15 Things That “I Love The 2000s” Apparently Didn’t Love…But I Did
VH1 once again put on the rose colored glasses to take a look at another decade with their popular “I love the…” series. Previous installments focusing on the 70s, 80s and 90s became popular hit series. This time around we take a look back to a decade that ended just 4 years ago with “I love the 2000s”. It’s easy to argue that not enough time has passed for the nostalgia to settle in, but to be fair, I must point out that they took a look at the 90s in 2003 or so, which at the time seemed to be too soon to reflect back then.
However, one of the many problems with this new series is that they kind of already did this show back in 2008 with “I love the New Millennium” before the decade even ended which covered 2000-2007. I vaguely remember watching a little bit of it and not ever tuning back in for the rest of the series due to it seeming too soon to look back on things that happened only a few years before. So due to that desensitization, I wasn’t as pumped for this new series as I remember being with the prior incarnations. As a pop culture blogger, I did my duty and watched the full series and while I’m glad that some events were covered, there were plenty of events ignored that I wasn’t too happy about. So here’s my list of what I felt like would have been great inclusions.
No Michael Ian Black-I’ll get to the actual 2000s things in a moment but I need to state the obvious. I really missed Michael Ian Black on this show. He and Hal Sparks are two of the show’s best commentators in prior incarnations, but both are largely absent this time around. Michael Ian Black is gone completely and Hal Sparks is regulated to a very annoying recap with autotune at the end of every episode that begs for the fast forward or mute button to be pushed. I think the show could have drastically benefited with Michael Ian Black and/or Hal Sparks commentating (there could have been a brilliant comment by Hal Sparks about his Spider-man 2 cameo or Michael Ian Black bringing up his cancelled Comedy Central shows like Stella..which I loved). Instead, in this series we get the lady from Borat, Charlamagne Tha God (yeah..that’s what he calls himself these days).
LOST- OK, I’m an unshameful Lost fanboy and for 6 seasons I obsessed with my friends about the various theories of the show, but hear me out on this one! Coming up with your own crazy Lost Theories was a thing you did in the mid-2000s and if you had a theory that was within the ballpark it was awesome! Fan or not, it was impossible to ignore the fact that the show was HUGE. This was the biggest and most insulting ommision for me. The pilot episode alone was so expensive that the then-ABC president was fired for green-lighting it (he was rehired once the show became huge). I was revved up for 2004’s installment of “I Love the 2000s” just to see if Bearded Jack got any love (I can rant about how Bearded Jack is one of my favorite characters), the massive season 3 Cliffhanger, if shirtless Sawyer was swooned over, Hurley’s excessive use of the word dude, groovy time travel with the Dharma Initative, Ben Linus getting the shit punched out of him every week was mentioned…but instead the only LOST reference in the entire series was a 5 second mention of Evangaline Lilly in 2006’s hotties presented by Nelly. She’s hot, I’ll give them that, but seriously what the hell VH1??? Don’t worry though fans… A LOT of time was spent on the series to focus on “more rewarding” shows like “Flavor of Love” and “Rock of Love with Brett Michaels”.
Casino Royale- A new kickass James Bond takes the reign and I remember the outcry over Daniel Craig being blonde (I was a naysayer personally) whereas his predecessors were dark haired gentlemen. But when Casino Royale hit theaters, naysayers like myself ate a massive serving of humble pie. Casino Royale kicked all sorts of ass with its new James Bond. This appeared to have been covered on “I love the new Millennium” but they covered The DaVinci Code on that show and I love the 2000s, so no excuse! Casino Royale was the shit! It deserved a moment on the show.
Lord of the Rings- One of the most beloved book series was adapted into 3 Oscar winning movies and not a single mention?? Really??? Granted like Casino Royale, this was sort of touched up apparently on I Love the New Millennium with Return of the King, but if anything, The Two Towers should have at the very least had some sort of mention for the mo-cap/CGI character of Gollum. Instead the focus went solely to the less deserving King Kong…it was good, but I think it’s obvious that the Lord of the Rings trilogy has the bigger pop culture claim in history. Plus it spawned this video.
Metallica Vs. Napster- I love Metallica. They are one of my favorite bands. At the beginning of the 2000s, a lot of fans hated them for threatening lawsuits for illegally downloaded songs on Napster. Fans burned albums and merchandise and it was a dark time to say that you liked the band (despite your own pirating habit). The backlash took the better part of the decade for Metallica to recover and saw the departure of long-time bassist Jason Newsted and the release of arguably their worst album “St Anger” (It was a “therapy album” for them, as documented in “Some Kind of Monster”…fortunately Death Magnetic was pretty good and the more recent concert video Through the Never was a fun experience). It was a very un-metal move to pull, but back in those days, legal methods such as Itunes, Pandora or Spotify wasn’t as commonplace as it is today. Much like the character in their song “The Unforgiven” Metallica served as the Whipping Boy in the digital piracy fight.
Iron Man– The movie Iron Man was first building block of the hugely successful Marvel cinematic universe. Did anyone give a shit about Iron Man before this movie? Not really…Iron Man was sort of a B-grade hero while Spider-man, X-men, Hulk, Daredevil, and Fantastic 4 got all of the movie and cartoon deals (there was a mid-90s cartoon of Iron Man but it wasn’t very good). Once the movie hit, Iron Man became a household name and put Robert Downey Jr in a very positive light (the 90s weren’t good to him). Furthermore, the success of Iron Man led to Captain America, Thor, a better Hulk movie (2nd in this decade) and the wildly successful Avengers movie with more “riskier” properties such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-man, and Doctor Strange in the pipeline.
9/11- Given the fact that the “I love…” series usually finds comedy in their topics, the 9/11 terrorist attack isn’t something that can be joked about, but it’s literally the biggest thing that happened in 2001. It was sort of touched on with a shoe bomber (aka the dickbag that is responsible for us having to take off our shoes before flying places). It just seemed too big of an event to skim past. They at the very least could have mentioned U2’s touching halftime show at the Superbowl.
Twitter- I don’t think Twitter is as cool as Facebook and while I may not be a big fan of it, Twitter apparently serves as the preferred social media outlet for celebrities and sports stars. I got to give Twitter credit though despite hating it’s 164 character limit; it is *THE* network for high profile people to slip up and say something terrible and regretful, nude pic leaks, and the cause of some entertaining firings of social media coordinators.
Tonight Show Host Change-up- The Team Coco vs Team Leno thing actually happened in 2010 which would make it a very good entry for “I love the 10s” or whatever you call the “teenage decade” of a millennium. However, when Jay Leno retired from the tonight show and relinquished the hosting duties to Conan O’Brien, it was a pretty big deal. Although short-lived, Conan’s Tonight Show was a blast to watch! I personally loved the Norm MacDonald Moth Joke, Twitter Tracker, andConando. Sadly, the reign only lasted 6 or so months. Despite what side you were on, it’s hard to argue against the fact that Conan’s last week of TV made for some of the most interesting TV to watch in quite some time.
I’m With Busey- OK maybe it’s not really a big mark in pop culture history (but neither is Flavor of Love or Rock of Love). Let’s not forget that for one lovely TV season Gary Busey had a reality show. It would have been a great “Guilty Pleasure” entry for the series.
Writer’s strike- In 2008, the Screen Writers Guild of America went on strike causing many shows to have delayed or shortened TV seasons. It was a dark time for TV. The bright side to the strike was that it gave us a fun Conan vs John Stewart vs Steven Colbert feud as well as Doctor Horrible’s Sing-along blog.
Firefly– This show has been off the air for quite some time and people are still fuming over Fox cancelling the show. Widely seen as Fox network’s biggest screw-up, the cancellation has long since been associated with what is now “The Friday Timeslot of Death” in which most TV shows moved to Friday nights are usually set up to die in ratings (dating back to Bruce Campbell’s excellent show “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr”). Fortunately, the fandom that became associated with Firefly led to a movie. Unfortunately, that movie killed Wash…I’m still really upset about that and much like Rocky V, I refuse to accept the movie as canon.
Shaun of the Dead- I remember in early 2004 it seemed that a preview to Shaun of the Dead would appear on basically every DVD I purchased that year. I finally decided to rent it and fell in love with the film. Marketed as “A love story with zombies” it introduced a lot of American audiences to the team of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (which also led to my discovery of the TV series Spaced). Of course, the success of this movie led to the “Blood and Ice Cream/Cornetto trilogy” with Hot Fuzz and World’s End.
Doctor Who- The show’s been around forever, there was even a TV movie in the 90s, but it wasn’t until the slick cool revamp that it seemed that Doctor Who really became mega-popular. Just think of how many people ordered BBCAmerica solely to see Doctor Who after the new series launched. Just go to any nerd-themed event and it’s all but a guarantee that you’ll see Tardis Dresses, Dalek dresses/costumes, people dressed as the Doctor and so on. It was hard for me to really get into it as I found the Sci-fi a bit too wonky, but it had its moments: Daleks, weeping angels, cool regenerations. It’s even fun to hear “Whovians” debate which Doctor they enjoyed most) The Doctor may have been traveling throughout time and space, but he earns a place as a pop culture milestone of the 2000s.
Frat Pack movies- Will Ferrell left SNL to pursue a movie career and stared in such movies as Old School, Anchorman and so on. One fun thing about Will Ferrell’s first few movies was that it sort of spawned a new generation of comedy actors known as “The Frat Pack” consisting of Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Owen and Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Steve Carell whom would appear in each other’s films. Take your pick: Anchorman, Starsky and Hutch, Tropic Thunder, Old School, or Zoolander. All are better topics than Rock of Love.
Overall, I’m sure they’ll do another retrospective spin-off of this series as they have in past series. However, I almost think the nostalgia fun may have finally worn off. We are in the exciting future known as the information age. Just think about how easy it is for us to pull up something cool from the 80s just from our phones (another significant change kind of ignored this time around). Perhaps nostalgia doesn’t pack quite the same punch as it used to. If I want to get pissed off at the difficulty of the Ninja Turtles Nintendo game, I can easily download an emulator to play it on my computer or Wii. If I want to watch Ghostbusters I just have to pull up Netflix, If I want to see a infamous TV moment it’s a 2 second Youtube search. Nostalgia is something that we can tap into so easily nowadays that a TV show with comedians may not be as fun as it used to. Either way, I did enjoy watching some of the series…I just think I remember parts of the 2000s a little more differently than VH1. Maybe rather than looking back at a decade that seemed like it ended a few days ago, perhaps they should take a look at the 60s. That would probably be more fun.