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Today in Nerd History | June 23

Today we celebrate a diverse lineup of entertainment milestones, from groundbreaking films and iconic video games to captivating television shows. On June 23, we revisit the stylish and dark world of Tim Burton’s “Batman,” speed through the colorful levels with Sonic the Hedgehog, dive into the legal drama of “Suits,” step into the ring with “GLOW,” and experience the intense kitchen life in “The Bear.” Let’s explore some “Nerdy Facts” about these influential pop culture phenomena.

Inclusion on this list does not imply that the entry is family friendly, only that is was a nerd culture milestone. Parents should, of course, use discernment.

© Warner Bros.

1989: Batman (Theaters)

Tim Burton’s “Batman,” starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, redefined the superhero genre with its dark aesthetic and complex characters, setting the stage for future superhero films.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Box Office Smash: “Batman” was a massive commercial success, breaking several box office records upon its release and helping to establish the viability of superhero films in Hollywood.
  • Iconic Score: The film’s score, composed by Danny Elfman, became instantly recognizable, encapsulating the film’s moody and Gothic tone.
  • Marketing Revolution: The marketing campaign for “Batman” was unprecedented at the time, with the Bat-Symbol becoming ubiquitous, appearing on merchandise ranging from T-shirts to breakfast cereal, helping to create the modern blockbuster marketing strategy.

© SEGA

1991: Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Genesis)

Sonic the Hedgehog debuted on the Sega Genesis, becoming Sega’s flagship franchise and introducing one of the most beloved characters in video game history.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Speedy Mascot: Sonic was created as Sega’s answer to Nintendo’s Mario, designed specifically to showcase the speed capabilities of the Sega Genesis console.
  • Cultural Icon: Sonic quickly became an icon of video game culture in the 1990s, known for his blue color, incredible speed, and attitude that embodied the era’s radical youth culture.
  • Franchise Expansion: The success of the game spawned a vast franchise including multiple video games, animated series, comics, and a successful movie series.

© USA Network

2011: Suits (USA Network)

“Suits” premiered, offering a slick, witty look at the high-stakes world of corporate law through the eyes of talented college dropout Mike Ross, who works as a law associate for Harvey Specter despite never having attended law school.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Star-Making Show: “Suits” helped launch the careers of its leads, Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams, and notably Meghan Markle, who became a global celebrity.
  • Long-Running Success: The show ran for nine seasons, praised for its sharp dialogue, charismatic ensemble cast, and compelling legal and personal drama.
  • Cameo Appearances: Over its run, “Suits” featured cameo appearances by various high-profile personalities including Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time.

© Netflix

2017: GLOW (Netflix)

“GLOW,” inspired by the 1980s show “Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling,” mixes comedy and drama while exploring the personal and professional lives of a diverse group of women who reinvent themselves as female wrestlers.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Critical Acclaim: “GLOW” was widely acclaimed for its ensemble cast, led by Alison Brie, and its handling of themes involving female empowerment and friendship.
  • Authentic 80s Vibes: The show is noted for its authentic 1980s setting, complete with period-appropriate costumes, music, and cultural references that effectively capture the vibe of the era.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Training: The actresses underwent extensive professional wrestling training to perform their own stunts, adding authenticity and depth to the wrestling scenes.

© FX Productions

2022: The Bear (FX)

“The Bear” brought a raw and intense look at the high-pressure environment of a fine dining kitchen in Chicago, following a young chef as he struggles to transform his family’s sandwich shop.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Breakout Hit: Despite a quiet debut, “The Bear” quickly became a critical darling, praised for its intense pacing, realism, and the compelling performance of its lead, Jeremy Allen White.
  • Culinary Realism: The show has been noted for its highly realistic portrayal of kitchen life and the culinary industry, resonating with professional chefs and food enthusiasts.
  • Emotional Depth: “The Bear” explores themes of grief, family, and personal growth, wrapped in the chaotic energy of the culinary world, making it a standout drama.

June 23 is a day to celebrate innovation and creativity across multiple forms of media. From Gotham’s dark streets to high-speed gaming, intense legal battles, the wrestling ring, and chaotic kitchens, these pop culture milestones continue to inspire and entertain audiences around the world. Happy Nerd History Day to all who cherish these diverse and dynamic forms of storytelling!

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Station Manager of LTN Radio and co-host of the "Nerd History Podcast" & the "Two Words Podcast". Matt is a third-generation radio station manager who has done pretty much every job in the radio industry. Matt is the father of two boys and a little girl. It's probably the best thing about him.

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