VirginiaÃ‚ Heffernan reflects on a new VH1 series that tries to capitalize on this phenomenon:
Certain nostalgic observations about pop culture over the past 15 years have themselves become pop artifacts. Consider “David Hasselhoff was huge in Germany,” “MacGyver could kill you with a paper clip,” and “Tearing down the wall was a huge, huge event.” If you remember having any of these insights, or even if all you remember is Hasselhoff, MacGyver, and the Berlin Wall, you might find pleasure re-remembering them and other ’80s stuff with a cast of lively television personalities on VH1’s I Love the 80s.
Inspired by a British program, the series has no host and little voice-over; instead, it uses period images and merchandise, along with bites from actors and comics, to rekindle varieties of lost fandom. This will not please anyone who’s fainthearted about pop cultureÃ¢€”people who read or played outside as children. Rather, it’s for an audience that, for better or worse, understands Mark McGrath when he says, “There were 55 Spicolis in my high school.” An audience, moreover, who knows who Mark McGrath is.
Oddly, while I instantly get the Spicoli reference, I had no idea who Mark McGrath was. After Googling him, I still don’t.