Pop Culture Reunions That Need To Happen

The reunion issue of Entertainment Weekly came out last week, and we got to see what the casts of Bring It On, Felicity, Family Ties and more are up to now. This issue is one of my favorite annual issues from EW, especially when they cover shows or movies I’m particularly interested like Gilmore Girls or Clueless or The West Wing (have you SEEN the vid of Bradley & Janel talking about present-day Josh & Donna?!). There are of course millions of things to choose from when it comes to narrowing it down to a few for each issue, but I too have hopes and wishes for future get togethers by some of my (used-to-be) favorite stars. Here are just some of them.

Good Morning, Miss Bliss

Before Zack and Slater in California, there was Zack and Mikey in Indiana. The latter lasted approx one season, but thanks to the magic of syndication, the 14 episodes were rolled into repeats of Saved by the Bell. This explains why as a kid you saw two middle schoolers – Mikey and Nicki – suddenly turn into high school Slater and Jessie. Call it The Tori Complex, if you will. While we know Zack, Lisa and Screech and even Mr. Belding went on to find fame with SBTB, the actors who played Mikey and Nicki, Max Battimo and Heather Hopper, didn’t quite reach that level. Even Miss Bliss’ teachers Miss Tina Paladrino and maintenance supervisor Mylo Williams had few roles here and there. I think the reunion, more than anything, would be to ask the question – what went wrong with this show?

Notting Hill

When we were growing up in the 90s, Julia Roberts was (and arguably still is) the Queen of Romantic Comedies. After seeing My Best Friend’s Wedding for the first time, I became obsessed both with her and the movie, and when Notting Hill came along, that became my favorite. Like, I have it on VHS currently in my room and have seen it way too many times to remember. Pairing Julia with the King of Romantic Comedies, Hugh Grant, was a no-brainer and they had great chemistry. It also stars a young Mischa Barton, Alec Baldwin AND his 30 Rock frail-boned co-star Emily Mortimer, and the dude from The Wire. But it’s also the first introduction I had to Hugh Bonneville aka Lord Grantham on Downton Abbey, as Bernie, Hugh/Will’s friend. He has a very understated comedic charm to him we don’t get to see as much on Downton.

Ally McBeal

Most of the Ally McBeal cast reunited at the TV Land Awards earlier this year, but I want a full get together with Robert Downey Jr., Jane Krakowski, Lucy Liu, Taye Diggs and Portia De Rossi, otherwise it would be for naught. Also, didn’t know until right now that Renee Elise Goldberry of Hamilton fame played one of Vonda Shepard’s backup singers in the bar throughout the entire series. BRAND NEW INFORMATION. She should be invited to the reunion too.

Ed

Ed, the show about a big town lawyer who moves back to his small hometown and becomes the owner of a bowling alley. This show ran for four seasons and through the entirety of my high school career. I loved this show, but like most programs I watched back in the day, I wasn’t necessarily the target demographic. None the less, the show was a lovely dramedy with sort of a Gilmore Girls vibe. It also produced stars like Modern Family’s Julie Bowen, Michael Ian Black, and a young Justin Long and Ginnifer Goodwin (again, learning so much. I forgot she was in Ed, but very clearly remembered their scenes together in classic He’s Just Not That Into You). Most of these actors have gone on to do great things, but like, where’s Lesley Boone/Molly? Jana Marie Hupp/Nancy (SHE WAS MINDY IN THE ONE WITH BARRY AND MINDY’S WEDDING #COPACABANA).

Rent

I was introduced to Rent when I was approx 13 years old, around the time Rent first hit Broadway. I’d listen to the OBC soundtrack on repeat, and for sentimental reasons, is still one of my favorite musicals. Despite getting together for the polarizing movie and the 10th anniversary show, I will always be available for this OG cast to get together once more. Especially Taye and Idina.

Newsies

Speaking of musicals, Newsies was a childhood staple for many kids my age, and starred a young Christian Bale before he became Batman. If I could just get a current group picture of everyone in this cast in the exact same pose, crutch and all, that would be fantastic.

Dirty Sexy Money

It’s like a given we would all like a reunion of Six Feet Under, so that aside, he’s another addicting show Peter Krause was a part of. I binged this a few years ago when it was still on Netflix Instant, and I don’t even remember why. Maybe it was Peter I was intrigued by. Then again it was also Donald Sutherland, a girl from Passions, Lucy Liu (again) and William Baldwin. This would be a fun reunion, specifically because it was cancelled after just two seasons with a total of 23 episodes. What happened to this Darling family??

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Is Studio 60 polarizing, too? Probably. Did I watch it because I appreciate Matthew Perry? Of course. Did I expect to like it so much that I bought the DVDs? Absolutely not. Studio 60 had some problems with it, of course, but all the cast members were extremely talented and made the show watchable. Also, Columbus Short, aka Harrison from Scandal was on it, along with Dawn from the British The Office, and it’s weird seeing them not as the characters you most associate them with, despite the fact Scandal came after this show. Anyways.

Laguna Beach

Molly & I didn’t even go to our own high school reunion, so I can’t say I entirely expect the cast of Laguna Beach to take part in a reunion. However, it would be itneresting to see what’s changed dynamics wise. Is Kristin still mad at ‘Stephennnnn’? Does Stephen pine for LC at all? What happened to Christina’s Broadway dreams? Is Trey still the best human on the show (besides LC)?

That Thing You Do

In addition to renting this movie on VHS, for some reason, That Thing You Do! was constantly, or what seemed to be, on repeat on VH1. It wasn’t a blockbuster in the box office, but it wasn’t a flop either. What it does have is a strong, passionate fan base who will be able to sing the titular track for you at a moment’s notice. They’ll know the different between The Wonders and The Oneders, and know how to pronounce the latter. They’ll also want to get the band back together one more time.

2Ge+her

2ge+her

And one final segue – SPEAKING OF BANDS GETTING BACK TOGETHER – I’ve spoken about this before, but as a young lass, I was a teenybopper to the max. BSB was my jam, and that love of boy bands extended to pretty much everyone (except ‘N Sync, duh), including the fake boy band put together on MTV to mock the genre. That ultimately backfired since they had a ‘hit’ song with U+Me = Us (Calculus) and their follow-up hit, The Hardest Part of Breaking Up (Is Getting Back Your Stuff). Both their albums made it into the Billboard top 40, including their sophomore record, 2Ge+her Again, which hit 11. While it wouldn’t be the same without the late Michael Cuccione as part of the reunion, it would be great to see them 2GE+HER AGAIN.

 

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#RightNowAFreshman versus In 2004, A Freshman…

Right now, a Freshman …

is perusing the trending Twitter hashtag #RightNowAFreshman to find other people sharing the same experience.

In 2004, a Freshman ….

thinks the last sentence was just a bunch of nonsense words. Also, why is there a pound sign?

Right now, a Freshman …

is wearing the same outfit my sister wore to her college move-in day in 1996.

In 2004, a Freshman …

would not have been caught DEAD in 90s clothes, unless it was part of a group Saved By The Bell Halloween costume. But I sure did look fly in my low-rise boot cuts, hot pink American Eagle polo, and pukka shell necklace!

Right now, a Freshman ….

is streaming episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians  – a show that has been on since she was 10, by the way.

In 2004, a Freshman …

had to be back at the dorm at 9:00 for the next episode of The Simple Life with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. I’m not sure what a Kardashian is?

Right now, a Freshman ….

is illegally streaming episodes of Real Housewives from Korea in order to avoid awkward conversation with the new roomie.

In 2004, a Freshman …

was illegally downloading the latest Dave Matthews album on Kazaa – also in order to avoid awkward conversation with the new roomie. Then the internet broke.

Right now, a Freshman …

is realizing that her new roomie’s tumblr persona greatly misrepresented the kind of person she is.

In 2004, a Freshman …

is realizing that that 10-minute phone conversation on mom and dad’s land line with her new roomie greatly misrepresented the kind of person she is.

Right now, a Freshman …

is avoiding the lame alcohol-free foam party mixer the Student Association is putting on by staying in and making it a Netflix Night.

In 2004 a Freshman …

was avoiding the lame alcohol-free foam party mixer the Student Association is putting on by staying in and watching the MTV marathon of Laguna Beach. It’s so easy to keep watching when they don’t run commercials in between episodes! I wonder if I should buy the DVD when it comes out.

Right now, a Freshman ….

is nervous about wasting all of their good outfits the first week.

In 2004 a Freshman …

was nervous about wasting all of their good outfits the first week.

Denim minis were the perfect dress up/ dress down item.

Right now, a Freshman…

is desperately trying to connect her phone to the dorm’s weak WiFi network so she doesn’t get socked with data charges. I don’t have the unlimited plan, here.

In 2004 a Freshman …

accidentally opened the internet browser on her flip phone then shut it in a panic. We aren’t millionaires here.

Right now a Freshman …

has decided that she’s not really the kind of person that goes to Frat parties. This is likely to change within a few weeks despite her aversion to pastel shorts worn with Oxford shirts.

In 2004 a Freshman ….

also decided that she wasn’t really the kind of person that goes to Frat parties, but changed her mind within a few weeks despite her aversion to popped collars and cargo shorts.

Right now a Freshman ….

is wondering if it would be too much to Google Maps her way from her dorm to all of her class buildings.

In 2004 a Freshman ….

had to learn how to get around campus with a one of those old-timey maps with a cartoon of the wind in the corner, the advice of upperclassmen who knew the secret tunnels between buildings, and a portal to Narnia. Who designs these campuses?

Right now a Freshman …

is letting her tumblr posts get real dark for a while. Moving is hard.

In 2004 a Freshman …

keeps posting cryptic away messages on AIM for a while. Moving is hard.

Right now a Freshman …

is ignoring the groups of future friends in her floor’s ice breaker game, choosing to mass text old friends instead.

In 2004, a Freshman ….

was ignoring the groups of future friends in her floor’s ice breaker game, dashing back to her room as soon as it’s done to chat on AOL with old friends instead.

Right now a Freshman …

is wondering whether it’s too soon to Snapchat that cute guy from the next floor up.

In 2004, a Freshman …

is wondering whether it’s too soon to Myspace friend that cute guy from the next floor up. Will these people EVER work their way into my Top 8?

Right now a Freshman …

is on Instagram, gathering evidence that Miley is seriously starting to get out of hand.

In 2004, a Freshman…

was on Perez Hilton, gathering evidence that Lindsay Lohan is seriously starting to get out of hand. Hey, did you know that Billy Ray Cyrus has kids? No, I don’t care, either.

Right now, a Freshman…

thinks that she’ll “never change who she is,” but also knows that if she ever got famous she would be on Insta visiting kitten farms with Taylor Swift in a hot second.

In 2004, a Freshman …

thinks that she’ll “never change who she is,” but also knows that if she ever got famous she would be on Oh No They Didn’t stumbling out of a club with Lo Bosworth in a hot second.

Right now, a Freshman …

is establishing herself as the “funny one” on her floor with her spot-on impression of “Miley, what’s good?”

In 2004, a Freshman…

was establishing herself as the “funny one” on her floor with her spot-on impression of “that’s hottttt” (I was *known* for it).

Right now, a Freshman…

is stealing Trump 2016 stickers from cars on campus. Who DOES that? Hillary forever!

In 2004, a Freshman …

was stealing Bush/Cheney 2004 stickers from cars on campus. Who DOES that? Kerry forever!

Right now, a Freshman…

Thinks socialism could work in theory, it’s just never been implemented properly. Posts a rant about it on tumblr. Has not done any class reading yet.

In 2004, a Freshman ….

Thought the same thing, but posted it on a “board” online. Also had not done any class reading yet.

Right now, a Freshman…

Has decided she’s being *serious* about school now. Has created separate desktop folders for all her different classes.

In 2004, a Freshman….

Has decided that she’s being *serious* about school now. Uses ALL the different highlighter colors.

Right now a Freshman ….

is making “friends” with some random kids they won’t be talking to by next semester.

In 2004, a Freshman…

Remembered those people well enough to friend them on The Facebook once that came out … and are still Facebook friends with them to this day. Not sure why.

 

Mid-2000s Fashion: A Requiem

Fashion is cyclical, and that cycle is about 20 years long. That’s why all those teen whippersnappers are dressed like 1994 Angela Chases and Corey Matthewses right now (although we know that the truth of 90s fashion was a little different). And that’s why styles from 5-10 years ago (think The O.C., Laguna Beach, Mean Girls) … well, they’re old enough to make you look out of date, but too recent pass as a vintage look.

As I am re-watching Veronica Mars, I’m finding myself really missing some of those mid-2000s styles. Others… not so much. We won’t be seeing a lot of these 2003 – 2009 fads again for a while, so consider this a requiem. A long time ago, we used to be friends…

Boot Cut Jeans

Occasionally you hear that boot cuts are coming back for real this time, and maybe it’s true – denim follows different life spans than other fashion, multiple jean styles are acceptable at any time, and enough people resisted the skinny jean trend that boot cuts never really died. Though I like skinny jeans because it’s easier to find pairs that aren’t too baggy, boot cuts were frankly more flattering on more people. I usually stick with trouser jeans or straight leg when I don’t feel like wearing skinny jeans, but I’m seriously considering trawling e-bay for some 2007-vintage Seven For All Mankinds or Luckys. I’m old, I do what I want.

Little Corduroy Jackets

Some quality bootcuts, too.

If Veronica Mars makes you miss one thing, it’s cropped, fitted little corduroy jackets that were acceptable for indoor and outdoor wear and made great layers over shirts and hoodies alike. These are another thing I’d totally bring back without shame – I have some more blazer-y ones that I may or … may wear to the office sometimes.

Aviator Sunglasses

These haven’t gone all the way out, but they’re nowhere near as ubiquitous as they were a while ago. Everyone’s trying to wear Tom Cruise in Risky Business frames these days, but we still need a few Tom Cruise from Top Guns.

To save you the trouble, I googled “when was Kardashian in back brace.” Never. The answer is never. This is a belt.

Fitted Tops That Weren’t Too Short Or Too Long

I blame skinny jeans for this. A lot of ladies wanted or needed to cover their butts in skinny jeans, and suddenly long tops came into fashion. Others wanted to balance fitted skinnies with looser tops, and billowy tunics were here. Then, those damn teens got their hands on fashion, and those awkwardly short yet wide shirts from the 90s came back. We never noticed it happening, but somehow it’s a lot harder to find a shirt that’s not skin-tight, but doesn’t billow. A top that isn’t butt-covering long or belly-baring short, but lands right at your hipbone. Suddenly every shopping trip turns you into freaking goldilocks, searching for the shirt that’s just right. It didn’t used to be like this.

Juicy Tracksuits

Last place you’d see these tracksuits: an actual track. Can you imagine running in head-to-to velour?

I think J.Lo started this one, but America’s responsible for following. These were the outfit that said “I spent a lot of money to wear velour and look like I’m ill.” I never had a pair, but if I were the age I am now when these were popular, I would have probably cave. After a while you just like to be comfortable. If you wore one of these, you probably jazzed it up with some big ol’ hoop earrings.

Snarky Message Tees

At the time, I always used to think that these should read “I’m Not Funny — But My Shirt Is!” Clearly my attitude toward others hasn’t changed in the past decade. I’ll admit that some of these were sort of funny, in a bumper sticker, key chain, greeting card sort of way.

T-Shirts From Destinations You’ve Never Visited

In 2005, it didn’t matter if you’d never been to Ed’s Bowl-A-Roll, Springville Prep Lacrosse Camp, or Buenos Aires. It was enough to had a shirt that said you had. It was so bad that if you’d wear a t-shirt from a vacation or activity, one of your friends would always ask “Now, is that real, or…?”

‘Return To Tiffany’ Jewelry

Man. Could we have thought of something less really expensive to have cycle in and out of fashion? It was these, then those Italian charm bracelets, then regular charm bracelets, and now finally Alex and Ani, which is at least cheap, finally. If you wear these with the right outfit and accessories it’s still doable.

Now, when they went missing, how many of these bad boys do you think actually got returned to Tiffany & Co.?

Che Guevara, For Some Reason

The most mid-2000s thing ever: (1) Che Guevara + (2) Military Green + (3) Canvas + (4) Messenger Bag

I don’t know. In 2007 that one kid who’s always talking about sustainable water supply and the Iraq occupation in your Developing World poli-sci class is definitely wearing a Che t-shirt. Or a Che pin. And definitely a Che jacket. It’s just a thing people were doing to let you know that they didn’t vote for George W. Bush, had serious feelings about organic foods, and were minoring in political science.

Puka Shells and Beaded Man-Necklaces

No beach required. There was a surfer thing going on that might have started in Blue Crush, and it manifested in Hawaiian flowers on shirts and these damn necklaces. They started off as an innocuous accessory, but after a while they were part of the Douchebag Accessory Trifecta, three items that all dirtbaggy mid-2000s dude-bros wore so that we could tell they were douchey without even having to talk to them. We’ll address the other two further down.

Whiskered Denim

Jeans that were painted to look like your hips were so wide that your fabric was straining and puckering against them. Thanks, 2004. You really, really shouldn’t have.

Conspicuous Branding

“My shirt is from a store!” – Your Shirt, c. 2006

In 2006, you didn’t need to worry that people wouldn’t be able to tell that your shirt was from Abercrombie, Hollister, Armani Exchange, or even Aeropostale. Your shirt did the talking for you.

Trucker Hats

Bonus mid-2000s trend: Jesus Is My Homeboy. Double-Bonus Mid-2000s Trend: Ashton Kutcher

 

Usually Von Dutch, always completely silly. This is our second item in the Douchebag Accessory Trifecta.

Gaucho Pants

Baby AnnaSophia Robb is a paragon of 2004 couture.

 

I remember sitting in my college dorm in 2005, people-watching kids going into the dining hall across from our room, and wondering when all of the girls started dressing like swashbuckling pirates.

Popped Collars

See also: every guy I ever met at a party from 2004 to 2008

Here it is. The third Douchebag Accessory. You could even wear two popped collars at once if you were really, really awful.

Going Out Tops

“Nobody looks flyer than me in this silk-accented maroon blouse!” – My Imagination, c. 2006. [In case you’re wondering this is from a puppet show lampooning all of my friends, which a buddy and I wrote, directed, and starred in BECAUSE I’VE ALWAYS BEEN AT LEAST THIS COOL.]

Before it was normal to wear cute dresses or casual t-shirts out, every Friday and Saturday night (and Thursday… and Sunday), you’d straighten your hair, smudge on some liquid eyeliner, and change into one of your Going Out Tops. They were silky or lacy or otherwise fancy tops. At my college, at least, you’d then cover it up with a NorthFace fleece to walk across the frozen terrain.

In case you’re wondering, “going out top” was a clumsy phrase invented as a workaround so we didn’t have to say “blouse.”

Ringer Tees

Sports fashion for people who can’t play, or necessarily name, a single sport. These are neither dead, nor as very alive as they once were.

That One Kind Of Jeans Skirt

I basically wore this exact outfit.

Some kinds of denim skirt are still in – I was just wearing one. But remember that one kind of jeans skirt that everyone had? In warm weather, you’d wear it with your going out shirt.

The Butt-Ruffle

I don’t know. It was like a flouncy ruffle that covered your ass. It sort of looked like a diaper cover. It seemed cute at the time.

Surf and Beach Inspired Outfits

What is this shirt, College Molly? You don’t even LIKE beaches that much. Too much sun exposure, too much sand.

Thanks to the aforementioned Blue Crush, along with The O.C. and Laguna Beach, teen beach bums were having a moment. Even if you lived nowhere near water, it’s a thing that was happening.

Short-Sleeved Shirts Over Long-Sleeved Shirts

Could I BE wearing any more clothes?

Ah, the mid-2000s. When shirt sleeves of all lengths lived in harmony.

Fitted Off-The Shoulder Tops

These weren’t those big, floppy 80s flashdance numbers. They were regular long-sleeved tops, but the shoulders were over the shoulder.

Tight Plain Tank Tops Worn By Themselves As Though It Were Just… Okay

To explain: We were “hiking” and Traci instructed me to “look competent.” And our friend’s face is obscured so as not to throw her under the 2006 bus.

Your ab situation was on-point. You knew it. So did everyone else. Frankly, I’m glad these were popular in my college years so that my 18-21 year old abs will live on in the memory of all those I knew and loved.

Half-Cardigans

What’s so funny, 2007 me? Is it that you still have the glow of youth? That you live in a house with a lime-green bar room? Or is it that your cardigan only reaches your ribs and you realize you look like an idiot?

Sometimes you’d wear it over your tight plain tank top.

Floppy Surfer Boy Haircuts That Always Curled Straight Out

I have curly hair, too. I understand. This hair cut was not always bad, but on boys with a certain kind of hair, it curled straight out at the bottom, forming, like, a hair-shelf. It looked stupid. You looked stupid.

Smocking On Grown-Assed Women

On five-year-olds’ sundresses: Adorable. On adult ladies with boobs: really really weird. They made your boobs look tube-shaped and awful.