Twenty Minutes into the Past
A work that is shot so that it looks like it happened sometime in the years before it was actually filmed, often right around the time that the target audience were kids. It's not a historical piece
related to some specific event, person, or story written in that time and thus specifically tied down, but it may have a specific date attached just to increase realism or allow for Establishing Shots
so you can imagine the mindset of the characters (for instance, the Cold War mindset is used now in works set in that time period even if the story has nothing to do with it; a similar phenomenon has occurred concerning 9/11). It may be tinged with nostalgia, or maybe the props were just easy to pick up at a secondhand store. In recent times, this can be to avoid the plot-destroying parts of modern life, such as mobile phones and social media like YouTube
Vaguely related to Twenty Minutes into the Future
, but without the Applied Phlebotinum
. Compare and contrast Next Sunday A.D.
Depending on how much time passes in-universe during the series' run, a show that starts off in the Present Day
may become this.
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Anime and Manga
- Animal House, released in 1978, set in 1962.
- The Big Lebowski, released in 1998, was set during the first Gulf War in 1991.
- Donnie Darko, release in 2002, set in 1988.
- The 2011 Tom Hanks film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is set during and shortly after 9/11.
- Word of God is that Thank You For Smoking is set in the 1990s, before the tobacco-industry settlement in which they finally, formally admitted that smoking is bad for you.
- The Jim Carrey vehicle Fun With Dick And Jane is set in early 2000, and was released in '05.
- Super8 is set in 1979, mostly because that was the beginning of the Spielberg era.
- Napoleon Dynamite was released in 2004 and seems to take place at around that time, but the fashion and culture of Idaho is rooted firmly in the Eighties.
- The Wedding Singer, made in 1998, was set in 1985.
- Love and Other Drugs, made in 2010, set in 1996
- The Usual Rules, published in 2003, takes place in the months after the 9/11 attacks. The main character's mother worked in the Twin Towers and died in the attacks. Really, when it was written, it was more like 5 minutes into the past.
- Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, from the Dear America series, was published in 2002 and takes place in 1968. Also unusual for the series, in that the most recent year before that is 1941 and the vast majority of the books take place in the 19th century.
- Harry Potter is set between 1991-1998 or so while the books were released 1997-2007 and the films 2001-2011. The books are nonspecific enough (owing to the general lack of modern technology) to occur anywhere in that period, but the films are clearly set in the aughts.
- Despite being set in the eponymous date and immediately after, later works in the 1632 series have started to use this since the American town of Grantville was transported to that time from the year 2000- so writers must be careful to give their computers only the capabilities and programs they would have had then, for instance.
- Ulysses, the famous novel by James Joyce was published between 1918 and 1920, yet is set on the perfectly ordinary day of June 16, 1904.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower was published in 1999 and takes place in the 1991-92 school year.
- Jules Verne loves this trope, despite everybody assuming his books are meant to be futuristic:
Live Action TV
- That '70s Show: Self explanatory.
- How I Met Your Mother is an interesting example, as the main story takes place in the present, but is told from the future's perspective as if it were taking place 20-something years in the past.
- Life On Mars and its American counterpart, which both take place in 1973.
- M*A*S*H takes place during the Korean War, but it would have been twenty minutes in the past when it aired in the '70s and '80s. Now, it's more like forty minutes.
- Happy Days. Set in the 1950's-1960's, ran from 1974-1984.
- Mad Men. Set in the 1960's, started in 2008.
- Pan Am. Set in the early 1960's, started in 2011.
- The (very) short lived The Playboy Club. Set in 1961, started in 2011.
- The beginning of The X-Files is set in early 1992 though the show started in 1993.
- LOST started out as Present Day, but was definitely Twenty Minutes into the Past by at least the 2nd Season. Then it got more complicated.
- The Sarah Connor Chronicles has this for part of the pilot, since it starts in 1999 before time jumping them to 2007 (the year the show premiered). It allows for some real world events to surprise them, like 9/11.
- Shenmue was set in 1986-1987 and released in 1999 but you wouldn't notice it at first glance - especially since the main character has a Sega Saturn.