That is all.
That’s my point.
Here’s the issue: I’ve recently gone back and re-watched a number of cartoon series that dare I say, went as far as to shape my very being. I mean, I am a true child of the 80’s, and as such, Saturday morning TV practically raised me.
And when it wasn’t Saturday morning TV, it was weekday afternoon TV…
Look at the list of pure awesomeness that was on around then: ThunderCats, Transformers, He-Man, BraveStarr, SilverHawks, Ulysses 31 and so much more. And as far as afternoons went: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Monkey Magic, Samurai Pizza Cats… the list goes on.
Now I will defend these shows to the bitter end against anyone who would sully their good name. But a warning to those of a similar ilk who feel tempted to go back and re-visit these moments of radiant joy, these memories that make you all warm and fuzzy, and a little happy in the pants.
Don’t do it.
Nothing but disappointment awaits you. Heed my words and hang on to the glorious memories you have, hold the life lessons that the likes of Optimus Prime (the original one, not any one violated by technology and 3D graphics) imparted. But for the love of all that is holy, when you’re browsing your local purveyor of digital versatile disks, and see Season 1 of Centurions sitting there on the shelf, walk on, dear friend. It is naught but a snake, tempting you with its apple.
Why? you may ask. You may even wonder what harm this could possibly bring.
You asked for it.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
You may not be aware, but every single episode of Transformers follows exactly the same formula:
“The Decepticons are stealing energon cubes”
“Autobots roll out”
“Megatron is getting away”
Now let’s look at Inspector Gadget:
“Bad guys are stealing stuff!”
“Go-Go Gadget something… woah… whoops… Oh no…”
“C’mon Brains, we’ll go help Uncle Gadget!”
Bad guy gets foiled, Penny does all the work, Gadget gets praise.
“I’ll get you next time Gadget”
Do I need to even mention Scooby-Doo?
Or He-Man? Cringer turns into Battlecat, Prince Adam turns into He-Man, Skeletor gets away, He-Man tells you to look both ways before crossing the street, or call your mother, or pick up litter. And name one episode of Voltron where a bad dude doesn’t get split open with a big ass sword at the end.
You can’t, can you?
These are things that seem awesome when you were a kid. You didn’t notice the formula, and if you did, it was AWESOME so you didn’t care.
Growing up sucks. You notice this crap.
You notice the fact that every character across every series is exactly the same. You notice that the dialogue isn’t particularly good, that the animation isn’t particularly good, that the plot is nonexistent, and that the characters are two-dimensional.
Whilst you live in blissful ignorance of this, life is a happy place, full of rainbows and unicorns. Hold onto that. My main point is not that any of these shows are sub-epic. They were clearly the greatest entertainment ever invented. Hours of my life were spent absorbing them in detail. Would I change that? Not for a second.
I’m also not saying that TV has gotten any better since (my younger siblings were watching Dragon Ball-Z — that’s just a dude on the screen with lines passing by him for half an hour). But all I’m saying is that it’s a poor idea to go back and rewatch them. You won’t enjoy it.
My counterpart will try and lead you to believe that rewatching these precious gems of your childhood will rekindle past joy, that it will provide you with some kind of escape back to the innocence of times gone by.
This is a fallacy.
You will want to revisit a simpler time, but there is no way you can avoid seeing the standard plots, the standard characters, the complete lack of violence (yeah, I swear all my cartoon heroes kicked some serious ass, yet no one ever gets hurt. Stupid G ratings…)
Unfortunately, brothers and sisters, like it or not, you have grown. Grown into cynical, angry, jaded readers of online magazines. You can’t view the world through the eyes of your younger selves.
There are two possible results that can come of rewatching your old favorites:
1: They will transport you back to a happier time.
2: You will inflict your years of “wisdom” onto them, you will peer too deeply into the rabbit hole, and try and make sense of what peers back.
Guess which option is more likely. It’s not a happy place.