I am a fan of cartoons, always have been. Cartoons have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Whether it was watching the Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show or Batman the Animated Series, cartoons have always been a source of great entertainment. So imagine a kid like me finding out that there was a channel the showed all cartoons all the time, that channel was Cartoon Network. Nowadays it comes expected to have Cartoon Network or the CN but back in the 1990’s it was a precious commodity. Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, Scooby-Doo just to name a few it was almost heaven. Then came shows like Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, Ed, Edd & Eddy and my personal favorite Johnny Bravo. These cartoons were often silly, filled with slapstick humor but they were also smart, innovative, entertaining and truly fun for all ages.
Then Cartoon Network brought forth a block of some of the greatest action cartoons on the planet and called this block Toonami and it was good. Toonami had shows like Gundam Wing, Tenchi Muyo, Thundercats, and of course, the Greatest Action Cartoon on the Planet, Dragonball Z. With the Toonami block, it captured the young men who craved story structure, emotion, and action. I am an avid advocate of Toonami (please watch on Saturday nights from 9:00pm to 6:00am). The network continued on the path of greatness with the now ever popular Adult Swim leading with Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Venture Bros. and others.
With that being said, let me get to the point. Recently, Cartoon Network has fallen from grace in some ways. Starting with the death of the original Toonami in 2008, with this cancellation fans began to see what direction the Network was heading. We began to see the push for the young tween girl market with shows that included Totally Spies, 6teen and the Total Drama series. We were given several revamped versions of Scooby-Doo, and shows like Gumball, Johnny Test and Chowder. There were scripted dramas like Tower Prep and Level Up. Unsurprisingly, even the mighty Cartoon Network fell victim to reality TV like Dude, What Would Happen, Hole in the Wall, Destroy Build Destroy with Rocker Andrew W.K. and of course the horrid Incredible Crew.
Why have live-action on an all, Cartoon Network? What was the whole point of the network? You know what? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for the scripted shows but for the unscripted, shame on you Cartoon Network. Are there not enough cartoon ideas to go around? That can’t be the case. Look at Star Wars the Clone Wars, Adventure Time, Green Lantern the Animated Series and Young Justice (Oh I will be addressing those soon, DC). These shows are intelligent, witty shows and most importantly they are cartoons. I wouldn’t even mind cartoons I don’t like, such as Beyblade: Metal Fusion or Chowder as long as it is a cartoon. Kids don’t need more reality, heck I don’t need more reality. Life is hard. Cartoons are our means of escape and what better escapism is there than a 24/7 cartoon channel?
That is my word, my code…Peace
by Marqees W. Murray
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