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The 2000s decade wasn't that bad

About 20 years ago speculation began on what would come of the millennium, of course there was the rumor of the Y2K bug and the supposed end of technology, but aside from that we were aware that big changes were coming. Over the course of this new decade some people began to look back on the years before with rose tinted glasses, while others had already accepted these changes and moved on. In my defense from those who have said the 2000s was a lackluster decade compared to the 80s and 90s, I'd like to make a subtle reminder listing a few good examples of why that's a bunch of bull-hooey, in this little article I'd like to call...

1. A definitive TMNT cartoon

Remember during the late seasons of the 1987 TMNT cartoon when the show tried going for a darker look with the turtles having improved designs? In a way that was a precursor to this new 2003 series, now focusing more closely on the original Mirage comics, and doing a far better job with both action and story. Going back to the 1987 cartoon roots though, Donatello is still the tech whiz and Mikey is still a goofball, however changes were made to Raph as he would be more hotheaded than the sarcastic, witty turtle he was known to be in the previous cartoon, and Leo had a more serious, self-aware quality to his personality. The series didn't last as many seasons as its previous show, but it still had a great run on the FoxBox.

2. Classic game compilations

Although many old 8-bit and 16-bit consoles could still be used at the time, companies such as Taito, Capcom and even SEGA decided to release collections of some of their most famous iconic titles during the era of the Playstation 2, Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube. Midway had also outdone themselves by making a 3 part collection of their most treasured arcade titles, from Xenophobe all the way up to Hydro Thunder. The fact that you could play these games in a more crisp resolution with surround sound made it an even better experience than before.

3. Portable music redefined with the iPod

Carrying a big, bulky cd player around with you may have started to look a bit dopey by the time the 2000s came around, and the iPod from Apple was here to fix that. No longer were you confined to carrying around a bunch of cassette tapes or CDs with you to listen to more songs, the iTunes software that was to be used in tandem with setting up your iPod let you burn music straight from your CDs right onto your iPod and they came in a variety of different storage space. I actually still have my own iPod classic and it works just fine!

4. Astounding box office hits

Even though it also did have its fair share of flops at times, there were still plenty of films to look back on during the era that hit the high mark. Kill Bill, Pirates of the Caribbean, 007: Casino Royale and Shaun of the Dead were some great examples, but my personal favorite movie had to be The Incredibles, releasing in 2004. Brad Bird, who previously had been director/animator for the Simpsons had taken the helm to work on the film and it became one of the most memorable Pixar movies of the decade.

5. YouTube: Broadcast Yourself

At the midpoint of the 2000s, YouTube began as a website dedicated to letting people express themselves with their own content, whether it be for making blog videos, webcam recordings of video games, entertainment reviews or just making a meme out of themselves, the early years of YouTube were, in my opinion the best years of the site in terms of content. The site nowadays has quite a lot of popular users compared to when it started, but no matter how far it's come, the tagline "broadcast yourself" will always define the site.

6. The original nostalgia site, RetroJunk

A collection of commercials, bumpers, TV show intros, movie trailers and its own forum and a precursor to RD, we wouldn't be here right now if not for the site's existence. The forum was the most memorable part of the site though, garnering quite the boatload of memorable users during its heyday, HarryReems, TMNT, Mezase Master, and even the infamous timbox129 had their start on this once memorable site. Like a few users though, I began as a lurker on the site before making my own account, and it was great seeing the community grow with their own stories, even if some of them were a bit awkward (I recall one story from a user who actually confessed his love for a female Autobot). As we all know, the site hasn't had the same shine to it as it used to with the majority of those popular users long gone from the site, and the admin himself, Vertex has been keeping himself out of the limelight since RetroJunk's decline.

7: The golden age of Toonami

Toonami got its start in the late 90s with just a few anime shows on its block, but it exploded with even more throughout the 2000s. Gundam Wing, The Big O, Tenchi Muyo and even a 2003 remake of Astro Boy showed up on the time slot. Its decline was met however, when the block went from weekday airings to weekends, and eventually ended in 2008 due to low ratings. Thanks to fan support it snuck its way back into the Adult Swim block, with Steve Blum returning as the host, Tom.

So, have I won you over with my retrospective on featured events from last decade? Leave a comment, and stay tuned for more articles coming soon!
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Superman Posted on Nov 16, 2018 at 12:22 AM

I liked a lot of things about the 2000s. As you said, there were a lot of great movies coming out, many of which would go on to be huge franchises with tons of sequels. I also view that decade as a golden age of live-action television. A lot of the shows that were airing had a "movie" quality to them that wasn't seen in most shows airing in previous decades.

talsvals Posted on Nov 15, 2018 at 03:09 PM

I grew up in Brazil in the 2000s, and I don't know how varied this is in different parts of the world, but I went to an upper-middle-class private school and I'll say this: the "explosion of the internet" that supposedly happened in the 90s by no means equates to, as soon as the year 2000 rolled in, everyone was totes used to getting home and checking their e-mails and spending a couple of hours trying to flirt in chatrooms. Definitely not. Nearly all my friends did not have the internet as a big part of their childhoods, it at best being something mysterious in their parents' bedroom, or being allowed access for half an hour on weekends and using it to play Bubble Trouble.

So I'll credit the 2000s with the real transition into the internet being everywhere at all times. And the internet was rapidly becoming great, before it started turning to shit. Like someone said, Newgrounds, Ebaums World, Myspace, weird flash games, early YouTube viral videos before going viral was a thing that people tried to do, Fotolog, LiveJournal, personalised emoticons on MSN Messenger, downloaded ringtones. There are so many gems there and at the moment they get underrated, but I predict a comeback. The internet didn't go from animated gifs on Geocities to your cousin posting pictures of her kids on Facebook, there was so much in between.

Benjanime Posted on Nov 07, 2018 at 06:12 PM

thanks for the feedback, guys! :) it's great to see how different in perspective others have in thought about the decade even if it may not be as memorable as past ones.

i probably should've also made mention of the 2007 ghostbusters video game, which is a great loveletter to GB fans.

Rick Ace Rhodes Posted on Nov 07, 2018 at 05:26 PM

Boy did this bring back some memories Benjanime. Toonami, the beginning of YouTube, the iPod, great gaming consoles like the PS2 and Gamecube. Plus cartoons like TMNT and Avatar. These were all the great aspects of the 2000's.

comic_book_fan Posted on Nov 07, 2018 at 03:40 PM

i loved the 2000 through 07 was when things started going down hill.
to me the 90's was the best time for me but 2000's wasn't bad i loved toonami the resurgence of the comicbook movie playstation2 and gamecube was awesome yugioh the mnusic was good too pretty good across the board but to me comparing the 2000's to the 90's is literally comparing kobe bryant to Michael jordan kobe was great but jordan was just better across the board.

jkatz Posted on Oct 31, 2018 at 06:42 PM

"In summation, decades treat everyone differently, and in my opinion, no one should catch heat for speaking positively about whichever era they like."

That's a good way of putting it, Caps.

Caps 2.0 Posted on Oct 30, 2018 at 04:55 PM

About a decade ago, I wrote two articles for RetroJunk that compared the music of the 00s favorably to the music of the 80s. The two pieces were rare disasters for me in terms of feedback, with even users who normally liked my writing giving the articles thumbs down and giving me a lot of hell for daring to write positive things about 00s pop culture on a nostalgia website.

Looking back in hindsight, I would've done a lot differently with those articles. I would've analyzed the music better and I would've chosen different artists to praise. This was all because I wasn't able to properly explain that, in my opinion, feeling that pop culture went to Hell after a certain date is just nonsensical. Although my life in the 00s was just as bad as my life in the 90s, I did prefer the pop culture of the 00s to the pop culture of the 90s, but I know that many have the same passion for 90s pop culture that I do for 80s pop culture. I also know that, if it isn't being done already, soon the people who spent their childhood and teen years in the 00s will be writing articles for sites like this about how those years were special for them.

In summation, decades treat everyone differently, and in my opinion, no one should catch heat for speaking positively about whichever era they like.

Benjanime Posted on Oct 29, 2018 at 05:05 AM


oof, the matrix also inspired certain video games to borrow that bullet time effect as well from its success, it was nothing short of groundbreaking in cinema.

retroboy Posted on Oct 28, 2018 at 09:29 PM

toonami was cool

jkatz Posted on Oct 28, 2018 at 07:08 PM

I've said it before, but the internet was a lot more fun back in the 2000s. Newgrounds, Ebaums World, Myspace, etc. Freedom of speech was taken for granted and easily offended people were a minority and rightfully mocked.Everything online seemed fresh and exciting. Maybe it had something to do with the overall culture, I don't know.

Also, you forgot about The Matrix movies. Those were huge back in the day.

HalcyonDazed710 Posted on Oct 26, 2018 at 06:08 PM

I majorly agree with your third point. The iPod, and the internet in general has made it so easy to store all of our favorite music, movies, books, etc in the palm of our hands. That kind of easy access to years and years of quality culture is simply astounding to think about, even now. However, there's also a certain sadness derived from being able to pull up all the great pop culture from the '80s and '90s, only to find how much all the modern stuff pales in comparison. It sometimes seems like the only good movies and music to come out these days are the kind that have a retro element at play. Or maybe that can just be chalked up to personal taste and my hatred for the cell phone Snapchat culture we are now living in.

Benjanime Posted on Oct 26, 2018 at 04:29 PM

In most cases, some of the stuff listed actually helped me get through a depression phase I was having during my time in high school. I won't go against opinion and I do see your point, some view it different than others. I guess since school was still taking its toll with my social life I felt like these were all underrated things that I was missing out on at times.

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 26, 2018 at 04:09 PM

I've mentioned before that I don't feel like the 2000's was a bad decade by any means. Many key things in my life happened in that decade:

- I married my wife in 2002 (we recently celebrated our 16th anniversary).
- My first two children were born in 2006 and 2008.
- My work situation improved when my dad was able to secure a loan in 2005 to buy his two brothers' shares of our business, eventually leading to me becoming owner in 2012.

These are major events that were huge positives in my life.

As far as the culture of the 2000s is concerned, that is where I believe it doesn't really hold up well against it's predecessors.
Every decade has its technological, creative, and social advances. But you can't really point to any one thing from the 2000s that truly defines it. At least, not a very positive one (9-11 is not something you want to "define" anything).

The '90s can claim the explosion of the internet as its crowning achievement.

The '80s are defined by a number of major things... the explosion of home computing and gaming, an explosion of entertainment outlets - cable and satellite among them, ending the Cold War, etc.

These are positive things that changed the course of history and/or our lives in monumental ways.

This is not to say that the 2000's had none of that. There were certainly some positive things taking place that were influential to many. But perhaps none that really define the decade. In my opinion, it seems more like a transition decade, or one that simply saw improvements to that which we already enjoyed.

But it will always be a matter of opinion. So I certainly am not claiming that any of this is an ultimate truth for all.

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