#FlashbackFriday At Its Finest

That’s giving Flashback Friday too much credit, but boosts to the ego are ok in moderation.

I think just saying it is Friday is enough, but being home so much really does make you forget what day it is.

Today’s commercial came out of going through one of my collections, and finding a commercial that many a 90s kid probably can relate to.  Myself, no, but many could.

The year is 1997, and the parents are going to a wedding, or something that involves fancy dress up.  And mom is expressing concern about leaving their son alone.


But dad is not.

Of course, with the coast now clear, the young man has a scheme.


Cue the entire neighborhood coming over!

Now, this would be cause for concern, right?  I mean, why would these kids all be coming over?  What does this kid have that draws them in?


Oh, you’ll see.

Hahahahahahahaha, busted!


In the words of this super disappointed kid, who really believed he and his friends were going to have the Greatest Night Ever, “technology stinks!”

It is everywhere now, but in 1997, Parental Controls were a relatively new concept in preventing kids from watching shows/movies parents deem inappropriate.  On January 1, 1997, the new television ratings system had gone into place, and a few years before that, in 1994, the V-Chip had been patented, and its original intent was to children’s viewing, but it was never expected to become the national standard of all televisions.


DirecTV has been around since June 17, 1994 (unlike one of the two businesses on this screenshot), and has been part of AT&T Communications since 2015.  It is one of two premium television offerings from AT&T, the other being AT&T TV.  And like cable, it has had the dreaded parental controls in place as long as it has needed to, so technology can continue to stink for many a scheming child.


I always wonder how many people use these controls these days – they always seemed like a bigger deal when I was a kid than they are now.  Commercials like this loved emphasizing that kids would never crack the parental controls, and really, we weren’t the most enterprising back then.  Remember, the internet wasn’t what it is now.  Kids today would actually go ahead with looking up how to tamper with those controls.  In 1997, kids accepted the fact that this wasn’t going to go their way.

Though I bet there were plenty of kids who figured out how to disable the controls and reset the pin number.  We had those kids too, you know.

The v-chip and parental controls came around when I was slightly older – I turned 14 in 1996, when the v-chip provisions were added to the Telecommunications Act (I was 13 when the act was signed).  By the time the ratings system became the standard, I had already turned 14.  Before all of this technology, my parents acted as the “parental controls.”  Until I was about 11-12 years old, everything up to PG was fine, as was 99% of all PG-13 movies we were interested in seeing.

Prior to the time I was about 11 years old, if my brother and I were interested in seeing a movie that was PG-13, and it seemed questionable, my parents would watch it first, after my brother and I went to bed.  If the movie was ok, they would leave it out so we could watch it the next day, before it went back to the video store (yeah, remember those?).

My first R-rated movie was Terminator 2 when I was 9 years old, but I’m convinced it may actually have been Commando, because I remember seeing that earlier.  My parents’ justification for letting us watch an “R” rated movie was that it was only violent, and my brother and I weren’t the types to impersonate what we saw.

Though we said that “ribbed for her pleasure” line alot after seeing Wayne’s World.

My mom’s justification?  “They have no idea why that’s funny.”

Best “parental controls” ever.

No technology needed.

Have a fantastic Flashback Friday, and a great weekend!

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