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National Geographic Society
National GeographicNat Geo WildNat Geo People
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DESCRIPTION

The 90's represented both a New World Order, and a New World Disorder. It was a time when technology accelerated us into our digital future, when reality TV got way too real and when politics could focus on the trivial. A time when the United States had won a Cold War yet faced a new enemy driven by fanaticism. A time when billionaires were created faster than ever before and when even the government had a surplus.  Ten years before boom turned into bust. Ten years when the web was wide open. Ten years before global terror hit hard.

EPISODE GUIDE

  • The 90's: The Decade That Connected Us: Great Expectations
    With a star-studded cast of actors, academics and celebrity interviewees, we tell the story of the early 90s growing obsession with sex, celebrity, and reality-TV. While some women, like Anita Hill, were fighting against becoming sex objects, others like Anna Nicole Smith couldn’t wait to get their clothes off. Bill Clinton was also revealing hidden talents when he decided to gamble on showing the world his sax. His gamble paid off, but when Bill Gates decided to package Window 95 without a web browser, Microsoft lost out big time to Netscape. Gates eventually emerged triumphant which was good financial news for both Bills. While the cast members of the Real World reveled in the media spotlight, the glare of publicity proved too much for Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, who provided the 90s with its definitive rock icon. Jeffrey Dahmer became an icon of a very different sort, yet even he couldn’t cast a shadow as long as the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.
  • The 90's: The Decade That Connected Us: Friends & Enemies
    As the Nineties progress, America becomes ever more divided and fragmented. At Waco, a religious cult becomes a lightning rod for a fear of big government invading our homes. That same conspiracy fear plays itself out in the popular idea that aliens walk amongst us. Meanwhile the awful sight of dead American soldiers being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu divides America on its role in the world. Even in women's figure skating we find ourselves divided along class lines with the Tonya and Nancy saga. Class warfare dominates TV with the rise of Jerry Springer's reality show, whilst real-life violence and rapper lyrics become intertwined, and America turns to a new generation of drugs like Vicodin and Prozac to cope with it all. Domestic violence explodes with the Oklahoma City bombing, and following a government shutdown, Bill Clinton declares that the era of big government is over. The ‘shock jocks’ are commanding huge audiences, as is the OJ Simpson trial – ending in a verdict which polarizes the nation. But when Matthew Shepard is murdered in a homophobic attack, America unites in condemnation. A new dance craze also unites the nation: the Macarena. Rudy Giuliani orders a clean-up operation in New York City, and the hip new sitcom ‘Friends’ is an overnight hit, along with a revolutionary search engine for a fast-growing tool: the internet.
  • The 90's: The Decade That Connected Us: Politically Incorrect
    The ‘90s is racing to the finish line on an information superhighway. But bombs, computer bugs and the sex scandal of the century threaten to spoil the end of the century party. Entrepreneurs are getting rich quicker than ever before as the dotcom bubble grows. Sexual taboos are broken as Viagra hits the market with an endorsement by failed presidential candidate Bob Dole. Soon after, another threshold is crossed as the intimate details of President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky are revealed. Away from the sordid details of the Starr report, the tragedies surrounding the death of Princess Di and the shootings at Columbine force us to take a long hard look at ‘90s society. Generation X finally find a cause as they protest the WTO in Seattle, but everything is set to change as the Al Qaeda menace grows.
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VIDEOS

  • Tonya vs. Nancy photo

    Tonya vs. Nancy

    When figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is injured by a mystery attacker, it soon comes to light that...

    (02:53)
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