Welcome the next installment of my year-long look back at a decade defined by its extremes. Rap versus grunge; mullets versus pixies; Saved by the Bell versus NYPD Blue – the 1990s had it all, and then some. Every other week I’ll be reminiscing about some facet of the 1990s, potentially drowning in some ill-forgotten nostalgia despite my best efforts otherwise. Serving as inspiration is an utterly ridiculous but nonetheless intriguing list created by Huffington Post — 1990 Things from the 90s to End the Nostalgia Once and for All – and I’ll be using a random number generator to pick each week’s “topic.” So don’t have a cow, man, if I ask you to talk to the hand while take this sweet ride through the 90s. Word to your mother.
Week 12: HuffPost list #398 – The Wayans Brothers
Upon first seeing The Wayans Brothers pop up, my first thought was In Living Color.
But then I was like, no because I’m sure that In Living Color has to be its own list item, because to NOT include in on any 90s list would be criminal.
So then I thought of Scary Movie.
But then I was like, nope Scary Movie didn’t even come out in the 90s, and besides, I’ve never seen it anyway or…have I?
So then I was like, oooooooooooh, The Wayans Brothers TV show.
And then everything in life made much more sense.
Whether we’re talking about The Wayans Brother TV show or “The Wayans Brothers” comedic family, I’m sorely under-qualified to discuss either. If there’s one thing about this show that I do remember, it’s that it was part of the prime time lineup of the brand new WB channel. Now there’s something I could probably talk about at length, at least as far as the WB’s cartoons went — Animaniacs, Tiny Toon Adventures, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid!, Histeria!, Earthworm Jim, and a few Batman shows. So good! All SO GOOD! But I supposed to should go light on that particular topic in the event that something in that realm happens to show up as a list item later. Suffice to say, I sure did love me some WB animated shows.
Looking back on clips of The Wayans Brother show makes me think that I probably did see an episode here and there when it was on air. Looking back on these clips also makes me think that it’s too bad I didn’t pay more attention to it, because the show damn funny. I mean, Marlon’s (the younger brother, I think) over-the-top antics play heavily into all the absurdity, but he’s really quiet brilliant against Shawn’s straight-man approach. The show lasted for a few seasons, so it seems they did something right.
It’s interesting too, at least as far as the clips go, that outside of fashion choices and the lack of cell phones, the show doesn’t immediately telegraph the 1990s. Further viewing might belie that thought, but…like, when you watch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or early episodes of Friends, they ooze a sort of nostalgic quaintness. The Wayans Brothers seems a little more timeless. Were it to show up on some streaming service someday, I’d definitely give it a watch.