Now that the summer is about to end, the TV series season is about to start again.

So, before losing your mind for Kidding, the new project by Michel Gondry starring Jim Carrey, for the lysergic Maniac with Emma Stone and Jonah Hill or for the science fiction The First with Sean Penn, what better period to revisit or discover for the first some of the 90s TV series that shaped the TV series that we are used to seeing today in the Netflix era?

nss has chosen the most enjoyable, easy and exciting, but also those that have given life to characters who have become iconic and come back to the limelight thanks to the nostalgia effect and Instagram fever.

An example? Members of the Friends crew are so popular that they are almost our relatives, Tata Francesca is the ultimate fashion icon according to @WhatFranWore and the outfits worn by the Beverly Hills 90210 crew and the Party of Five family look like the asos catalog and they are the inspiration for thousands of millenials and designers.

And then how can you watch 13 seasons of Grey's Anatomy but never an episode of E.R. aka the progenitor of all modern medical drama?

If these reasons are not enough, let yourself be pushed by curiosity. Many of these titles, in fact, are going to have a reboot and each of the new versions will be reworked with a strong multi-ethnic imprint, which will transform the Halliwell sisters and the Salinger siblings into Latin American girls and boys, while the vampire slayer in a powerful black queen.

From Buffy - The Vampire Slayer to Beverly Hills 90210, from Charmed to The Nanny, which one is your favourite? 

 

Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990 - 2000)

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Plot.

Brandon and Brenda aka the Walsh twins leave the cold Minnesota and land in the sunny and sophisticated Beverly Hills and end up in the city's most prestigious high school: the West Beverly High.

Here they enter the crew of the beautiful, rich and bored L.A. guys, always sporting designer clothes: Kelly, the fragile and problematic queen of the school; sweet and chaste Donna; Dylan, a James Dean oriented type of guy; Steve, the bully; the shy David who dreams of being a DJ; the prig Andrea (the actress playing a 16-year-old student looked more like a 50-year-old woman). 

Plus: glitz, exams, brotherhoods, parties, parent-child problems, drugs, AIDS, sexuality, love triangles (Brenda-Dylan-Kelly or Brandon-Kelly-Dylan). 

About.

When Aaron Spelling decided to give life to a TV series for teenagers he could not imagine that his product would have become a cult show, capable of influencing generations around the world for the years to come. 

The popularity of the show was so big that every teenager of the 90s could give a firm answer to these two questions: Team Dylan or team Brandon? Kelly or Brenda?

After having watched every single episode of the show we can give you the right answers. Dylan (the younger audience knows him as Archie's dad in Riverdale) is the cool guy, rebellious and tormented, lives alone, surfs and has a romantic, but not sappy side; and Brenda, the black sheep of the family, the imperfect one, always a step behind her irritating brother, the cute girl who dreams of becoming an actress and leaves home (she's actually force to do so since everyone hates her.) 

Fun facts.

On the set of Beverly Hills 90210 everyone hated Shannen Doherty, the actress who played Brenda Walsh. Her diva behaviour and whims, as well as her costant quarrels with Jennie Garth, who played Kelly, became so frequent and intolerable that she got fired after four seasons, and was replaced by the character of her mean cousin Valerie Malone.

 

Baywatch (1989 - 2001)

 

Plot.

This series follows the lives of the Los Angeles County lifeguards, led by Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff), who from their turrets solved all sorts of problems, from drowning to bullying, from shark attacks to serial killers. 

About.

Let's be honest: for today's viewers, who are accustomed to very cool series like Peaky Blinders or The Americans, it's like watching a blockbuster set on the beach, but at the time the show worked and was watched by millions of people at dinner time. 

The unlikely plots, the good feelings of Mitch, the ocean, the many Playmates (Pamela Anderson, Erika Eleniack, Brande Roderick, Carmen Electra, Gina Lee Nolin, ...) and Kelly Slater (one of the most important surf champions in the world) helped the digestion of the meal and amused the whole family.

Fun facts.

Baywatch ended up in the Guinness Book of Records as the second most watched TV series in the world with an estimated weekly audience of over 1.1 billion in 142 countries. Translated into 44 languages, this television product has been broadcasted in every continent, but its first season was so disappointing on NBC that the show was saved by Hasselhoff himself. For example, the slow-motion race, a recurring and characteristic motif that lingered on the bodies of the lifeguards, had been introduced to make each episode last a few extra seconds, without having to increase the budget or shoot more scenes.

 

Party of five (1994 - 2000)

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Plot.

The Salinger brothers remain orphans after their parents die suddenly in a car accident and have to face everyday life problems. The oldest, the twenty-four year old Charlie (Matthew Fox), has to replace his father, take care of the family restaurant and bring up his brothers: the high school students Bailey (Scott Wolfe) and Julia (Neve Campbell), teenager Claudia (Lacey Chabert) and Owen, the just six months old baby.

About.

No moralisms. No sugarcoating. Life is often cruel, people are imperfect, families hide secrets, resentments and many unsaid things.

This is Party of five with, in addition, oversized jackets, checked shirts, turtlenecks and high-waisted jeans

Fun facts.

Party of five was the springboard for many young actors: Neve Campbell went on to become the star of Scream, the Wes Craven quadrilogy; Matthew Fox was consecrated a few years later by Lost (he was Dr. Jack Shephard); Gretchen Winers starred in Mean Girls; Jennifer Love Hewitt, who played Bailey's girlfriend on the show, starred in the spinoff Time of Your Life and reached success as Ghost Whisperer's medium Melinda Gordon. Even Kate Hudson made her debut on this show in Episode 21 of the second season. 

 

Willy, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990 - 1996)

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Plot.

Willy (Will Smith) is catapulted from the Philadelphia ghetto to the luxurious Bel-Air villa of his aunt and uncle, Vivian (Janet Hubert-Whitten and, from the fourth season, Daphne Maxwell Reid) and Philip (James Avery), along with his cousins: the nerd and a bit loser Carlton (Alonso Ribeiro), the spoiled and frivolous Vivian (Karyn Parsons), the sweet Ashley (Tatyana Ali) and the little Nicky (Ross Bagley). 

You cannot miss the house butler Geoffrey (Joseph Marcell), one of the most successful sitcom characters.

About.

An easy, pleasant, colorful show, full of unforgettable elements: from the theme song sung by Smith himself and adapted by Quincy Jones to Vivian outfits, passing through the legendary "ballets" of Carlton on the notes of It's Not Unusual by Tom Jones.

Many years after the airing of the series, Ribeiro confessed to stealing those strange moves from Courtney Cox in Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark video and from Eddie Murphy.

 

Fun facts.

1990. In the States hip hop is now a reality even in the mainstream world and NBC decides to make it the theme of a sit-com.

As a protagonist, the television channel has its eyes on Will Smith, the new winner with his partner Jeff Townes (Dj Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince) of the Grammy in the Rap category.

The artist is "forced" to accept the offer to repay a $ 2.8 million debt with the US Inland Revenue.

 

Buffy-The Vampire Slayer (1997 - 2003)

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Plot.

Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Geller), expelled from school for burning the gym, moves from Los Angeles to the small town of Sunnydale.

Blonde, petite, with hairpins in her hair and glittering lip gloss, she looks like a normal sixteen-year-old girl. In reality she is "the chosen one", the last descendant of a vampire hunter lineage. In her mission she is helped by the "Scooby Gang": the clumsy Xander (Nicholas Brendon), the timid witch Willow (Alyson Hannigan aka Lily in How I Met Your Mother ), the snob Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), the musician werewolf Oz (Seth Green), the librarian-observer Giles (Anthony Head), the tormented vampire with the soul Angel (David Boreanaz, protagonist of the spinoff of Buffy, Angel, but also interpreter of Booth in Bones) and Spike (James Marsters), the vampire to whom Billy Idol copied the look.

In the seven seasons and 144 episodes produced, Buffy and her crew will save the world from the Apocalypse an infinite number of times.

 

About.

Without the Joss Whedon show there would be no TV series as we know it today. Those in which the characters are full of nuances and not locked up in a rigid and stereotypical roles, but also have the opportunity to express their dark sides.

So Buffy is not just a California teenager worried about manicures. At the same time she is a strong, courageous, witty woman, but also self-defeating, depressed, fragile, tired of always having the weight of the world on her back.

High school is a metaphor for hell, where every teenager has to face the monsters of growth, just as the slayer has to fight vampires and evil creatures.

Even the staging, purposely unsightly, qualitatively poor, a clear homage to the B-movie horror, underlines the quality of the contents of a series on one side marked as "a bad teen-drama with vampires and monsters that make forays into prom", while on the other immediately praised by the fan base.

In the end, twenty years later, the latter group was right, supported also by Emily Nussbaum, eminent Pulitzer Prize-winning critic of "The New Yorker", but also by the magazine "Entertainment Weekly" which in 2010 judged Buffy the third best character of all time, after Harry Potter and Homer Simpson.

 

Fun facts.

If there is a show that reflects the best and also the worst of the 90s fashion, this is surely Buffy-The Vampire Slayer, but did you know that there is a real fashion victim in the cast?

No, not Sarah Michelle Gellar, but Tom Lenk, the actor who had the minor role of Andrew Wells in the series.

The favorite pastime of the forty year old, is, in fact, show on his Instagram profile (@TommyLenk) original parodies of the outfits of the most famous stars by Kim Kardashian to Sarah Jessica Parker.

Tom perfectly replicates not only the pose and expression of the celebrities, but, above all, their looks, often using everyday objects.

The result is exhilarating.

 

The Nanny (1993 - 1999)

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Plot.

Fran Fine, a girl from Queens who lives with her mother Sylvia and her father Morty, both sons of Jewish immigrants, has just broken up with her boyfriend and lost her job, but, almost by accident, while selling door to door make up products, she is hired in the home of the rich theatrical impresario Maxwell Sheffield. Here she will have to take care of the three sons of man: Maggie, Brian and Gracie.

To complete the family menage there are the irreverent butler Niles and the assistant of Maxwell, C.C. Babcock.

This is the original plot, which, in our local version, has undergone what Rolling Stone calls an "Italianwashing", a sort of adaptation tailored to the public of the peninsula.

Thus Fran Fine, of Jewish origins, becomes Francesca Cacace, a true ciociara originally from Frosinone; Mamma Syvia and grandmother Yetta are transformed into the aunts, invading, voracious and nosey Assunta and Yetta.

 

About.

This sitcom, created by the same protagonist, Fran Drescher paired with her ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobson, was one of the most amusing and beloved shows of the 90s.

The secret? The iconic figure of Francesa: very big hair, red lipstick, nasal voice, twenty-year-old eternal, with a boundless passion for desserts and for Barbra Streisand who, with her popular attitude, was a comical contrast to the attitude of her employer.

All supported by the caustic humor of Niles. His gags with C.C are unforgettable!

 

Fun facts.

It is undeniable: Fran is the biggest fashion victim in the history of TV.

Moschino, Versace, Christian Lacroix, Anna Sui, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada, Marc Jacobs, Azzedine Alaia, John Galliano, ... the nanny has worn them all, managing to change outfits even ten times in a single episode.

Her style is so iconic that she has become the protagonist of an Instagram account of over 54,000 followers: @WhatFranWore, curated by Shan Brown, who collects all her best fashion moments.

 

X-Files (1993 - 2002, 2016) 

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Plot.

FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate cases involving the paranormal.

The man chose to do so because he is convinced that an alien has kidnapped his sister, while Scully, skeptical, is there to control him.

With the progress of the episodes, including mysteries, smoking man, strange disappearances, conspiracies, alleged ultraterrestrial apparitions, the relationship between the two colleagues will become increasingly intense and the truth will seem closer to being unveiled.

 

About.

"I want to believe".

This is what we wanted in the '90s when we felt starting the acronym of Mark Snow: believe in the possibility of not being alone in the universe ... and also see Dana and Fox kissing.

Elements, along with a continuous tension and a well-made product, which have brought this series to success, prizes, and cult, so much so that they managed to get a revival in 2016 and other seasons currently in work.

 

Fun facts.

We reveal a "great mystery": Gillian Anderson was not what the producers had in mind for the role of Scully. Originally Fox wanted a tall, blonde, prosperous, long-legged actress.

The Anderson (a winning decision!), However, was so much short compared to David Duchovny that she spent most of the shootings on a box to make the shot between the two actors balanced.

 

Friends (1994 - 2004)

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Plot.

Rachel has just given up the promised spouse at the altar, stumbles by chance in her high school friend Monica and becomes her roommate, entering, together with an entire generation, in her crew of friends, composed by her brother Ross, the next door Joey and Chandler and the wacky Phoebe.

 

About.

It's the most popular sit-com of the 90s and it's almost impossible to have not seen at least one episode.

Everything in this show has become the symbol of an era, the photograph of a precise historical moment: the Central Perk, the cult bar where the six spend most of their time, to Rachel's haircut; from the theme song, I'll be there for you by Rembrandts, to the hit "Smelly Cat" by Phoebe and it is also rumored that Joey is the muse of the designer Demna Gvasalia.

 

Fun facts.

"One for all, all for one".

The cast of Friends better than the three musketeers.

Every economic negotiation of the actors has always taken place in unison, a wise choice since it has allowed them reach, from $ 22,500 per episode in the first season, a million in the last.

 

E.R. (1994 - 2009)

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Plot.

The adventures of a group of doctors revolving around the emergency room at Chicago's County General Hospital.

Among the main protagonists there are the good doctor Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards), the pediatrician Doug Ross (a young George Clooney), the chief nurse Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies aka Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife), the assistant surgeon Peter Benton (Eriq La Salle), the young specializing John Carter (Noah Wyle, later seen in Falling Skies and The Librarians), the Croatian Luka Kovac (Goran Visnjic) or the nurse and then Dr. Abby Lockhart ( Maura Tierney).

 

About.

Without it there would not have been Gray's anatomy or Dr House.

With 15 seasons and 331 episodes, E.R. is the progenitor of all modern medical dramas and, in the years in which it was broadcast, millions of TV viewers gathered in front of the television to watch the stories of this group of doctors, thus learning a quantity of technical terms equal to those of a brilliant medical student.

 

Fun facts.

As in other series of that period, many famous actors appeared in E.R.

Any name? Ewan McGregor, Kirsten Dunst, Cynthia Nixon, Sally Field, Ray Liotta, Lucy Liu, Steve Buscemi, Susan Sarandon, Forest Whitaker, Alexis Bledel, James Belushi, William H. Macy, Emile Hirsch, Julie Delpy, ...

 

Charmed (1998-2006)

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Plot.

Three sisters. Prue (Shanner Doherty), Piper (Holly Marie Combs) and Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), the Halliwell.

Three witches. One with the power to move objects with the mind, one to block time, the last to predict the future.

Together, helped by their white angel, Leo (Brian Krause), they have the duty to stop evil and make good triumph.

When Prue dies (also here as in Beverly Hills 90210 everyone hates Shannen Doherty), a half-sister appears, Paige, played by Rose McGowan (lately on the record for the Weinstein case).

 

About.

"The power of three will set us free".

This was the mantra that repeated the Halliwell girls and it was nice to see how the "sisterhood" had the power to reestablish the good in the world.

Maybe not the best series in the world, but very enjoyable to watch, with magic, memorable outfits (even here for good or evil), that cool guy of Cole (Julian McMahon, later become famous with Nip / Tuck) and a complicity between women, a little funny but profound.

What else do you want from a few hours of a 90s show?

 

Fun Facts

Charmed has not been broadcast since 2006, but the hype around the project has never decreased, so much so that the story continued in a series of comics published by Zenescope Entertainment and in 41 novels inspired by the universe of the TV series, of several authors, including Constance M. Burge, the creator of the show.

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