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August 28, 2015

On the 8th day of Festivus, TV gave to me

by Sarah Gilbert, posted Dec 9th 2005 10:47AM

the rachel haircut set a trend...Eight trends a-setting.

What to today's trend followers want under their Festivus tree? Chances are, it was TV that made them want it. From worldy possessions to hairstyles to careers, our favorite TV characters prove that, not only does life imitate art, but art imitates life that imitates art that is made up by some low-paid scriptwriter over cheap coffee and cheaper beer. I'm sure VH1 has a special on this, in fact... the top eight trends started on your TV set.

The Rachel haircut. When Jennifer Aniston cut her hair, a million 22-year-olds would cut the photos out of TV Guide and head to the salon. And then she started changing her haircut from season to season... and salon owners everywhere were grinning as they swept hair clippings, like so many pennies from Friends.

"Not that there's anything wrong with that." How many times have you said this in your lifetime? Ok, how about the past week? I can't believe the longevity of the statement of conscious acceptance of homosexuality - or, anything else your subconscious self might be prejudging. Jerry Seinfeld, I just can't shake you, no matter how hard I try.

The big flower. This was only one of the many clothing fashions set by Carrie, Sarah Jessica Parker's character on Sex and the City. The big fabric flower could be worn on your lapel, or at your waist, in your hair or on your wrist. Before long, designers were competing to get their latest thing in Carrie's closet, and merchandisers were begging for some advance notice so they'd know what to order six million of from Malaysia. And, you ask, did I have a big flower? Yep. I had three. (Other cool clothing trends worth a-mentioning: the script name necklace and the Manolo Blahniks.)

Forensics. Law & Order started it with the sarcastic-yet-brilliant-yet-sexy medical examiners. Once CSI took off, it was a rush to see who could churn out the most over-the-top and bloody interpretation of whatever crime was in the headlines. Soon forensics programs were full at universities everywhere, and budding Gil Grissoms everywhere were buying forensics kits and taking CSI-style electives at their high schools. My favorite manifestation of the trend, by far, was (and is) Crossing Jordan - Law & Order mixed with CSI mixed with Buffy-style butt-kicking mixed with pure camp.

The white suit, shoes without socks, Miami style. Don Johnson was a metrosexual on Miami Vice before anyone even knew what a metrosexual was, and millions of American refugees from macho followed suit (hah!). Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Stock brokers. It was Alex P. Keaton who made stock brokers what they are today. Do you think we would have ever had Wall Street, or its descendant, Boiler Room, if it wasn't for the suit-wearing, Wall Street Journal-reading Michael J. Fox? Family Ties first made stocks cool. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Feathered hair. Forsooth, Farah Fawcett and her fabulous feathered hair. I was just a bit young when my role models were buying up Aquanet by the case to achieve volume like that of Farah and her buddies on Charlie's Angels. That doesn't mean I didn't long for a great layered cut. If you're between 30 and 45? Be honest, so did you.

Coffee shops with gigantic cups and comfy couches. They did it on Friends and it just looked like so much fun! Soon you and I were hanging out at coffee shops drinking from cups we could barely balance on our laps in our own neighborhoods, even those ones that were far from New York, even in the towns where no one wore their hair like Rachel. Now Starbucks has Friends-style coffee shop couches, and so does the socialist coffee house in my neighborhood. None of the Friends had wifi, though. Or a blog.

Twelve commenters commenting
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I'm pretty sure it was from Friends.. but I could be wrong... "OH!.. MY!.. GOD!"

December 16 2005 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I often hear, "I, for one, welcome our new _______ overlords," a la Kent Brockman.

December 09 2005 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patrick R

I find myself saying "Cheese it!" a lot.

December 09 2005 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was worth going to the trendy parts of town, during college, just to see what new trendy coffee shop had replaced the previously trendy coffee shop. Somehow the counter-culture ones have remained the same for almost ten years!

December 09 2005 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mack Swift

And how many times have you said: "Do'oh!" and "Mmmmmm....."

December 09 2005 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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