June 26, 2014 10:00am PT by Philiana Ng
Remember the Y2K Scare? NatGeo's 'The '90s' Miniseries Relives It (Exclusive Video)
As the seconds ticked down Dec. 31, 1999 ("Millennium Eve" as rapper/actor Ice Cube calls it), the Y2K problem had a good number of the population worried. Would the computer systems shut down? Would the world end?
National Geographic Channel takes a dive into the recent past with the three-part miniseries, The '90s: The Last Great Decade?, highlighting the 10 years that brought on the explosion of personal computers, The Real World, the best and worst music, as well as created an appetite for salacious details about politicians and cultural icons.
The Hollywood Reporter exclusively debuts a sneak peek from the July 6, 9 p.m. debut, wherein James Van Der Beek, Martin Sheen, Matthew Perry and a Y2K survivalist (someone who thought the world would end) offer their commentary about entering into a new millennium.
"I was hunkered down at the house like everybody else, waiting for everything to black out," recalls Ice Cube. Says Perry of that evening: "I think [I was] just drinking myself under the table. I think that's how I brought in the millennium. It was wonderful." Van Der Beek, meanwhile, was relieved: "I remember being really optimistic because the world didn't shut down because of Y2K."
The producers even got John Koskinen, chair of the President's Council on Y2K from 1998 to 2000, to provide some context about the unhappy people boohooing the lack of a worldwide shutdown. "What I got was a lot of grouching from people: 'Gee, this isn't very exciting at all.' And I had to remind them that we weren't the ones saying the world was going to come to an end." Cut to Y2K survivalist Scott Olmsted, who still believes "it made sense to be prepared." The funniest reveal from the clip? That Olmsted still hasn't worked through his Y2K stash.