What pop culture just screams 2000 to you?

What pop culture just screams 2000 to you?

Clockwise from top left: Courteney Cox’s Scream 3 hair (Photo: Joseph Viles/Dimension Films), Tom Green’s Hollywood phase (Photo: Tim Graham/Getty Images), low-rise jeans (Photo: J. Vespa/WireImage), and Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps (Photo: 2000 Universal Studios via Online USA) are our personal Y2K time capsules
Clockwise from top left: Courteney Cox’s Scream 3 hair (Photo: Joseph Viles/Dimension Films), Tom Green’s Hollywood phase (Photo: Tim Graham/Getty Images), low-rise jeans (Photo: J. Vespa/WireImage), and Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps (Photo: 2000 Universal Studios via Online USA) are our personal Y2K time capsules
Graphic: The A.V. Club
AVQ&AWelcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences.

As a part of our ongoing Y2K Week coverage, we’re asking:

What pop culture just screams 2000 to you?

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Spice Girls, Forever

Spice Girls, Forever

Ah, the year 2000: when the Spice Girls, post-Geri Halliwell’s exit, decided to hire Darkchild to produce their next album and transform themselves into essentially the British version of TLC. The first time I saw the video for “Holler,” the lead single off of Forever, it made me laugh. The second time, I thought, “Huh, that’s actually pretty catchy.” The third time, I went out and bought the CD single. (Remember CDs? Good times.) It’s surprising enough that the music is so much better than you would expect a Spice Girls album to be (especially one that was released as the group’s 15 minutes of fame were already on the wane); it’s even more shocking that it’s kind of awesome? And has aged almost bafflingly well. [Alex McLevy]

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Tom Green’s moment

Tom Green’s moment

Tom Green burned hot and bright between around the turn of the century, the Canadian comedian having pivoted his low-budget MTV series into a film career, a TRL-topping single, and an engagement to Drew Barrymore. Struck by the unpredictability of it all, the tabloids were briefly preoccupied with the odd couple, and it felt like something of an event when Green appeared in Barrymore’s A-list Charlie’s Angels reboot as a weirdo boat captain named “The Chad.” I was and continue to be a fan of Green’s, but that doesn’t make it any less strange that one half of the year’s most obsessed-over couple was the guy who got famous for humping a dead moose. Granted, we’ll probably feel similarly about Pete Davidson one day. [Randall Colburn]

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The great Toonami promo for Gundam Wing

The great Toonami promo for Gundam Wing

Last year, when I pitched this very website on my idea for a primer on Mobile Suit Gundam, I explained that the franchise is basically my favorite thing ever. If you wanted to chart where that obsession began, you’d go back to the premiere of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block in March of 2000. Or, more specifically, you’d go back to the great promo for Gundam Wing that Toonami put together with Peter Cullen—Optimus Prime himself. I remember Toonami running this thing constantly in 2000, so there’s nothing that evokes that specific year to me more than these two minutes of context-free anime action. [Sam Barsanti]

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Samantha Mumba

Samantha Mumba

2000 was teeming with teen pop stars, but none sounded quite like Samantha Mumba. At 17, Mumba’s rich contralto set her apart from her contemporaries, propelling her single “Gotta Tell You” up the Billboard charts, and garnering comparisons to ’90s R&B trailblazers like Toni Braxton. I was enraptured; her debut album and NOW That’s What I Call Music! 6 (featuring “Gotta Tell You”) were my first CD purchases, enjoying frequent spins on the Sony Walkman. Record label shuffling reportedly kept Mumba from releasing a follow-up, but she’s stayed busy since with a career in U.K. film and television. Two decades later, my Walkman’s ready with a fresh pair of AA batteries for Mumba to drop album number two. [Cameron Scheetz]

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Gale Weathers’ bangs

Gale Weathers’ bangs

The end of the millennium also brought the end of the Scream trilogy. I personally believe Scream 3—with its smart commentary on Hollywood—deserves more credit than it gets, but even hardcore fans would admit that any praise the movie received was eclipsed by one production element: Courteney Cox’s hair. Gale Weathers’ teeny, tiny bangs were an odd choice, even in 2000. At the time, critics questioned if the look was Cox’s attempt to create a hair trend on par with that launched by her Friends costar Jennifer Aniston. While Cox has admitted she was disappointed that no one wanted “The Monica,” we recently learned that we actually have Cox’s ex-husband and Scream costar, David Arquette, to thank for the bangs. “I have to take the fall for this. I suggested a Bettie Page look. It just didn’t work. I take full responsibility,” the actor commented on Instagram in response to a meme making fun of the haircut. Cox has embraced the notoriety of the look: Last Halloween, she posted a video of her cutting her own bangs to match her Scream 3 ’do. I assume she was wearing a wig in the video, but maybe we’ll see the bangs return when Cox reprises her role in the upcoming Scream 5. [Patrick Gomez]

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7 / 14

The Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps

The Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps

I’ve never even seen The Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps. And yet, I vividly remember living through its marketing campaign, the first time I well and truly realized that, sometimes, every once in a long while, movie sequels might not always come from the most artistically pure of places. Despite having absolutely loved, at the age of 12, Eddie Murphy’s 1996 remake of the Jerry Lewis classic, there was a sense of intense fatigue that set in as I watched the sequel’s incessant commercials stomp and fart their way across the airwaves. That feeling of “Christ, there’s more?” feels like the perfect encapsulation of the year 2000, an era I associate with relentless excess, married to a bone-in belief that no particular comedy well could ever actually run dry. [William Hughes]

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Nine Days, “Absolutely (Story Of A Girl)”

Nine Days, “Absolutely (Story Of A Girl)”

This is the story of a song that was absolutely everywhere (especially in central Illinois and other parts of the Midwest) in 2000. “Absolutely (Story Of A Girl)” was the only hit from Nine Days, and would probably have faded from my memory were it not for the quintessentially early aughts looks in the video directed by Liz Friedlander, who helmed Dido’s “Here With Me” video from the same year. I’m talking polos, bowling shirts, some other type of vintage V-neck, slightly baggy jeans, flared-leg jeans, a modified Caesar, and the pièce de résistance: a short-sleeved tee worn over a long-sleeved tee. [Danette Chavez]

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9 / 14

Frost, everywhere

Frost, everywhere

Welcome to 2000, where the pop industry was seemingly covered in an omnipresent sheen of frost. It truly did not take long for fashion to lean into a rather literal interpretation of the “futuristic” aesthetic, resulting in gratuitous metallics as far as the eye could see. It was a prosperous time for those who really dug the freshly frostbitten look: Shimmering icy-toned eyeshadow and lip gloss reigned in a way that it probably shouldn’t have, and subtlety was never an option. It was a shiny, unfortunate wave in popular fashion, and while I’d love to say that I managed to avoid the phenomenon... I did not. [Shannon Miller]

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10 / 14

Ultra-low-rise jeans

Ultra-low-rise jeans

Alexander McQueen brought many wonderful things to the fashion world. But there’s one thing I, and anyone with even a whisper of a butt or hips, can never forgive him for: popularizing ultra-low-rise jeans. McQueen called them “bumsters,” and the couture version of this accursed garment was so low that both pubic bones were exposed, along with an eyebrow-raising amount of “bum cleavage.” By the time the low-rise trend came off the red carpets and into the malls of America in 2000, however, the butt itself was thankfully, completely covered—but barely. Often accompanied by a spangled cowboy hat, a handkerchief top, and a belly button piercing, ultra-low-rise jeans were unflattering to everyone except for the stereotypically stick-thin, narrow-hipped model, and it’s unbelievable in retrospect that we tolerated them for even a short while. [Katie Rife]

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11 / 14

Jackass

Jackass

Corona” had been around since 1984, hanging out near the end of side two on Minutemen’s sprawling Double Nickels On The Dime. But to a certain segment of the population, the song’s rodeo twang will always recall the fall of 2000, when it first signaled the coming “don’t try this at home” antics of Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, or some other Jackass. The unlikeliest MTV heartthrobs since Tom Green struck gold by wedding a TV format as old as Candid Camera to the type of camcorder opus previously bought out of the back of a skateboarding magazine or through a late-night backyard wrestling infomercial. From the seeds of improper sporting goods use and Bam slapping his dad silly, they built a Spike Jonze-backed empire of cable spin-offs and movies that are still coming out (assuming it’s not knocked out by a new type of corona). Could there be a better way to picture the waning days of decadent, pre-9/11 American life than thousands of people tuning in to watch Steve-O staple his nuts to his leg? Did you want to read the lyrics of the theme song, just to make sure? [Erik Adams]

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12 / 14

Vitamin C, “Graduation (Friends Forever)”

Vitamin C, “Graduation (Friends Forever)”

As someone who graduated high school in 1999, and was thus subjected to tens of thousands of spins of Prince’s “1999” from K-12, I always envied the classes that had an official “graduation song.” (This is stupid, I now realize. Prince rules.) That really came into play with the release of Vitamin C’s “Graduation (Friends Forever),” a song that went ape-shit in the spring of 2000. It was everywhere, probably because it was based on “Pachebel’s Canon In D,” a song that’s so ubiquitous that it’s practically part of the collective consciousness. Watching the video now, it’s just so very 2000, from its layered tanks and swoopy hair to its low-slung jeans and white belts. Vitamin C would release another song, “Smile,” then quickly fade away, but not before making me irrationally upset that I wasn’t born just a few months later. [Marah Eakin]

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13 / 14

Indecision 2000

Indecision 2000

On election night, November 7, 2000, I went to a viewing party at a friend’s house, relatively secure in the victory of then-Vice President Al Gore over Texas Governor George W. Bush. When NBC called Florida, where Bush’s brother Jeb was governor, for Gore, victory seemed imminent. Then NBC took it back, saying Florida was too close to call. Gore conceded to Bush that night, then withdrew the concession. The next day, a clear-cut winner still seemed uncertain. The ensuing and seemingly endless recount efforts over the next month were only made bearable by Jon Stewart’s Indecision 2000 coverage on The Daily Show, featuring Democrat Steve Carell and Republican Stephen Colbert sparring over whether Gore should win because he was taller, or Bush because he came first alphabetically. Those reasons somehow seemed as valid as any in those prescient days of ballot uncertainty. [Gwen Ihnat]

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