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Everything that's great about 1995, in 'Hindsight'

Compiled by Sundi Rose-Holt and Wendy Hathaway

It’s hard to imagine that extreme nostalgia can exist in the same moment as giddy anticipation, but that is how we feel about VH1’s new show, Hindsight. To prep for a show that could have been ripped from our formative years, Wendy and I took a trip down memory lane to revisit the very same year the main character, Becca Brady, travels back to. Here’s a look back at 1995, the same year I got my driver’s license and Wendy got her braces off.

TV Happenings Worth Remembering

In the May finale of the first season of Friends, Chandler let it slip that Ross had feelings for Rachel, but she was crushed to find he had already moved on with Julie.

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Seven strangers moved into a London flat for the first season of The Real World set outside the United States. The most famous season 4 alum is probably Australian model and actress Jacinda Barrett—although it’s hard to forget Neil, who couldn’t share his confessions for half a season when a stranger bit off the tip of his tongue at a concert. Not very polite, indeed.

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Full House ended its eighth season with a two-parter, in which Michelle lost—and, don’t worry, regained—her memory after a horse-riding accident. Also, a very grown-up DJ attended her senior prom with surprise date Steve.

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The Year in Movies

Toy Story hit theaters, simultaneously wowing us with its new CGI graphics and its heartbreaking story about a toy’s love.

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David Letterman hosted the 67th Academy Awards. Forrest Gump was the night’s big winner, taking home six awards, including Best Picture, and a Best Actor statue for Tom Hanks. It was his second consecutive Oscar.

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Quentin Tarantino won Best Original Screenplay for Pulp Fiction, which single-handedly recalibrated our tolerance for violence.

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Music that Made Us Do the Macarena

Michael Jackson released double album HIStory, which went on to become the best-selling multiple album of all time.

Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Al Green, and Janis Joplin were among the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s inductees.

Alanis Morissette released the iconic Jagged Little Pill, and angry ex-girlfriends united under this breakup anthem. (Click the image to hear the full album.)

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The mother of all one-hit wonders hit radio when “Macarena” debuted. From the Venezuelan duo Los Del Rio, this song will probably never, ever die, thanks to wedding singers and DJs across the country.

Weird Things Celebrities Did

This happened:

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Riding the high from the NBC medical drama ER, George Clooney was everywhere in 1995, including the MTV “Rock N’ Jock” celebrity softball game with fellow ’90s alumni Jon Stewart and Dan Cortese. Yes, 1995 could be considered the year George Clooney truly became famous.

Cindy Crawford, then 25, divorced Richard Gere, then 42, after only four years of marriage. The divorce came shortly after they spent $30,000 to proclaim their straightness (among other things) in the New York Times. The article dispelled any divorce rumors and whisperings of their alternative sexual preferences, and enumerated all of their charitable activities.

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Hugh Grant was arrested in the company of Divine Brown, a transgender prostitute, after soliciting her services and then receiving them on a residential street in Los Angeles.

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Drew Barrymore flashed David Letterman on The Late Show to celebrate his birthday.

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Notable Quotables

“Houston, we have a problem.” — Box office juggernaut Apollo 13, starring Tom Hanks

The phrase “Generation Y” started popping up in discussions about people born between 1980 and 1995, making Gen-Xers yesterday’s news

“NO SOUP FOR YOU!” quickly became the popular way to deny someone pretty much anything. The iconic Seinfeld episode aired in November 1995 and became one the most recognized scenes of the series.

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Honorable Mentions

What do you when ratings are flagging? Send the devil to possess your most popular character! For about six months in 1995, Days of Our Lives’ Dr. Marlena Evans was possessed.  John Black, then not her lover but a priest, performed an emergency exorcism.

People Magazine named Brad Pitt “Sexiest Man Alive.” The female population collectively agreed, adamantly.

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Starbucks launched the Frappucino, causing caffeine addictions to surge.

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OJ Simpson was found not guilty of murdering his wife after a yearlong trial. Millions of people watched the trial, popularizing and mainstreaming celebrity court coverage and legitimizing cable court channels, sort of. This trial also gave us the phrase, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

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Many of these bits of nostalgia show up in this week’s premiere of Hindsight, but the hour-long drama is not as gimmicky as it might appear. At first glance, it could seem like merely a vehicle to capitalize on the recent resurgence of the ’90s, but it delivers strong drama, likable characters, and just enough camp to balance it all out, like a good VH1 show should.

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Don’t let the time-travel story spook you; it’s merely a means to an end. At its heart, Hindsight is a show about decisions, regret, and reconciling the past. As fun as all the ’90s stuff is, and as good-looking as the cast may be (watch out for Craig Horner; those abs are no joke), this show has a charm to it that you’ll find hard to resist.

Sundi will be recapping Hindsight every week right here, so come back on Wednesday and let’s talk about what you loved (and what you didn’t).

Watch a sneak peek of the first episode here:

Hindsight premieres Wednesday, Jan. 7 on VH1.