Contributor: Devon Tincknell
Beavis: Hey Butthead, what did people do before they invented TV?
Butthead: Don’t be stupid, Beavis. There’s always been TV. There’s just more channels now.
Beavis: Oh yeah, (snickers), progress is cool.
- “Beavis and Butt-head,” Killing Time
Debuting on MTV on March 8, 1993, Beavis and Butt-head quickly became two of the nineties’ most iconic characters. Created and voiced by Mike Judge, the duo’s self-titled series was the Seinfeld of low-brow animation, yet another “show about nothing.” Most of the series’ short vignettes centered around Beavis and Butt-head heckling MTV, using television to determine what was “cool” and what “sucked,” and chortling incessantly, all while completely bereft of adult supervision. Read more
Contributor: Carol Perales
“Sex in the City” was a 90’s American cable hit television show. Set in New York City, the show broadcasted on HBO from 1998-2004. The comedy series focused on the life of Carrie Bradshaw, a New York writer who discussed various themes centered on love, sex, and relationships. The show touched on various issues affecting Carrie’s life as well as that of her three best friends who were also dealing with various challenges facing the single 90’s woman. The show became very popular with young women ages 18-34 who were attracted to the show’s humor, or felt a connection to its themes.“Sex in the City” was very straightforward with sexual references and crude humor and therefore faced much criticism from parents and religious groups who felt that these shows had a negative effect on its audiences, especially children and teenagers. Read more
Contributor: Colleen Nelson
Over the past decade, children’s idols have drastically changed shape. The once revered Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear have been replaced with reality TV stars. The cast of shows like Jersey Shore have invaded the homes of American families, and their actions have begun to influence our children in many ways. Children’s vocabulary, clothing, actions, mannerisms, and ideals have all transformed to mimic these TV idols.
Contributor: Maira Jorge
Co-executive producers Matt Groening, Sam Simon, and James L. Brooks directed their controversial and well-known cartoon series, “The Simpsons,” for the adult audience from their first appearance in 1987 in between sketches of “The Tracy Ullman Show”.  The satire of a dysfunctional American family, however, grabbed the attention of the entire family, whether with wide acceptance or extremely negative criticisms. Indeed, one of its creators, Simon, recognized how offensive the show might result to some Americans and admitted that he was made nervous by “so much angry mail, and because kids like the show so much”. 
Contributor: Allyson Burton
Like many children who grew up during the 1990s, I enjoyed watching television. The channel I watched the most often was Nickelodeon, despite my parents’ distaste for some of the shows. I distinctly remember my mother’s voice as she said, “I wish you wouldn’t watch that…” “The Ren and Stimpy Show” (a cartoon created by John Kricfalusi that ran on Nickelodeon from 1991-1998) was my parents’ least favorite because it was “gross”. It centered on the characters Ren and Stimpy, who the Internet Movie Database describes as “An intense, hyperactive Chihuahua…and a happy-go-lucky, empty-brained cat.”  IMDB summarizes the show itself as “The gross misadventures of a hyper Chihuahua and a stupid cat.”  Read more
Contributor: Corynn Wilson
The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” could not have been more perfect for the first music video to air on MTV in 1981, merging television and music to create the ultimate pop culture phenomenon. Proceeding through the 80s, MTV served as a transformative, youth-targeting source of hit music that soon became the leading market for artists and record companies. MTV’s market became such a straight ticket to the youth’s influence (thus its sky-high value) that its content evolved through the next two decades from a “kind of video jukebox,” Steve Johnson writes in the Los Angeles Times, to an abundance of teenage-directed advertisements, campaigns, and most importantly, television shows. Read more