Totally 90s: “The Thirteenth Year”

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 15: HuffPost list #535 – “The Thirteenth Year”

To a certain degree, I’m almost more interested in topics from this list that are completing unfamilar. Because, y’know, just having lived during the 90s doesn’t really mean much in the end. It was a sprawling decade, if nothing else.

Anyway, enough shitting around; let’s look up “The Thirteenth Year,” about which I have no clue.


…makes face…

…doubts everything in life…

Okay, so we’ve got this, in all it’s pixelated VHS glory.

And this.

Which is totally available on Amazon with the thrilling caption:

A young boy begins transforming into a merboy!


Okay, so the premise here is that upon turning the already-awkward age of thirteen, a boy by the delightful name of Chez Starbuck (no relation to Lieutenant Starbuck, I’m sure) begins turning into a fish.

Sure, why the hell not. I’m guessing it was no Splash, but then again, nothing is.

This movie came out in 1999, and while I was not watching the Disney Channel in 1999, maybe you were. And maybe you loved this movie and it’s handsome little star. It actually has a decent rating on Amazon. The movie has it’s own Wikipedia page, BuzzFeed memoriam, Bustle article, Disney fan page, mermaid fan page (I’m fucking dying, y’all), and a potential sequel to it was discussed as recently as 2016. It’s as legit as the Internet gets, so who am I to judge?

Well, it’s my blog, so here goes with the judging.

Guys, really? So this poor kid with the pretty obnoxious name hits puberty and starts developing diseased-like features that turn into scales. His feet, separately, develop large fins. And everyone like, “hey you’re a MERMAN now!” and he become a total boss.

Okay, okay, Alright, alright. Look. If you’re going to say what I’m thinking, i.e. What about Teen Wolf you dumbass? Same thing!, you’re right. Same thing, except that Michael J. Fox was at least in high school, and he was a hilariously douchey badass before learning that he didn’t need to be a wolf to be himself (though it was a totally awesome party trick). Plus, he was Michael J. Fox in 1985. which was a damn awesome year to be both Michael J. Fox and a Michael J. Fox fan.

Isn’t there something at least a little scarring in seeing a young boy turn into a “merboy,” especially if you happen to have seen the movie before you reached the ripe old age of thirteen? Did kids want to become mer-people in 1999? I mean, I did some weird shit in 1999, but none of it involved me longing to be a fish. Then again, I wasn’t exactly a kid, so again, who am I to judge.

Disney. Making people want to be fish since 1988.

Because, y’know, a thing called The Little Mermaid.

Well, there you go.

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