In 2003, I turned 16, not 13. My birthday is in August, though, so I spent most of the year 15 years old, trying hard to just not care about what other people thought, and contrary to popular belief, not being able to tell didn’t help on that front.
Young me spent 2003 bingeing on Harry Potter slash Fan Fiction and posting angstily on Live Journal. As in, I looked up my posts and they are truly cringe-worthy. We didn’t have TV channels and video streaming wasn’t exactly easy at that point, so I wasn’t really up to date on what was happening on TV.
2003 introduced the world to Arrested Development. Though the show only lasted 3 seasons on TV, Netflix just released a 4th season this year, 10 years after the show debuted. Also debuting that year were NCIS, MythBusters, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. (And, less fabulously, Two and a Half Men.) On the other hand, 2003 saw the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Farscape, two geek staples. *pours wine from glass for lost shows.*
A few top ranked shows:
In memory of Farscape, here’s 4 seasons of Frells:
Movies held out a bit of joy for nerdy me. The Return of the King came out that December, and I went dressed in Medieval garb while trying to hide my pneumonia to the local opening. For my family, Big Fish made our experiences both more understandable and more outrageous through the power of hyperbole. After we finished watching, my mom turned to us and told us that much of her life, when she told strangers about her life, was called unbelievable. Like the father in the film, her stories were one part in how they were told and another what people expected to hear.
Top 5 in the Box office:
- The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
- Finding Nemo
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- The Matrix Reloaded
- Bruce Almighty
If I remember correctly, I spent most of 2003 listening to 90s Sarah Mclachlan and Post Punk from the 80s, not unlike most of my teen years, actually. Meanwhile…
Billboard’s Top 5:
- “In Da Club” by 50 Cent
- “Ignition” by R Kelly
- “Get Busy” by Sean Paul
- “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce ft Jay-Z
- “When I’m Gone” by 3 Doors Down
Bonus: “Unwell” by Matchbox 20 (#6):
I was reading fan fic of Ginny and Hermione making out, along with a lot of Austen, Bronte, and a good helping of whatever fantasy books I could get my hands on. But the best sellers of the year included Life of Pi, The Secret Life of Bees, and The Da Vinci Code. Also, books for the Atkins Diet were flying off the shelves, a boon for undiagnosed celiacs, but a bit of a heart breaker for your cholesterol. *Rimshot.*
My family was team Playstation 2 in 2003, and when Vice City came out, our living room was filled with screams and 80s music. It took 5 years for my brother’s friends to stop singing Hall and Oates after that. Speaking of my brother, all I could do was envy his dexterity while he played Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time And Devil May Cry 2. Also, I think I peed myself sneaking around to play my brother’s copy of Silent Hill 3. By the end of the year, we were all eagerly anticipating the MMORPG Final Fantasy XI. PC release happened that fall, but we had to wait ’till March of the next year. In the meantime my whole family eagerly sought out spoilers and began planning our characters based on them. My mother and stepfather later played it as a way to connect while he was on the road, which makes this game a big part of our family history.
Top 5 Games of 2003
- Madden NFL 2004 (PS2)
- Pokemon Ruby (GameBoy Advanced)
- Pokemon Sapphire (GameBoy Advanced)
- Need for Speed: Underground (PS2)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube)
I promise, in 2003, this was mind blowing:
March 2003 saw the invasion of Iraq by US troops. At the time, I was at a school where my teachers essentially worshiped Bush, and I had to keep my anti-war and anti-Bush opinions to myself in order to pass the current events part of history. Also on the do-not-talk-about list that semester was the completion of The Human Genome Project and the cloning of Dewey (the first cloned deer) and Prometea (the first cloned horse.) The joys of attending a private Christian school because the public school system near you is screwed up are multitudes. By Multitudes I actually mean few and far between.
That summer I decided to deal with the public school special education system again. After a semester of tongue biting, going back there was completely unappealing. There was no way I could handle hearing my teachers bemoan Grutter v Bollinger and Lawrence v. Texas. Also, the thought of their continuing uncritical glorification of the war and occupation of Iraq turned my stomach.
What was 2003 like for you?