Pop culture is in the midst of a full-fledged 1990s flashback. Last week it was announced that there is going to be a “Melrose Place” spinoff. This is fresh off of the success of the new “90210” spinoff on The CW. Several original “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Melrose Place” castmates (Marcia Cross, Doug Savant, Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling) have been reclaiming success even before these two remakes were announced. And there were many earlier signs that 1990s heroes were making a comeback as well.
Three of my favorite early adolescent movie actresses found fame again. Carla Gugino, from 1993’s Pauly Shore gem “Son In Law”, is walking tall these days on “Entourage”. Moira Kelly, from 1992’s “The Cutting Edge” (one of my personal favorites) is has been spinning drama since 2003 on the very successful “One Tree Hill”. And then there is Katherine Heigl who was mesmerizing in 1994’s “My Father the Hero” only to fade away into B-list tv before finding superstardom in 2005 with “Grey’s Anatomy” and her subsequent romcom movies.
There was a tragic period in time when these ladies seemed like a vague memory in my mind. Like Blockbuster and slap bracelets, I thought they might be out of the mainstream forever. But now they are on top again. And it’s not just the actresses. Flipping through any fashion magazine you are bound to be met with countless advertising campaigns starring.. you guessed it.. Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Kate Moss. The original 1990s supermodels.
We have the lovely event known as the Jupiter return to thank for this comeback. Every 12 years, Jupiter makes a full cycle of the zodiac. Throughout 1995, Jupiter was in Sagittarius. When Jupiter transited back through Sagittarius in 2007, Sagittarius star Katherine Heigl won an Emmy and cemented her box office stardom with “Knocked Up”. Though “Melrose Place” premiered in 1992, their 1996 Fourth season, is considered their peak. “Beverly Hills 90210” was also at the height of its popularity then. At this time Jupiter was in Capricorn, just like it is now.
There are two reasons that Jupiter has this effect. While Venus is the planet of art, it moves signs very quickly, from month to month, so it is too brief a time period to identify trends. It more indicates an overall mood and what people are ‘enjoying’. The watery planet Neptune has rulership over film and acting. However, Neptune moves very slowly through the signs, often spending more than a decade in a single sign. And after all, Hollywood is not really about acting, per se, but is an industry build more upon taking risks and gambling. Lots of money is paid up front in the hopes of high returns in the future. Bingo! This is the realm of optimistic risk-taker Jupiter. Jupiter is also the planet of good luck, so when a brand launches.. let’s say in 1996… they can expect Jupiter to return to the same spot 12 years later and bring them a fresh dose of good luck. And viola.. in 2008, the mid-1990s are suddenly hip again.
So what’s next? With Jupiter going into Aquarius in 2009, we can look back to 1997, the last Jupiter in Aquarius year, for some clues. While TV in the 1990s may have been all about soapiness, the movie roster from 1997 indicates some.. well.. panic. The list includes “The Devil’s Advocate”, “Contact”, “Conspiracy Theory”, “Conair”, “Air Force One”, “Face/Off”, “The Fifth Element”, “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, “L.A. Confidential”, “Men in Black”. Hmmm… expect high tech conspiracy theories, abuse of power tales, horror flicks, terrorism nightmares and fatalistic science fiction to factor in prominently next year at the mall. Have fun!