Genius is the recovery of childhood at will. ~Arthur Rimbaud
Since it’s Friday and the weekend is on our heels, I got to thinking. Each year around this time, it takes me back to my childhood. Well, yes with the going back to school season, but also with the television line up. When you hear of season premiers and the smell of fall in the air, I must admit I feel like a kid again.
Just the other day, I caught myself making a list of the shows I wanted to add to my agenda. Granted, I don’t watch much TV and as the season progresses, my interest will decrease, but regardless I actually wrote down the shows and the times to get my bearings straight. Greek, right?
As kids, we never really watched much television during the week either. Up to a certain point, we only had one television set, that is until my sister got one for Christmas. It was a small, and I mean SMALL, the entire unit measured probably about eight inches by eight inches by a foot, and the screen was even smaller, portable television set. Not to mention, I came from a generation that went outside and played, even in the dead of winter. No, we never really watched that much television in the evenings as kids, and when we did it was the news or Marty Stouffer. I’ve seen every episode, on every animal, ever made, EVER. Back then I hated it, yet now-a-days I catch myself watching animal planet and enjoying it. Maybe I did like that show, but only because dad ruled the remote I didn’t care for it so much. However, I do remember a brief time of watching *Thunder Cats, The Brady Bunch and *School House Rocks upon coming home after a long day of learning. So I guess we did get our turn on the television set.
Before school we were allowed to watch morning cartoons, as long was we were ready-to-roll or in the process. What shows consumed my mind before school? We watched, *G.I. Joe, *Transformers, *Smurfs, New Zoo Review, *Mr. Rogers, Captain Kangaroo, *Scooby-Doo and the *Flintstones. Granted these weren’t watched all at once or even in the same time frame, yet over the years they were our basic staples.
But what I really remember and still cracks me up to this day, was the Saturday morning fall line up. Yes, the new cartoons or shows or the new episodes of some favorites that would premier on Saturday mornings around this time of year, much like it does now. I loved waiting to hear about the fall line up! It almost made going back to school enjoyable, because you knew you’d get a break on Saturday mornings.
To make things fair so Nicole, Ryan and myself wouldn’t fight, mom would get the TV Guide and let us pick out what we each wanted to watch. Yes, we mapped out our Saturday morning shows in advance! It was actually fun. No wonder why I’m such a planner and I live by my schedule to this day. While watching our shows, we would literally refer to the previously outlined schedule, written on a notepad, and stuck to it like gold, checking off each show as they were completed. We treated the Saturday morning line up like it was work and we were doing our job! No joke! As the weeks passed we didn’t need our notepad for we now memorized the line up.
During the planning stages, which happened about a week out from the new line-up, we would pull newspaper ads and highlight all shows of interest. When it was two against one, the odd ball would have to watch his or her desired show in the bedroom on the tiny television set. (refer to paragraph three). Sometimes we all agreed on a cartoon, which made it more fun to sit together on the couch, wrapped in our blankets. Yes, we even had our own designated blankets. This was serious business! The worst part was when two shows were on at the same time, both of equal interest, yet we had to made choice pick one. Back then there wasn’t such a thing as TiVo or DVR, nope. Eventually, we got a VCR, but recording the cartoons to watch later was never an option. Perhaps we didn’t think of it or mom didn’t want us spending ALL day in front of the boob tube? Either way, we had to make a choice, which was good practice for later on in life.
The line up started around 7:30 am or so till about noon, which at that point we had to get off our butts and do our chores, homework etc. Usually, I got up earlier in preparation for the shows. Nicole and Ryan had a little harder time getting out of bed, but once they heard the television spring to life, they bolted out as to not miss their placement.
The best part? Dad and mom weren’t allowed to change the channel on us. Dad was either working or doing something and mom was on hand to break up any disputes, yet they rarely interrupted us during our scheduled time. Not to mention, mom always made us breakfast and we ate it while watching cartoons. What did we have? Usually eggs or oatmeal or cream of rice or french toast or pancakes. But what did we want? Sugar cereal! Mom didn’t purchase too much cereal, but when she did it was a treat and was like crack cocaine!
So what were the shows of years past? If my memory serves me well we watched (in no particular order and excluding previously mentioned). Prepare yourself to be taken back to the past!:
- Rainbow Bright
- Punky Brewster
- Berenstain Bears
- Teen Wolf
- Shirt Tales
- *Speed Buggy
- Captain Caveman & the Teen Angels
- *Josie & the Pussycats
- Mighty Mouse
- *Alvin & the Chipmunks
- The Littles
- *Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Dark-wing Duck
- *Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats
- Duck Tales
I’m sure over the years there were more, but those listed I definitely remember watching. Of course we were part of the Loony Tune generation and I’ve seen all of those.
On a side note, most of my favorite shows involved cats. I just realized that! I have always been a cat lover. My pappy used to call me old cat woman. I am a geek!
While Kyle was growing up there were a few favorites of his including:
- George Shrinks
- *Jakers! And the Adventures of Pigglywinks
- Thomas & Friends
- Bear in the Big Blue House
- Teletubbies (only when he was really little, they were scary! LaLa and Poe were his favorites!)
- Sponge Bob (Yes, I’ll admit I have fallen prey to this cartoon)
- Scooby-Doo (the older ones and new ones. Hence, why Kyle’s dog (a blond Labrador) is named Scooby)
- Fairly Odd Parents
- Adventure Time (hated that stupid yellow dog!)
- Phineas & Ferb
- Tom & Jerry
- Ben 10
- How to Train Your Dragon Cartoon
- The Penguins from Madagascar (they crack me up!)
- Johnny Test
- Wonder Pets (What’s gonna work? Team work!) (The phone, the phone is ringing.)
- Bob the Builder
Did we ever outline such a schedule for Kyle? Sadly no. First of all, we have more than one large television set and my parents have Direct TV and I always had cable at my house. Not to mention, there are channels upon channels dedicated to cartoons and influencing our young generation day and night. No need to outline a plan of attack, for Kyle was able to watch cartoons anytime. Plus, ad in all of his DVDs, no shortage of entertainment for the kid. To be honest, all this fulfillment when desired takes the fun out of it all. I liked having to wait and plan for such an event as Saturday morning. It made you look forward to it more and we spent time together. Perhaps that might become retro again.
*Means a favorite of mine