Saturday, March 26, 2011

One Saturday Morning

The title means something, but since this post is not limited to that something, I feel it my duty to say that since I'm writing this on a Saturday, I just felt it appropriate.

It's one of those rainy, stay at home Saturdays, In which you either mope around all day or watch Star Wars. You may not believe that the choices are that limited, but they are. Trust me. If your not watching Star Wars right now, your moping, and that's why your on your computer. Be in denial all you want.

For me however, I choose to watch Star Wars with popcorn on my knee and my Dad and Mom and sisters and a cozy blanket. In a minute. Right now I'm gonna blog, and I'm gonna blog about television, because if there's one thing rainy Saturday mornings makes me think of, it's television.

This might be what you call a "trip down memory lane" post, but really since I'm fifteen there's not much of a memory lane to stroll down. It's just that the other night me and Ruby were talking about what shows we liked to watch as children, which led me to remember what T.V. used to be like for me as a kid in the late 1990's. Although it's really a cozy 'those were the good old days' subject for me to talk about, the only time I can remember watching T.V. was by myself. I never made a special point to watch any particular show, and there was no kind of "family telly time" in our household. In fact, until I was about 8 or 9 years old, I don't even think we owned a television that got most of the common cable channels, hence my consistent reference to things like "The Muppet Movie" and "The Brave Little Toaster" as being the fond reminiscences of my childhood. But there was one place where I could catch the best of the 1990's in syndication. At my grandparent's house. As a special addition to all the fun therein, I was allowed to sit for 24 hours straight if I pleased and catch up on anything I had missed. And man, they had cable.

While it sounds like I'm referring to the earlier half of my kid-hood (after all, in 1999 I was only four years old) actually, I doubt that any of these things would have held my interest.....since they weren't Barney....until I was a bit older. But still, Wikipedia tells me I'm not wrong in my time placement so, perhaps I underestimated my love for things outside of big smiley purple dinosaurs. There is one show that I know for sure I loved with a fiery fervency that Barney would have turned and ran in the face of- The Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo Show. Man. Beyond God, my immediate family and perhaps a few select brands of candy I doubt there was anything I cared more about. It was my number one topic of conversation for new friends, the number one choice of game for my young cousin when she was with me, it was the thing I lived for when I was at Nina and Papa's house on those fondly-remembered weekends away. Scooby Doo still captivates my sisters in a way that baffles me. The show is no funnier than any other average cartoon of the late 60's (the Jetsons, the Flintstones, etc.), no scarier than the Wizard of Oz. Not to mention that the main character is a gluttonous coward. But as strange as it is, who am I to say anything? I too was captivated. Which leads me to the first of what I remember about childhood T.V. - Cartoon Network used to rock.

When I was kid they not only showed Scooby Doo marathons on the weekend (as if we needed more) As part of their 'Boomerang' lineup, you could catch old stuff like the Jetsons, the Flinstones, Underdog, The Pink Panther, Yogi Bear (which I never liked) and one of those slightly more fondly remembered shows, Baby Looney Tunes.

When I say 'fondly remembered' it deserves explanation. Unlike the previously mentioned cartoons, until recently I hadn't even recalled beyond the fact that there was a Baby Looney Tunes. Until recently when I was out of new shows that kept all the kids happy while I was babysitting, when the kids were all hyped-up on Loony Tunes and when I couldn't bear to watch another episode of 'Duck Dodgers' which I don't even have the courage to ridicule in this. It was then that I remembered Baby Looney Tunes. Baby Looney Tunes, the premise of which is almost a carbon copy of the freaky 1980's weirdness Muppet Babies; A select group of the original characters, in this case Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny (whom I have a weird memory of wanting to sound like as a kid) Taz, Tweety, Sylvester and of course Daffy Duck, live together in a large house as diapered, personality-less infants. Poorly supervised by an elderly woman, in this case, Granny from all the Tweety/Sylvester cartoons. The only difference is that while Muppet Babies is crazy, chaotic mess of live-action backgrounds and romping cheap animation coupled with grating voices and obnoxious rock numbers, Baby Looney Tunes is a sweet, honey-toned, put-you-to-sleep kid's show that's actually for kids. A tad bit ironic, since putting the originals side-by-side it's easy to see which is the Loonier of the two. Just as in Muppet Babies the concept makes little to no sense whatsoever, (if they all grew up together, why is Bugs the only one with a Brooklyn accent?) but then again, their fictional, so that's the way it works. Besides, according to my three little sisters who will be running away from bedtime and screaming bloody murder one minute an drooling helplessly as I put them in bed (because their watching the show- not because I bludgeoned them) it's still just as entertaining as it was for me as a child. And putting it on that one night for them, hearing the theme music for the first time in like ten years was really a trip down memory lane.

Disney Channel used to rock too, and I say that with all the dead-seriousness of someone you couldn't pay to watch five minutes of it now-a-days. When I was little, weekends at Nina and Papa's meant you could catch Disney's ultra-cool "One Saturday Morning" show, which featured among other things Doug, Pepper Anne, Recess, and Hercules. And although I think of these all now with at least some inkling of fondness, the only one I recall actually enjoying to a great extent was the then-dazzling, oh-so-Disney "House of Mouse."

Basically the only thing that made it cool was was the fact that just about every character that was ever in a Disney movie was featured in the theme song and in various "guest spots" throughout the show. The actual plots centered around Mickey Mouse, who was Emcee, and Donald (I forget what his job was but he was scary) and their respective girl-friends. And Goofy. All the episodes featured a musical number and one or two old cartoons.

So there is your brief overview of the many, many things a kid like me could watch on T.V. And although I can remember these with a fond smile, I like to imagine my parents and grandparents gagging at the various names with a look of "Oh, I remember." Due to lack of writing skills at the current moment, I'm forced to bring the post to an in-dignified close this way. Its storming again, The Littles is on (Lord help us) and Mom and Dad should be home soon with dinner. Hopefully the power won't go out and we'll be able to stay up and watch an MST3K. There is your update.

As you can probably tell, the shows I've mentioned here are certainly not the only things I've ever watched or enjoyed on television. That is a different story entirely. This was just my way of looking back and summing up what I remember about T.V. as a kid. Thanks for a listen!

P.S. I got a new cell phone! And gee I wish there was a funny or snappy way to say that, but since there really isn't, I reiterate; I got a new cell phone!

P.P.S. Now here is the fun part! Without making this sound like a chain email, I want you to comment and tell me what shows you watched as a kid, which ones you liked and what you remember about them. Thanks again!!


Bruce said...

I have three time periods for kids shows:
1. Myself - Capt Kangaroo, Howdy-Doody, etc...
2. My kids (your Mom) - Sesame Street, Electric Company, Pee-Wee Herman, etc
3. Grand kids (you guys) - Muppets, Sponge Bob, etc...

I miss the Captain!!!

VWbugnut said...

Good of you to comment. I hear a lot about this Captain Kangaroo fell but I've never seen him, I would like to though!