We're riding on the Internet..."
The Kids Guide to the Internet is a half-hour informational videotape produced by video company Diamond Entertainment Corporation. It was designed for kids to tell about how to use the Internet and the services available.
In June 2014, it was featured (in shorter clips) in a Teens React to 90's Internet. It was also pooped by cs188 as "IT'S ALL RIGHT AT YOUR FINGERTITS". The Jamison family also previously appeared in the 1996 videotape The Family Guide to Computers, also from Diamond; it can be viewed here, courtesy of Oddity Archive.
Tropes in this video
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: The mother's bit at the end about how the Internet is not regulated.
- Corpsing: It's hard to tell if Peter is trying not to laugh, cracks his voice almost all the time, or acting too hard.
- Cyberspace: Mentioned by name.
- Emphasize EVERYTHING: Peter signs off on an e-mail he writes with "Peter!!!!"
- Excited Kids' Show Host: Dasha and Peter Jamison are subdued, but really enjoy explaining things to Lisa and Andrew. See Little Jimmy, below.
- Floating Head Syndrome: In the intro, the kid's heads float around in cyberspace.
- Free-Range Children: On the Internet. Despite the warning on the end of the video that the Internet is not regulated and to surf with your kids, the parents leave their children and their friends alone with an active internet connection. The children even point out that Dad is leaving the house and Mom will be elsewhere.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: After Peter talks about movie reviews he quickly scrolls past a list of of movies in theaters in the late 1990's, both famous and forgotten.
- The Ghost: Lisa and Andrew's mother dropped them off and is heard honking to pick them up, but doesn't come in and talk to the Mom and Dad.
- Hollywood Nerd: Peter and Dasha. Both are very knowledgeable about the Internet despite only a few weeks' time (a very nerdy thing in 1997 - that's why the video was being made), and neither are nerdy-looking to show kids that the Internet was cool.
- The Internet Is for Porn: Skirted around, and not mentioned by name. The Internet was already a major purveyor of porn and creepy people, so there is a part at the end of the video about watching your kids' Internet habits.
- The explanation of the .com and .gov tags is actually a very subtle but important point. At the time and now, The White House website (which they visit) was www.whitehouse.gov, however www.whitehouse.com was an adult website that the actual White House wrestled with legally because kids and adults alike didn't know the difference.
- It's a Small Net After All: Lisa and Andrew are shocked they can e-mail Bill Clinton, the sitting president in 1997.
- Little Jimmy: Lisa and Andrew Emerson play this role with Peter and Dasha being the teachers. They are never allowed, nor do they ever ask, to try the computer themselves.
- Living in a Furniture Store: Everything is even spaced out to the walls with the computer in the center. Sears HomeLife Furniture is thanked in the credits.
- The Ken Burns Effect: Because websites were static, they are zoomed in and panned across.
- Manipulative Editing: Helpful as this video is, it does omit some things:
- The computer is never shown to be dialing in to the Internet. The computer is already powered up and connected, despite the fact that the Jamisons are sitting together on the couch at the beginning, and not using the computer.
- Websites are never shown actually loading. 56.6kbps was king in 1997 - the websites took a little while to load. Not too long, but far slower than today's broadband speeds. Also websites - as today - tended to "hang" now and then.
- No Fourth Wall: Despite explaining things to their friends and Peter and Dasha facing the camera to speak. The viewer is directly addressed by the Jamison family at the beginning and end, but Lisa and Andrew never address or acknowledge the camera.
- Nuclear Family: The Jamisons, as established in the Establishing Shot of their home. Mom and Dad, Peter and Dasha. They make it abundantly clear that Mom likes to pay bills and how the kids grades have improved, and Dad likes to check the stocks and sports scores. On top of that they all helped set up the computer, each having their own job. Any sweeter and Lisa and Andrew would have died of diabetes upon entering the house.
Mom: I can spell Mississippi with one 'eye'. Spells Mississippi with one hand over her eye
- This gem shows up early on:
Andrew: "What's a web page? Something ducks walk on?"
- One of the most infamous lines in the video:
- Shout-Out: to The Rolling Stones, by Dad.
- Standardized Sitcom Housing: The living room the entire show takes place in. The front door is off screen to the left. The furniture lines the walls and the computer is out in the center of the room. The computer where it is makes sense for the audience, but not so much if that were a real house - anyone sitting on the couch would have a great view of the mass of wires behind the computer.
- Talking Heads: Peter and Dasha.
- Unnamed Parent: All the kids and their dad go by their real names - the mother is just "Mom."
- Your Door Was Open: Lisa and Andrew simply walk in to the scene. They were evidently dropped off by their mother, and the Jamisons have an open door policy because there was no knocking, doorbell, or "Hello?"
You're going surfing on the Internet..."