The Top Grossing Films of 1998:
- Saving Private Ryan
- There’s Something About Mary
- A Bug’s Life
- The Waterboy
At the Oscars, Shakespeare In Love and Saving Private Ryan managed to win just about every damn Oscar there was between them with a few exceptions for categories in which they were not actually eligible, and a brief head nod to Roberto Benigni for Best Actor in Life is Beautiful.
Other noteworthy films that came out in 1998: Rush Hour, Mulan, The Wedding Singer, The Prince of Egypt, The Truman Show, You’ve Got Mail, Ever After, Waking Ned Divine, Spice World, and one of my all-time favorites, The Big Lebowski.
Seinfeld was the most watched show in 1998, and 1998 was also the year it’s final episode aired. 76.3 million households tuned in for the last episode. Aaaannd, mine was not one of them. I never really watched Seinfeld, so I don’t have much to say on the topic.
There were a whole mess of shows I did watch that got their start in 1998 though: That 70’s Show, Charmed, Dawson’s Creek, Will and Grace, The Wild Thornberrys, and The Power Puff Girls.
Also relevant to my TV watching history was the fact that this was the year that Sailor Moon And Dragon Ball Z got added to Cartoon Network’s Toonami lineup, largely cementing what I would be watching after school for the next few years.
1998 was the year that the first of the Harry Potter books hit bookstores if you lived in the US, or the year of the second book if you lived in the UK. It is also the year of The Poisonwood Bible, About a Boy, Holes, and the beginning of the Vertigo serialized “story with pictures” form of one of my personal favorites, Stardust, even if there is a significant lack of cross dressing Robert DeNiro in the book (the standard novel version of the book got printed in 1999).
The top 5 hits of 1998:
5) “How Do I Live Without You” by LeAnn Rimes
4) “Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden
3) “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain
2) “The Boy is Mine” by Brandy and Monica
And coming in at number 1) “Too Close” by Next
For me and my collection though, this was the year of Barenaked Ladies’ album Stunt. While I could cheerfully hold folks down and make them listen to the whole album (“Alcohol,” “Some Fantastic,” “Call and Answer”!), by far the most popular song off it was “One Week.”
In the News:
A presidential sex scandal made Monica Lewinsky a household name. Late in the year Clinton would become the second president ever to be impeached. He was also able to balance the US budget, which no one had done in a darn long time. Complexities abound.
Serbians were fighting the native Albanians in Kosovo. We came to the brink of air strikes in October, but a cease-fire agreement was signed that kept any bombs from being dropped by NATO this year.
India and Pakistan both conducted successful nuclear weapons tests, bringing the total number of nuclear nations up to seven.
The Good Friday Agreement was signed in Northern Ireland to promote peace in the region, with both sides agreeing to reduce the paramilitary presence in the region. In reaction, a group of RIRA members opposed to the agreement set of a car bomb in Omagh, killing 29 people and wounding 220.
77-year-old John Glen, first American to orbit the earth, returns to space in the shuttle Discovery.
And to end on a lighter note, the Christmas of 1998 was the Christmas of the Furby, the world’s most annoying toy ever. No off switch and hair trigger motion sensors caused the thing to spew nonsense in the middle of the night, terrifying the unsuspecting, and in one case I know of, prompting a friend to beat one to death with a baseball bat before he was even really awake enough to fully know what the small furry talking thing was. Also, no, contrary to popular belief, you could not teach them to swear.