Thursday, 14 June 2012

Dawson's back! (That's James Van Der Beek from The Creek in Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23).

Yes, yes, I know this is a bit overdue and you all probably know that Dawson is back in some sort of form in that new American comedy show Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 or Apartment 23 (which is easier and quicker to say). Well I don't really care because I'm going to tell you all over again: DAWSON LEERY IS BACK!

The name's Leery. Dawson Leery.
For all the hardcore Dawson's Creek fans out there, this is probably a long time coming and must feel like some sort of cool but crazy dream that they never thought would happen but somehow did after all those tedious years that the Creek has been off air. Not me, I'm lucky. I AM a hardcore Creek fan (probably. don't quote me on that), but only since about a year ago when I stumbled upon some old repeats of The Creek on British TV. I now own all the dvd box sets (yes, even season 5) and have a Team Pacey poster up on my bedroom wall (the last part isn't true, but it would be cool if it was).

You see, I was only about ten when Dawson's Creek was first aired back in the late 90s, and since I didn't have a cool older sibling to introduce me to it, I missed out. Last year all I could remember was that Tom Cruise's wife was it and some guy called Dawson whose creek it was. And then I realised what I'd been missing. Not only is The Creek a lovely bit of 90s nostalgia, it's also actually very, very good. I would urge any Gossip Girl or OC fan who hasn't to watch this next.

Anyway... the point is that I'm really pleased to see James Van Der Beek, the guy who played the title character on Dawson's Creek back on TV...playing urm... himself (James Van Der Beek).

The Beek, the b---- and... June.
You see, for those of you who don't already know, Don't Trust the B----  in Apartment 23 is about a girl who finds herself sharing an apartment (apartment 23) which another girl who is a bit of a b----. This other girl (the b----), seeing as it's New York where dreams are made of happens to be best friends with the actor James Van Der Beek. She describes, 'he's like my gay bff, but he's straight' after being asked, 'Is that a picture of Dawson?' about a framed photo of him in her living room. Priceless.

In the show, the fictional James Van Der Beek is a washed up actor plagued with the dilemma that the film industry and everyone else only really think of him as Dawson. Therefore he is left with no choice but to star in bad straight to TV movies, endorse foreign products and if the mood takes him, sleep with twenty-something former Creek groupies by slinging the signature Dawson red flannel shirt over his shoulder and turning on the Dawson charm. So basically, fictional James Van Der Beek is pretty much the same as real life James Van Der Beek (minus the sleeping with Creek groupies thing of course, James is a married man). So, this means we get to see some top notch clips of fake bad films such as the father/daughter body swap comedy ('I don't like having to kiss Mommy!') and ads such as the 'Beek Jeans' parody.

Surely this all just goes to show how great James Van Der Beek is (although not enough for me to switch sides from Team Pacey). I really don't want to complain about or mock him in any way, but you see, even he admits in a roundabout way that he can't get taken seriously as an actor because everyone still sees him as Dawson. Which is why he's doing the best with what he's got by taking the mick out of himself. Which I think is awesome.

Since Dawson's Creek finished in the early 00s, aside from a standout role playing Patrick Bateman's little brother in Rules of Attraction, James hasn't had much luck hitting the big time and has had to settle for films with titles like 'Mrs Miracle' (yes, seriously). Plus there was that Internet meme showing Dawson crying that appeared EVERYWHERE on the Internet which didn't help matters.

Dawson crying.
Which is why it's great that James is playing up to all this. (Check out: It ALMOST makes me forget that I prefer Pacey to Dawson.

OK, no it doesn't. Only a fool wouldn't be Team Pacey. I mean, LOOK at him.

So if you want to give it a watch Don't Trust the B---- at Apartment 23 is currently (I think) showing on American channel ABC and in Britain on E4.


A brief guide to Dawson's Creek for those who never watched it, but should.

1. The series centres around sensitive dreamer Dawson (James Van Der Beek) who lives with his middle class family in a cute town by a creek.

2. On this creek also live his strong willed childhood friend Joey (Katie Holmes), wacky best friend Pacey (Joshua Jackson) and new girl from the city, former wild child Jen (Michelle Williams).

3. Whilst the Creek might seem boring, lots of stuff actually goes on. In just a few short years these teenagers had to deal with fathers going to prison, restaurants being burnt down, teenagers having relationships with teachers, girls falling into the creek and dying and much, much more.

4. One of the main themes (and best things) of the whole series is the love triangle with Joey who must choose between the two best friends Dawson and Pacey. Que Dawson crying.

5. The show was created by (and partly based on the life of) Kevin Williamson who is currently the driving force behind The Vampire Diaries. Fact: Kevin Williamson is amazing.

Here's the theme tune:

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Vinnie Jones new face of UK's 'Make Mine Milk' campaign

It's not from the 90s, but I HAD to make a quick post on this one because it is THE COOLEST THING EVER (well probably not, but whatever).

The UK's new 'Make Mine Milk' advertising campaign which hopes to sky rocket milk sales through celebrity endorsement, much in the same way America's 90s onwards 'Got Milk' posters do, now feature Hollywood hardman Vinnie Jones sporting a milk moustache.

Hey kids, if you drink enough of the white stuff one day you too will be as hard as Vinnie.

I'm sold.
To see America's 90s ads see my post on it here.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Got Milk? Celebrities looking silly in 90s posters advertising milk.

Back in the mid 90s it seemed the American public were drinking too much coffee, soft drinks and other stuff and not enough milk. Well not as much milk as the dairy farmers of America would have liked and sales were really falling. So The National Milk Processor Board decided to hire some advertising people to launch an ad campaign.

You can just imagine a bunch of ad executives sitting around brainstorming, 'how do we get the general public to drink more milk?' 'celebrities. Lots of them.' 'they'll have to do something to do with milk though... let's have them wearing milk moustaches and we'll put cheesy captions about the power of milk.'

So an advertising campaign entitled 'Got Milk' ran, featuring posters of celebrities and even fictional characters from television and film and appeared in magazines across the USA. Actually, it's still going strong today so not just a 90s thing.

Being from the UK I don't remember this at all as we never get to see them over here!

Here's some of the best from the 90s-

(1999) It's Austin Powers advertising milk. Groovy.

Text reads- 'The calcium in low fat or fat free milk helps to prevent osteoporosis and keep my bones strong. So I can keep my mojo working overtime. Oh, behave.'

(1999) Aww, this is when Britney looked all sweet and innocent. Long time ago.

Text reads- '9 out of 10 girls don't get enough calcium. It takes about 4 glasses of milk every day. So when I finish this glass, fill it up, baby. Three more times.'

(1996) It's Jack from Lost! Only years ago when he was on this programme called Party of Five.

Text reads- 'I'm not a commitment phobic, I just play one of TV. In real life, there are lots of things I'm committed too. Like, take my health. They say 3 glasses of milk a day give you all the calcium you need. So what do I do? Run away? Makes excuses about being too young, not ready? No, I drink it like a real man- straight from the carton.'

(1998) It's Buffy doing her bit to 'help slay ostereporosis'.

Text reads- 'Want strong bones? Drinking enough low fat milk now can help prevent osteoporosis later.'

(1999) Oh look, Everybody Hates Loves Raymond and his annoying lovely family advertising milk.

Text reads- 'Want strong bones? Drinking enough low fat milk now can help prevent osteoporosis later. Assuming, of course, there's enough to go around.'

(1995) Phoebe and Rachel from Friends. One question- where's Monica?

Text reads- 'We're such good friends, if I got invited to a big Hollywood party, I'd call you the minute I got home. Or if you had stuff on your face, I'd tell you, sooner or later.
Right, like now, sort of. But this is to tell more women to drink milk, it has all the calcium without all the fat. Wait, isn't that what friends are for?'

(1997) Even The Simpsons got asked to do an ad.

Text reads- 'Lisa, I like that moustache even better than the one you usually have'.... 'Listen, bonehead, experts say calcium helps prevent osteoporosis. So have a cow, man.'

(1997) Before The Jonas Brothers, there was Hanson...

Text reads- ;What do we drink when we write songs? MMMmilk. And you should too. 'Cause 8 out of 10 of you don't get enough calcium/ But at least 3 ice-cold glasses a day will give your bones lots of calcium to grow strong. In fact, we aren't sure what's getting bigger faster. Our new single, or our brother Zac.'

(1998) The Backstreet Boys. Was this ever cool? Seriously? (Also, it looks like they're actually standing in a back street which is probably coincidental, but funny.)

Text reads- '15% of adult height is added during teen years. So we give our growing bones lots of calcium by drinking milk. How do you suppose we reach all those high notes, anyway?'

Here's a more recent one from 2011 featuring Ryan Reynolds as The Green Lantern-

Text reads- 'Got what it takes to be a Green Lantern? Find out and learn how low fat milk helps build muscle at ____'


I've just discovered the UK started doing similar ads for their 'Make Mine Milk' campaign a couple of years ago. (!!!) Seeing that milk is actually healthy this is one of those celebrity endorsements that is probably a good thing. So I say, keep going for both campaigns. We want to see more!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Whatever happened to BN biscuits?


If you were alive in the late 90s, over the age of five and not living under a rock it's impossible that you won't remember BN biscuits. Aside from the fact that they were really quite tasty, the UK adverts with their o-so-memorable jingle, 'BN BN, do doo do do do. BN BN, do do do do...' was enough to etch BN biscuits into your brain, never to be forgotten.

For what seemed like ages but was actually a limited time in the late 90s and early 00s, BN biscuits which are originally from France were hot stuff. It seemed their playful smiley face revealing the rich chocolate filling sandwiched between the two biscuit layers was a winning combination. They were cleverly marketed at kids with the smiley face and catchy theme tune and all, which was no doubt recited around the nations playgrounds at lunchtime (don't you just love it when greedy marketers con kids into eating junk food), not to mention adults alike who probably recited the theme tune in offices around the nation. All this made people remember to pick some up from the supermarket and put them in theirs and their kids lunchboxes for the next day. Result.

The good thing about them is that they did actually taste really nice, so we'll forgive them all the hype.

              BN packaging looking all cute
              and happy and buyable.
Whilst I loved them at the time, I'll be honest, they hadn't crossed my mind until recently. Then to my great disappointment I found out they're no longer stocked in the UK. That's right, NOWHERE in the UK. They haven't been since sometime in the early 00s when they disappeared COMPLETELY. And it's a bit of a mystery why.

There's a couple of theories, one being the interesting although strange urban legend claiming they were banned because one batch of biscuits contained cocaine. (Ha, don't you just love stupid urban legends?) A more likely theory is that they probably just didn't sell enough. This seems odd considering how popular they were though, so I guess the discontinuation of the BN biscuit will have to go down as one of the mysteries of the universe.

The good news is they're still sold in some parts of Europe, particularly in their homeland France where they're super popular. They can also be bought over the internet and shipped over. So if you're desperate there are ways. Expensive ways, but still ways.

In fact, people ARE desperate enough that many campaigns have been launched to bring them back to the UK. None of which have worked, but then again Wispa was bought back after all those years so you never know... 

I'll leave you with a clip from The Office (that amazing early 00s TV show featuring Ricky Gervais), in which Gareth, David Brent and some other bloke sing 'Mah Na Mah Na', the original song inspiration for the BN biscuit advert theme. It's good.

To find out what happened to another 90s snack time classic check out my Sunny Delight post.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Celebrities before they were famous... and starring in 90s adverts

(Before we get to the main article, here's a fun fact: if you type 'kid changes colour from sunny delight' into google, the fifth result is my Sunny Delight post. How cool is that.)


Before they get famous many celebrities star in adverts before they get their break. All of these stars did just that, and good on them for it. Maybe if they hadn't they might not have got to go on to bigger and better things. Here's some 90s adverts starring celebrities before they got famous...

Joseph Gordon Levitt- Pop Tarts (1991)

Before he was getting his heart broken in 500 Days of Summer or fighting evil in the next Batman film (I don't actually know if that's what he does, but you get the idea), or even being an alien in 3rd Rock From the Sun, Joseph Gordon Levitt was a cute little kid and adverting pop tarts.

Kristen Stewart- Porsche (1999)

Kristen Stewart rides a Porsche to school. That girl gets all the fun.

Keanu Reeves- Kellogg's Corn Flakes (1987)

This is an 80s advert but it's way too funny not to include. Check out Keanu's never failing top notch acting.

Anne Hathaway- Better Homes and Gardens (1997)

One of Anne's first television performances at the age of fourteen or fifteen. Wow, she doesn't seem to have had an awkward early teen stage and looks as beautiful and fresh faced as ever.

Ben Affleck- Burger King (1989) (almost 90s)

This reminds me of Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Top marks go to Ben Affleck for doing his best impression of a sleazy teenager.

Mila Kunis- Telephone Tammy (1994)

Mila Kunis was sooo pretty even then. Doll's pretty creepy though.

Steve Carell- Brown's Chicken (1989)

I don't think Steve Carell ever ages. He looks exactly the same now as he did in this advert. Maybe there's something in that Brown's Chicken...

Brad Pitt- Pringles (1989)

This is from 1989, but I don't care. It also wins as best 90s advert (not that there was a particular order anyway), even though it's not from the 90s. This is simply because it has Brad Pitt in. And he looks good. Very good. He's also the best actor in it, but that goes without saying because we all know how great he is.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

90s female fashion icons

The whole 80s retro fashion revival thing that's been in for a while is cute. Leggings, ruffle skirts, skinny jeans, clinched in waists, big hair. All cute. Well, not all cute, take neon brights for example, but you get the idea. However, give it a couple more years and it will be yesterdays news, resigned to the back of our closets and charity shops around the nation. And as fashion comes in cycles, it's quite likely that by then the 90s might be a popular choice for fashion designers to look to for inspiration. At this point in time, I haven't yet decided whether this is a good thing or not. Do designers really need to drag the 90s back into our everyday lives like they have with the 80s? Can't they just make something else up, or look for inspiration from some classy, long ago decade?

I wasn't really old enough to fully register 90s fashions seeing as I was a kid and all, but with a little bit of research I've identified some 90s chicks who looked pretty cool.

Rachel from Friends

She's mostly on the list here for her infamous 'Rachel' haircut which I hear was extensively copied by girls everywhere back in the mid 90s. She was also always effortlessly sleek and stylish sticking to neutral colours and classic styles.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Sabrina was always wearing the latest fashions and really knew how to accessorise. This really isn't as scary as bringing the 80s back.

Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell

Way back in the early 90s Kelly was the coolest girl in school with the best wardrobe.

Cher from Clueless

Cher seemed to own every piece of clothing under the sun and had a great knack of putting together an outfit.

Carrie from Sex and the City

Carrie Bradshaw! There was no way I was gonna leave her out. This girl lived and breathed fashion and wore many a memorable outfit, such as the Christian Dior newspaper dress pictured above that was so fabulous it got reused for Sex and the City 2.

OK, so these girls dressed well back in the day, but do we really want to go around looking like this (see below)? No.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The rise and fall of Sunny Delight

It's some time at the end of the 90s. You get home from school on a Friday afternoon, dump your rucksack in the hallway, get super excited when you remember there's double Simpsons on tonight then dash to the fridge where there's this week's new bottle of Sunny Delight waiting for you.

There was even two different flavours: Florida style and California style.

This Sunny Delight, it was some sort of super drink. You couldn't believe how good it tasted and your old folks couldn't believe how good it was for you. I mean it actually got you drinking something resembling orange juice that apparently had vitamins and other stuff that was supposed to be healthy. Hmmm. Sounds too good to be true...

Sunny Delight advert from 1998:

Turned out it was too good to be true. WAAAY too good. For starters (and this is NOTHING compared to what's next), it somehow came out that this 'healthy' beverage was actually only 5% juice. Yes, 5%. Which obviously meant that the other 95% was food colouring, sugar and a load of other extremely unhealthy rubbish. In fact, one glass of Sunny Delight had the same amount of sugar as a can of Coke. No wonder it tasted so good.

This really wasn't Sunny Delight's year. You see, around the same time as these revelations were coming out, some poor, poor four year old girl in Wales was very publicly admitted to hospital following being turned a 'yellow colour' by consuming too much Sunny Delight. Seriously. Apparently the kid had been drinking 1.5 litres a day of the stuff which is about seven and a half glasses. Perhaps her parents had a tap which poured Sunny Delight instead of water? Wasn't this kind of lifestyle expensive?

Anyway, the yellow colouring she turned was all due to all the beta carotene in the drink. Beta carotene is a pro vitamin A which is found in low doses in vegetables such as carrots and produces their orange colour. Every glass of Sunny Delight contained 120 micrograms of beta carotene which is around 30% of the recommended daily intake for an adult. However, since the girl was drinking seven and a half glasses a day, she would have been consuming over twice as much of the recommended daily intake for an adult, never mind for a child. And this excessive consumption of beta carotene can lead to yellowing of the skin. So this meant, shock horror, it could happen to you too.

A spokesperson for Procter and Gamble (Sunny Delight's owners) obviously desperate for the company to save face reassured everyone that the colour change wasn't really anything to do with Sunny Delight, as it could also happen if a person ate too much carrot juice and was only temporary anyway, as a person's colour would go back to normal in a couple of weeks. Clearly they were clutching at straws here.

Looks healthy enough to me.
You'd think all this was bad enough, but then just to top it all off the new Sunny Delight advert came out, a Christmas themed one featuring two snowmen who turned a yellowy orange colour. Talk about badly timed.

Not surprisingly, by 2001 sales had halved and Sunny Delight went from the third bestselling drink in the UK to the forty second. The marketers were so desperate to top up the plummeting sales that at some point they recruited S Club 7 (shame on them!) to star in their adverts:

None of this worked and Procter and Gamble completely gave up on the product in 2003 and sold it on. It was then relaunched and remarketed as Sunny D. The product has in fact had quite a few relaunches over the years with the marketers trying out new adverts, slogans and even changing the ingredients. At one point they even changed the juice content to 70% (so it was actually healthy this time, not just fake healthy). However profits could never reach anywhere near what they once did.

Sunny Delight during its 'Sunny D' phase.

Even after all that through the years Sunny Delight is somehow still going today and it's actually called Sunny Delight again! I was really curious to find out what it tastes and looks like now. Would it be as delicious and yellow and amazing as I remembered from back in 1999? Well first off, it's pretty hard to get hold of these days. Don't try health shops they do NOT stock it, only a couple of supermarket chains seem to do it. I did manage it though:

Sunny Delight in 2012.   
It's very cheap, costing about £1.30 for a whole litre and appears to be targeted at families. It's 15% juice, which is a slight improvement on the 5% from years ago. Sadly, it doesn't smell like it once did. Do you remember that amazing sugary orangery smell? OK, credit where credit's due, it does smell like that but only a teeny, tiny fraction of what it used too. And as far as taste goes, it doesn't have that Sunny Delight magic any more. It just tastes like a run of the mill orange soft drink. So not bad I suppose, just not the Sunny Delight I remember.

They also seem to be really pushing the whole idea that the drink has no added sugar, is rich in vitamin C and doesn't have any artificial sweeteners, flavours or preservatives in. Perhaps a healthy alternative to other soft drinks for the kids at a low cost? Sounds a little too good to be true I think...

Check out my other post Whatever happened to BN biscuits?