It’s been a dozen years now since 2002, but thanks to VH1’s I Love the 2000s, we can be reminded of what a great year it actually was. Serena Williams was the No. 1 tennis player in the world, Jennifer Lopez’s latest breakup was in the headlines, and zombies were the latest craze at the movies.
Clearly, much has changed in the world since then.
Of course, in all seriousness, VH1 also spotlighted plenty of other nostalgia-worthy phenomena hyper-specific to 2002 and 2003—like the return of the movie musical, Nelly’s evergreen musical reason to take your clothes off, and the Verizon ad campaign literally heard all over the world. Here’s a recap of what VH1 had to highlight.
THE YEAR 2002
28 Days Later
“Hot in Herre” – Nelly
“Soak up the Sun” – Sheryl Crow
“Superman” – Five for Fighting
“The Middle” – Jimmy Eat World
“Work It” – Missy Elliot
J.Lo + Ben Affleck = Bennifer
Serena Williams’ amazing win streak
Anna Nicole Smith’s court battle
“Axis of Evil” – George W. Bush’s State of the Union address
Juicy Couture (sweat-clothes of the stars) Poker craze
Verizon’s “Can You Hear Me Now?” campaign Cellphone ringtones Satellite radio
George Takei’s “Oh My” Moment of 2002: Michael Jackson dangling his infant son out a Berlin hotel window.
Nelly’s Hotties of 2002: Brandy (Full Moon hottie) Jessica Abla (Dark Angel hottie), Kelly Ripa (Regis’ Perky Sidekick hottie)
The Year in Spears (Britney, that is): Breaks up with Justin Timberlake, Crossroads is a box-office bomb, wins Best Actress Razzie award and is No. 1 on Forbes Celebrity 100 List.
Michael K. Williams’ Anti-Hero of 2002: Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) – The Shield
Bret Michaels’ Guilty Pleasure of 2002: Crank Yankers and spray tans
THE YEAR 2003
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
Da Ali G Show
Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica
Freddy vs. Jason
“Ignition (Remix)” – R. Kelly
“All the Things She Said” – t.A.T.u
“Seven Nation Army” – The White Stripes
Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore start dating
Dixie Chicks speak out against President Bush and Iraq War
“The Star Wars Kid” viral video
Steve Bartman incident at Chicago Cubs game
New York City blackout
George Takei’s “Oh My” Moment of 2003: Pedro Martinez tackles Yankees coach Don Zimmer
Nelly’s Hotties of 2003: Kristanna Loken (Evil Robot Terminator hottie), Jennifer Garner (Daredevils’ hottie girlfriend), Kate Beckinsale (Werewolf-killing hottie)
The Year in Spears (Britney, that is): Performs at VMAs with Madonna and Christina Aguilera, releases fourth album, and wins Grammy for “Toxic.”
Michael K. Williams’ Anti-Hero of 2003: Magneto (Ian McKellen) – X-Men
Bret Michaels’ Guilty Pleasure of 2003: Gigli, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness, America’s Next Top Model