The 2000s were a strange time, but perhaps we say this about every decade. It’s wild to me that in this decade, I aged from kindergarten to college, yet I was barely conscious of all the advancements or political drama or entertainment that occurred.
Thankfully, The 2000s helps put things in perspective for me by letting me sit back while various talking head interviews discuss anything and everything that happened between the Y2K scare and midway between former President Barack Obama’s first term as president. Featuring actors (including Tom Hanks, who also executive produced), musicians, political commentators and other luminaries, The 2000s is a close look at the socio-cultural shifts that occurred and how they helped shape the present day, which it did in more ways than you know.
Each episode of the series focuses on one topic, from music to politics to television entertainment and more. In it, major events like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2000 election controversy are discussed; the rise of the television showrunner, television anti-hero, reality television show and the rise of Nappster are also items that piqued my interest.
I was hooked from the first fifteen minutes in, because it helped me understand and see the decade with new eyes. Even though I lived through it, I wasn’t conscious or aware of all of the events surrounding the 2000 recall election, or understood why LOST was so damn important to the culture; likewise, I was unaware of the cultural impact of 24 or how audiences were changing tastes with Survivor or American Idol or Fox News. I consumed all this media when it first happened, but until The 2000s crystallized their major significance on the country during major social shifts I had no idea how major it all was.
If you’re looking for nostalgia, you’ll probably get it here, but you’ll be treated more to a critical read of how the decade paved the way for theatre (political and otherwise) taking place today.
The 2000s originally aired on CNN, but you can see it now on Netflix.
Aimee Murillo is calendar editor and frequently covers film and previously contributed to the OCW’s long-running fashion column, Trendzilla. Don’t ask her what her favorite movie is unless you want to hear her lengthy defense of Showgirls.