In the 1990s, Friends, The X-Files, and Seinfeld all acknowledged the web—some more awkwardly than others.
If the sitcom Doogie Howser, M.D. hadn’t been canceled in 1993, the show’s creators apparently planned to have their precocious protagonist quit medicine to become a writer.
And probably a blogger, right? I mean, Doogie started keeping a digital diary in 1979—totally an early adopter.
This is the sort of thinking that comes from hunting for the earliest TV-show reference to the Internet, a search that leads deep into the grungiest, cheesiest corners of 1990s television.
Even as dial-up Internet connections went mainstream, television representations of the web lagged. Computers appeared on television mostly as props, boxy monitors sitting dark on desks. The arrival of Internet represented a huge cultural shift, but it was barely a plot point in the 1990s—with some exceptions.