‘Supermarket Sweep’ Is Now on Netflix, And So Is the ’90s Most Glorious Hair and Fashion
At supermarkets around the country, people are losing their minds. Not a day goes by without a new viral video of grocery customers in full-blown meltdown mode over having to wear a mask to shop. (Hey look! There’s another one!)
At supermarkets on Netflix, though, everyone is happy. Smiling! There are no lines. No one needs a mask. People freely exchange high-fives and even hugs. The toilet paper aisle is fully stocked. People routinely leave the store with thousands in cash. That’s because the streaming service recently added 15 episodes of Supermarket Sweep to its TV library.
For those who’ve never had the pleasure of growing up in the ’90s with unfettered access to basic cable, Supermarket Sweep was a staple of daytime television throughout the decade. A remake of a ’60s game show of the same name, the show offered three teams of contestants the opportunity to rampage through a grocery store, collecting items in an attempt to wrack up the largest grocery bill possible in about two minutes. The winning team got to go on a scavenger hunt through the store (actually an impressive simulation of a supermarket on a soundstage in California). If they followed the clues and found the right items in time, they could win $5,000. It’s basically a shopping-based game show for people who find The Price Is Right too exciting.
Supermarket Sweep is surely one of Netflix’s least-expensive grabs at the nostalgia market, which has become an increasing focus of their programming in recent years. (The #1 show on the entire service as of this writing is a reboot of Unsolved Mysteries, followed two spots behind that on the Netflix TV Top Ten by a new version of The Baby-Sitters Club.) In addition to their value to Gen Xers who want to wallow in their youth for a couple hours, Supermarket Sweep also contains important documentary footage of 1990s fashion and hair and its absolute ’90s-est.
Binging the episodes last night, I was staggered by the onslaught of patterned sports coats, billowy blouses, and frizzy bangs. If you told me these 15 episodes were selected specifically to highlight the show’s most ’90s-tastic lewks, I would absolutely believe you. Here are just a few of the highlights:
As someone who lived through this period of our nation’s history, I can tell you with confidence: Yes, this is 100 percent what it looked like.
Supermarket Sweep reruns would have looked kitschy at any point in time, but they couldn’t have arrived on streaming at a more surreal time, as grocery shopping has become a legitimately dangerous activity that fills customers with dread. Wikipedia tells me that a third iteration of Supermarket Sweep is in production right now, hosted by Leslie Jones; it’s scheduled to premiere on ABC in the fall. I hope they really go for the zeitgeist and embrace the atmosphere in grocery stores circa 2020. Instead of joyful contestants cheering each other on, the teams should get into shoving matches over PPE and then fight to the death over the last jug of bottled water.
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