Monday, April 24, 2006

Cartoon Shows – An Almost-Meme

Recently, I participated in an email discussion between a group of friends, and the conversation turned to cartoons. It is interesting how we all get dragged into watching cartoon shows with our kids. I’ll have to tell you, I don’t miss that period of my life. I was reading the confessions of my friends whose kids are still at that stage and thinking to myself: “Hee hee… sucks to be you, buddies! Look at me – I’m already done. I’ll never have to watch a kids’ cartoon again. You should’ve started having kids earlier… hee hee”.

I found it interesting that, over a period of four or five years, all the shows go away and are replaced by something else… my friends were throwing names around that I had never heard in my life. WTF is “Backyardigans”, for example?

With that in mind, I thought I’d throw together a few questions, and, if you choose to answer, then please link to me cuz I wanna read your answers too.

1. During what years did you watch children’s cartoon shows?
Obviously I didn’t watch American shows as a kid, though we did get Finnish TV in my home town, and I actually remember the Muppets and the Smurfs. But that doesn’t really count because we only understood about ten percent of what was being said. With my kids, we got cable in 1998 and the boys got hooked on Cartoon Network right away. They gradually stopped watching sometime between 2003 and 2004. Now, LilProgrammer doesn’t watch TV at all, on principle (don’t you wish you had a kid like that?) and ChinchillaBoy watches the same shows that I do. Sometimes ChinchillaBoy tapes reruns of the old cartoons and watches them, for sentimental value.

2. What were your three favorite cartoon shows and why?
1. Tom and Jerry – aw, the timeless classics.
2. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? – I almost named our dog Scooby because of this show. I found it really interesting to watch, with entertaining plot lines. Another thing that I liked about the show was that it has an element of mystery, and, at the end of each episode, it shows that behind the monsters and other supernatural villains are real people with ulterior motives. I used this show to teach my kids elements of logical reasoning.
3. Courage the Cowardly Dog – Loved that show. I almost named our dog Courage because of it*. Eustace and Muriel are an extremely realistic couple, the stingy, grumpy husband and the easy-going, kindly wife. Between Eustace’s money-grubbing ways and Muriel’s unlimited trust of strangers, they get into all kinds of trouble, but their super-intelligent dog always comes to the rescue. Oh, how I wish I had a dog like that.
EXTRA: Bugs Bunny and other Looney Tunes cartoons – very very funny!

* - if you know why we ended up naming the dog Sparky, you get a bonus point!

3. Name the three shows you hated and why.
1. Powermuff Powerpuff Girls – too f-ing pink for my taste!! I’m all for girl power and stuff, but this is way over the top! Plus, the plot lines are moronic, and the jokes are not funny.
2. Ed, Edd and Eddy – A lot of people I know have banned their kids from watching this show because, according to them, it teaches children to be disrespectful to adults and something else I forgot. Oh, and the characters use foul language such as “stupid”. I don’t agree here. The show didn’t turn my kids into disrespectful brats, and I don’t mind the bad language. Besides, “stupid” is not a swear word – it’s more like a characteristic, meaning "the opposite of smart" or "the opposite of witty". As in, “Ed, Edd and Eddy is an incredibly stupid show”. The jokes are lame, the characters are certifiable, and the show in its entirety is a poster child for war on drugs. Hey, you have to be on something to come up with a show like that.
3. SpongeBob Squarepants – here's a winner in the “Cartoons I Friggin Hate” category. This show is wrong on so many levels. Spongebob, as indicated by his laughter, has massive brain damage. His friend Patrick is a moron, but that was done on purpose by the authors of this masterpiece, because, hey, what can be funnier than a main character that’s a moron! His girlfriend Sandy is a moron as well, but that is purely accidental. Sandy’s actual role in the show is to promote diversity. Sandy is a minority in the undersea world. You can tell because she speaks with a Southern drawl, and she is also the first squirrel known to humanity to have survived underwater for longer than five seconds. (You can test this by catching a live squirrel and immersing it completely in water. Don’t forget the egg timer.)
EXTRA: Rug Rats – babies in diapers taking to each other, using that special brand of baby language normally only used by the least bright of adults! How original! I’ll have to give my children credit – they hated this show.

4. What was the worst thing your kids made you do that is related to cartoon viewing?
They made me watch “Pokemon Movie 2000” on big screen from beginning to end. That was even worse than “Titanic”!

5. If you could meet any of the kids’ cartoon show creators and ask them one question, who would you meet and what would you ask?
I would meet the creators of Pokemon. I would ask them, How the heck do the Pokemon procreate? I’ve sat through, possibly, a hundred episodes, plus the movie. I’ve paid for about a thousand trading cards, plus a board game. And I never saw any of the Pokemon having sex. If they never do it, then where do all the new ones come from? This has been plaguing me for years.

It’s your turn now… if you feel like answering my questions, then consider yourself tagged. If you don’t feel like it, then don’t. Happy Monday!

The Goldie has spoken at 10:37 AM

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