them. Of course she said no. Anyway, the cartoon features Garfield, Alf, Disney characters, Looney Tunes characters, and the Smurfs and as the title says, it’s about just saying no to drugs.
We recently exposed her to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, she loves watching “Uncle Buck” and she’s become obsessed with Donger from “Sixteen Candles”. Over the years my daughter’s gone through her attachment phases of various cartoon characters. She’s been in love with everything from Betty Boop and Felix The Cat to the Looney Tunes and The Flintstones. Her latest fascination is with the Muppets. Not so much with The Muppet Show but with all the movies. In fact, she has discovered Muppet movies I never knew there were. Thanks to “Muppets From Space” she now knows and loves the Kool & The Gang song “Celebration”. She’s even discovered reruns of “The Jim Henson Hour” on YouTube. I never knew there was such a show. Most recently she’s discovered “The Fraggles” and “Dinosaurs”, neither of which I watched when I was a kid.
So the 80’s live on in our household, at least for now. I’m enjoying it while I can because who knows how long it will last.