(re)viewing childhood

Some days when all I do is avoid responsibilities while streaming copious amounts of Netflix, I find myself watching films from the 80s and 90s as background noise while dabblin’ with words or photos.

I’m then struck by the overt sexism, racism, homophobia and transphobia that gleefully flies through these flicks as if it were business as usual. These are movies I enjoyed during my formative years and that I would assume helped frame the world around me and how I as a cis straight white man is supposed to interact within it. They taught me what language was cool, of whom it was okay to make fun, how white people should feel about “others”, and a plethora of general gender expectations.

I don’t think I ever left the theatre consciously recognising these cues, but to deny the tremendous impact pop-culture has on our development is extremely naive, and I’m interested in unpacking the bullshit that was fed to me as a child and teenager.

My parents always made a point to teach me that what we see on screen isn’t real, but this was much more geared towards violence and not the social norms that are crammed down our throats every single day

Inspired by Lindy West‘s “I rewatched” series, I’ve decided to give some of the most iconic films and television shows from my youth a (re)viewing, and take notes of any flippant use of oppressive language or actions.

Now, I may not get to them all, but I’m not giving myself any sort of deadline and at first thought these are some of the films I remember enjoying that I’d like to try to dissect:

3 Men and a Baby (1987)
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Addams Family Values (1993)
Adaptation (2002)
Aladdin (1992)
American Pie (1999)
Angels in the Outfield (1994)
As Good as It Gets (1997)
Back to the Future I,II, and III (1985, 1989, 1990)
Bad Boys Iand II (1995, 2003)
Beethoven (1992)
Cruising Bar (1989)
Ernest Goes to Jail (1990)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
George of the Jungle (1997)
Ghost Dad (1990)
GoldenEye (1995)
Groundhog Day (1993)
Happy Gilmoure (1996)
Home Alone I and II (1990, 1992)
Homeward Bound (1993)
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
Hook (1991)
In & Out (1997)
Independence Day (1996)
(Indiana Jones) Raiders of the Lost Ark , Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1981, 1984, 1989)
It Takes Two (1995)
Jack (1996)
Jumanji (1995)
Jungle 2 Jungle (1997)
Jurassic Park (1993)
La guerre des tuques (1984)
Les Boys (1997)
Liar Liar (1997)
Man of the House (1995)
Mars Attacks (1996)
Me, Myself & Irene (2000)
Men in Black (1997)
Monkey Trouble (1994)
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
My Girl (1991)
II 1/2, and XXXIII 1/3 (1989, 1991, 1994)
Parenthood (1989)
Peter Pan (1953)
Police Academy I, II, III, IV, V, and VI (1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989)
Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Rocky I, II, III, IV, and V (1976, 1979, 1982, 1985, 1990)
Scream (1996)
Small Soldiers (1998)
Starship Troopers (1997)
Star Wars: Episode IV, Episode V, and Episode VI (1977, 1980, 1983)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
The Indian in the Cupboard (1995)
The Karate Kid (1984)
The Lion King (1994)
The Mask (1994)
The Mighty Ducks (1992)
The Mummy (1999)
There’s Something About Mary (1998)
The Santa Clause (1994)
The Truman Show (1998)
Top Gun (1984)
Toy Story (1995)
Weird Science (1985)
What Women Want (2000)

And as for Television:

Full House (1984-1995)
Home Improvement (1991)
La Petite Vie (1993-1999)
The Drew Carey Show (1995-2004)

This would be a weekly feature on here. What do y’all think? Anything from the 80s and 90s you think I may be missing?