Bad boys, bad
boys…what you gonna do, what you gonna do when they come for you? Here she
is…1989…and the theme song to one of her babies…COPS. CHIPS had become like a
distant cousin and Adam 12 a weird uncle, or something. No more Jon and Ponch
for us. 1989 is like the clever baby sister…the last of ten…and she came of age
with Reality TV and big fake boobs. And like a kid cleaning out her CD
collection, she Bust A Move, gave the bands all haircuts, and cleared out some
shelf space for the grunge to come…no matter how hard Cher tried to Turn Back
Time. She witnessed San Francisco shake, the Chinese stand up, the Berlin Wall
fall down, and Zsa Zsa slap a Beverly Hills Cop. She carried us to the summit of
Mount 1980’s…with all of it’s new found silicone, TV cheese, movie fluff, and
musical dirty laundry.
Fake boobs, fake boobs…what you gonna do? What you gonna do when they come for you? You see…the seeds planted by her older sisters were now bearing fruit. Let’s remember that the camcorder was the innovative bastard child of older sister, 1983, and it too was coming of age…making possible such riveting programs as the aforementioned COPS, Super Bloopers & Practical Jokes, and maybe even Baywatch…which, by the way, saw the second coming of David Hasselhoff. Even Rob Lowe, the one-time king of the Brat Pack, got caught with a couple of 16 year olds in a real scandal of Sex, Lies & Videotape that documented his mating habits. Sex was for sale. Voyeurism was in. We started to mainline pure T&A…after all, the entire world tuned in to get a load of the very first Baywatch babe, Erika Eleniak…oh yes, she was pre-Pamela…who we all know would eventually have her own very special date with a camcorder. Anyway, even 2 Live Crew cried out Me So Horny, and yet there were the 12 to 16 year old girls who couldn’t come right out and say it? Well, they were treated to the Right Stuff offered up by Boston’s own New Kids On The Block…a white boy version of New Edition…a precursor to Backstreet Boys and N’ Sync. 1989 had indeed planted a seed of her own…the latest species of the pop music money tree.
Elsewhere in the garden was the stuff that grew best in the shade…the naughty…the secret…everything from fake breasts to Meg Ryan’s fake orgasm at Katz’s Deli to fake singers. We have the Milli Vanilli…too bad, huh…Blame It On The Rain or perhaps bad karma…Girl You Know It’s NOT True. Controversy swirled. Grammy’s were taken back. The true culprits disappeared into the shadows…and we just rubbernecked our way toward Grunge. And then, Pepsi got mad at Madonna for Expressing Herself and stirring up trouble between Church and State…Like A Prayer…please, as if the Pope watches MTV. But hold on dudes…what’s this? Something is afoot at the Circle K…Keanu Reeves before The Matrix?…before Neo? Yes. He’s burnout, Ted Logan, and he’s on an Excellent Adventure with his friend Bill and they’re learning a little history by travelling back in time and collecting a few historical dudes. If only they could have kidnapped that Skreetch guy and the rest of those Saved By The Bell goons and left them back in old school China with the Mongols.
1989 was all that and more…Ton Loc’s Wild Thing, The Arsenio Hall Show, and The Simpsons. Major League made us laugh. Field of Dreams made us cry. And Spike Lee made us Do The Right Thing. But as the baby sister of the 1980s Family, 1989 had to watch all that had come to life in her decade…like MTV and Nintendo Game Boy and a Stock Market crash and two Terminators and a breed of woman known as the Supermodel and The American Gladiators…all get passed into the eager hands of 1990.