Entertainment in '97

I'm still having a hard time dealing with the fact that I graduated twenty years ago. Like, how did two decades just go by? It's especially strange because I still love the same movies, songs, and TV shows that I did back then. Let's take a look at the entertainment from that bygone era.


These were the ten highest-grossing films of 1997. Titanic made a record breaking $1.84 billion worldwide. The Lost World was the number two movie of the year and made $618 million, not even half of what Titanic brought in. Men In Black ended the year at $583 million. Tomorrow Never Dies, Air Force One, As Good as It Gets, and Liar Liar made about $300 million, while the rest came in between $250 and $299 million.

Besides my love for Titanic (which I've talked about here and here), My Best Friends Wedding, and the amazing song Men In Black brought us, I wasn't really feelin' most of those films at age 18. The following were my favorite movies from the year and when my crush on Ben Affleck started. He didn't reach leading man status until 1998's Armageddon, but he won my heart in Chasing Amy.


Full disclosure: I honestly can't remember picking up one book for pleasure in high school or college. There was too much to read for class and I would have rather hung out with friends after my homework was finished than read a book. I couldn't find a list of top ten best sellers in 1997, but these ones made a notable impact that year. Sadly, I've only read Tuesdays with Morrie (just last year), but most of them are on my TBR list. 


I can't believe how many short-lived sitcoms were among the top-rated primetime shows this year. And A LOT of people watched them! ER had a 21.8 rating, Seinfeld had 20, and Friends had 16.8. The tenth most popular show that year (if we aren't counting football and shows like 60 Minutes and 20/20) was NYPD Blue at 12.5, which is barely under the top rated show last year, NCIS at 12.8. I have no idea how to convert the ratings to number of viewers or why they even still use this outdated system, but still, a lot of people were watching crappy sitcoms in 1997.

I watched NBC's Must-See-TV religiously, so ER, Seinfeld, and Friends were my favorite shows. I also watched Mad About You with my boyfriend because we thought we were basically Paul and Jamie and dreamed about moving to NYC to follow similar career paths. My dad was a big fan of The Drew Carey Show so we watched that as a family. Daria, South Park, and Ally McBeal were shows I also loved and couldn't miss because I didn't want to be left out of conversations at school the next day. The days before DVRs were tough, man.


Shania Twain sold 15.6 millions copies of Come on Over in 1997. The Titanic Soundtrack and Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love, both released on November 18, each sold 10 million. Biggie's Life After Death also sold 10 million, Big Willie Style sold 9.6 and Surfacing by Sarah McLachlan sold 8. Savage Garden, Sevens, and No Way Out sold around 7 million each, and Third Eye Blind rounded out the top ten with 6 million. To put these sales into perspective, the biggest albums of 2016 were Drake's Views and Beyonce's Lemonade, with 1.6 million and 1.59 million, respectively. 

I owned five out of ten of those albums. Can you guess which ones?

I was mostly into alternative music and was obsessed with Harvey Danger (Flagpole Sitta, Private Helicopter, Wooly Muffler, and Problems and Bigger Ones are still such great songs!) so Merrymakers was on repeat. I also still loved Oasis, though Be Here Now isn't my favorite album of theirs and I stopped listening to them afterward. The same thing happened with Foo Fighters. After The Colour and the Shape, I was over them. I started working at a day care center after graduation and the summer camp kids introduced me to the Backstreet Boys and I actually bought Backstreet's Back to listen to on my on time. And who could resist Barbie Girl? Aquarium was a super fun pop album!

If you're in the mood to take a stroll down memory lane, here's the 1997 playlist I've been listening to all week.


Kelly said...

Ha! This takes me back! I remember going to see Titanic in the theater - There was an intermission! And I never missed the Friends/Seinfeld line-up on Thursday night. Bittersweet Symphony - I loved that song. It's funny which things on this list feel exactly like the late '90s to me and which other ones were not on my radar at all.

Misty said...

Tony and I saw Devil's Advocate on our first date. It's such a great thought-provoking movie. Titanic will always be one of my absolute favorites. Surprisingly enough, I wasn't watching Friends then. I didn't start watching until the 5th or 6th season.

I had the Shania Twain, Celine Dion and Garth Brooks albums. Oh, and Oasis!