I don't want to come out as being an old fart; but I just don't know what kind of weird crap that they're passing off as programming that's intended for children. It's lame, senseless, sissified, lacking of humor, and all around crap-tacular in nature. I can't for the life of me figure out how we had gone from a generation in which had produced He-Man, Transformers, Thundercats, G.I. friggin Joe, and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show; into the state of annoyance and stupefied characters of today. And yes; I know of all the gay undertones proclaimed in He-Man, but we all watched it anyways so don't go trying to BS around that one. I mean these cartoons don't even try to make any sense at all. It's as if the animators and producers smoked a pound of hash each, decided to spew out random crap, and sell it to your friendly neighborhood children's network. Seriously, this stuff is some of the most bizarre crap that I have ever had my eyes and ears on.
I honestly don't know where to start, so I'm just gonna blame the entire friggin' network here; Cartoon Network. With shows (if you want to call them that) like Boingy Mc Boing Boing; My Gym Partner's a Monkey; and Ben 10 (just to name a few); you wonder what the hell is keeping them afloat and becoming a profitable cable network. Seriously, these shows are lame. It looks like a bunch of random sequences spun out together to make some sort of a script for the animators (which are probably chained to their desks for fear of them escaping) to draw out. The only thing close (and I'm really stretching this out here) to a half decent show is The Grimm Adventures of Billy and Mandy. It's like Ren & Stimpy and the Crypt Keeper had a lovechild and out came this pile. It tries to be in my opinion 'kiddie-noir' with the slapstick humor that made Ren & Stimpy infamous. It's a near-failure at best, but as for the other shows on this network; there is no excuse to why they're still on. I remember when Cartoon Network actually rivaled their other two competitive networks; Nickelodeon and Disney Channel; with somewhat decent shows like Johnny Bravo, Dexter's Laboratory, and Powerpuff Girls. These were in their right their classics and they can only be found in their classic subsidiary channel Boomerang with a bunch of old Hanna Barbera classic cartoons as well. I think that it's Cartoon Networks' version of how their great shows of the past dies off they ship them off to sea just like the vikings did to their old dying warriors and let them go to their Valhalla with the greatness of The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and Scooby Doo. Cartoon Network; because change is not for the good.
Another network that was notorious for such acts, but took it to a different medium of crap-tastic is The Disney Channel. At one point, they had quality programming with their cartoons with their syndicated cartoons that they decided to put on regular rotation at the time such as Duck Tales, Gargoyles, and Goof Troop. Disney had some quality stuff, but then sometime during this generation of kids time, the quality of Disney programming went from simplicity and slapstick to bratty and stupid. That probably stems from them trying to introduce live action shows that truly sucked such as Lizzy McGuire (in my opinion the start of its downward spiral), Even Stevens, and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. It made me felt like my brain was turned into pudding and Bill Cosby himself was pimping it out to be sold with the rest of the Jell-O lineup. And don't even get me started with their cartoons; actually, you really can't. I don't even think that Disney even produce any new cartoons outside of Phineas and Ferb, and that's is just as dull and bland as all the other crap that the house that Walt built had excreted out. Disney: because if you want quality, you have to pay an arm and a leg in their theme parks to find it; cause it ain't on television that's for sure.
And now we finally meet up with the children's programming juggernaut that is, Nickelodeon. Let me go and say that when I was a kid, I loved Nickelodeon; it was awesome. So many great original shows came from there that it became a cartoon's Mecca of greatness. If you made it to Nickelodeon's rotation you were practically set for life. I mean there was Ren and Stimpy like I mentioned from before. Rugrats which was their longest running cartoon series spanning past 10 years and producing a spin-off. Doug which was picked up by Disney after it's original series ended (and then it bombed there sparing Nick from any embarrassment.) And that's just the cartoons. There live action series of shows were pretty decent as well, with shows like Clarissa Explains It All, Double Dare, and Solute Your Shorts. But my favorite of them has to be The Adventures of Pete and Pete; originally starting off as a series of 2 minute shorts then expanded to a 30 minute series of awesomeness. But those days has passed us my friends...
Nowadays, Nickelodeon has succumb to the dumbing down of quality of most of their cartoon lineup and their live shows are more for a teeny-bopper version of a soap opera than anything else. With the exception of 'Avatar: The Last Air Bender', all of their cartoons have seem to make about as much sense as a bipolar eight year old with A.D.D. on the ultimate of sugar-highs. And the comedown effect is what they use for their sitcoms. I mean who can make any sense out of a sexually confused sponge or a socially awkward boy with fairy godparents that can do anything he wants, but have to keep it PG. And that's their flagship cartoons is what I'm describing, don't even let me talk about my their non-cartoons. Their only good show was 'Drake and Josh' and they let the main stars go to pursue their careers elsewhere. So that leaves them with not-so-memorable shows and Zoey 101; a teen drama about a co-ed boarding school that eventually got cancelled because the lead actress got knocked up at 16 (also doesn't help that her sister was Britney Spears, you do the math on how much logic that family has.) I'm disappointed at Nickelodeon. It loss its luster to appeal to kids as kids instead of making it look as if they went and vomited all over their product placed their orange feces stamp over it and called it a day.
I ask again to everyone. What has happened to cartoons nowadays. And I'm just at the tip of the iceberg only naming cartoons from the top three kid networks. I haven't dived into comparing PBS shows from before and after or from any other media outlets, and there's a lot to choose from as well. But I felt that I ranted long enough and chewed your ear off more so than a Mike Tyson fight. So I'll be scouring my local DVD outlets for box sets of the classics. The good old cartoons of my youth that I've grown to love. And hope for a resurgence of those to comeback to today's new generation of kids to show how cartoons really kicked ass.
BootLeG sampler.. signing out...