1. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
“It could all be so simple, but you rather make it hard,” we sang along, crying. Lauryn Hill’s album encapsulated everything about that horrible boy you were going out with who even you didn’t like that much. All the drama and misery, yet cool-sounding, giving you an excuse to keep going out with the moron so you could discuss how the song ‘Ex-Factor’ was basically YOUR LIFE.
2. Brad and Jen started dating
The epic coming together of two of the world’s most important humans. Brad always seemed a bit too worldly for Jen, a bit too big screen for her small screen. It just made you love her more though. Plus her tan was always better than his. And so was her hair. STILL IS.
3. Sex and the City
Four women as the central characters who care about each other more than men, but who have a lot of sex and who then talk about it in a way that makes you cry with laughter, was and is EVERYTHING. Carrie’s wardrobe. Charlotte’s apartment. Miranda’s independence. Samantha’s one-liners. A cultural touchstone.
4. …Baby One More Time by Britney Spears
Britney was sixteen years old. Which makes that slutty schoolgirl video rather wrong, retrospectively.
6. Ally McBeal
So mad. So camp. And yet so serious. So clever and moral and light and silly. Barry White songs playing in Ally’s head while she panics in the unisex loo before realising that everyone else can hear them too and they all start to do spontaneous dance routines before returning to try a murder case in court.
7. Ray of Light
Madonna transformed by the birth of her daughter into an Earth Goddess. Magnificent.
8. George Michael arrested
Confirming what we’d all suspected since seeing him in his tiny pants in Club Tropicana fifteen years earlier, George Michael finally got his crown jewels out in front of a policeman and everyone heaved a heavy sigh of relief. Well done you George.
9. Dawson’s Creek
“Fasten your seatbelt, Dawson. Life gets bumpy.” This and other creepy Confucius-like sayings courtesy of someone who is supposedly playing a 15-year-old.
10. David Beckham sent off
Remember when you watched the World Cup because there were England players for us to fancy? And then David Beckham has a tantrum, kicks an Argentinian and gets sent off and practically has to go into witness protection because people are burning effigies of him outside Old Trafford. No wonder it’s hard to get excited about football anymore.
11. Titanic was released
We’ve said before and we’ll say it again: Rose is a murderer – there was room on that door.