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Flashback Fridays: February 1996

Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version are 1996 role-playing video games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. The game was a hit and had an 89% approval rate from critics and even hit the “Top 100 games of all time”. The game consists of you and your team of pocket monsters traveling the region and battling other trainers while gathering badges. 

If one were to tune into T-102 around this time, their ears would be blessed with the harmonious voices of Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men. Released on November 15th, 1995, the single broke airwaves and held the record for being the longest-consecutive number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100. The R&B staple dominated this chart from December 1995 all the way into March of ’96, for a total of sixteen weeks. The song held this record until 2017, when Luis Fonzi & Daddy Yankee tied it with their hit, “Despacito.” Less than two years later, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” (Ft. Billy Ray Cyrus) broke the record and extended it to nineteen weeks. Mariah Carey has since enjoyed a plethora of hits on the radio, including “Always Be My Baby,” “Heartbreaker (Ft. Jay-Z),” and “Don’t Forget About Us.” Boyz II Men, however, didn’t fare out as well as Carey did. Their next few albums were fairly successful, but as the 2000’s rolled along, their success dwindled.

While “One More Day” dominated the mainstream music scene, all of Mariah Carey’s nominations at the 1996 Grammy Awards were snubbed. As her losses piled up, her reaction-shots featured a forced smile that became more and more difficult to maintain. Critics had previously declared her ’95 release as “Album of the Year,” and she even performed a live rendition of her current-number-one song during the ceremony. This award show is particularly remembered for the reunion of the original lineup of 70’s rock band, KISS. Introduced by famous rapper Tupac Shakur, who had just released his highly successful All Eyez on Me, just a few weeks earlier, the group made headlines as they reunited in full-makeup and costumes for the first time since 1979.

In theatres, one could find a screening of the recently released Happy Gilmore, an Adam Sandler sports-comedy that has remained one of his most acclaimed films. The movie was drafted by Sandler and his college roommate, Tim Herlihy; both had written Sandler’s first film, 1995’s Billy Maddison. The film centers around the titular character, who is thrusted into a golf competition to raise money for his grandmother, who has committed tax evasion for years. Bob Barker, then-host of the CBS gameshow, The Price is Right, appears in the film as himself, paired with Gilmore in a celebrity golf-tournament. Due to Gilmore’s inadequate performance, Barker gets into a fistfight with the protagonist. Thanks to this scene, the movie won a MTV Movie Award for “Best Fight” scene, the first entry of its kind. Happy Gilmore grossed over forty-million dollars worldwide.

Sid Meier’s Civilization II is a turn-based strategy video game in the Civilization series, developed and published by MicroProse. It was released in 1996 for PCs. Civilization II was designed by Brian Reynolds, Douglas Caspian-Kaufman and Jeff Briggs. Development was carried on in secret for years, with the game only being publicly announced when the team had reached the point of final tweaks and balancing. By mid-January 1997, global sales of Civilization II had surpassed 720000 copies.

ER is an American medical drama television series created by novelist and physician Michael Crichton that aired on NBC from September 19, 1994, to April 2, 2009, with a total of 331 episodes spanning 15 seasons. ER follows the inner life of the emergency room of fictional County General Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and various critical issues faced by the room’s physicians and staff. ER attracted an average of 19 million viewers per episode, becoming the year’s second most watched television show, just behind Seinfeld. ER attracted an average of 19 million viewers per episode, becoming the year’s second most watched television show, just behind Seinfeld.

Writers: Micah Borrelli & Lucas Hydock


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