GENERATION X-CELLENT

A NEW CROP OF HOLLYWOOD STARS HAVE COME OF AGE-SMART, SASSY AND STRIKINGLY SERIOUS ABOUT THEIR CRAFT

It is the year 2025 at a prestigious Eastern-seaboard college. A professor of American studies is addressing the packed class for his course "From Wham! to Pearl Jam: Aesthetic Shifts in Late 20th Century Popular Culture." The 1990s were a Golden Age in the history of American tastes, he argues, a decade of pared-down chic superior to the one that preceded it. To bolster his thesis, he cites the rise of poignant alternative music, the popularity of earth-toned packaging and the disappearance of clothing with shoulder pads. His students are unconvinced. What was so great, they shout, about an era that...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!