I have seen a lot in the last 24 hours about the end of the Saturday Morning Cartoon Block. Many of my Gen X friends are wringing their hands at the loss of three to four hours of cartoon goodness.
And I find myself wondering what the fuss is all about.
I am the mother of a six year-old boy. I know exactly how many cartoons are available to my son. There are the 24 hour cartoon channels plus the specialty kids’ channels. There are the educational cartoons via PBS and TVO. On-demand services provide my son with even more choice and our DVD collection is full of current hits and retro goodies.
Add the Internet to that mix, and my child has more animation at his fingertips than I ever had when I sat down to watch cartoons on a Saturday morning as a child. He is living in the promised land.
So why is a certain group comparing the loss of the Saturday Morning blcok to the end of days?
Nostalgia. Plain and simple.
Gen X is its 40s now, and like the Baby Boomers before them, they yearn for the simplicity of their childhood. There is a longing for the days when they and all their friends watched the same things at the same time. They look at the multi-channel universe and bemoan what the “kids today” are missing.
But here’s the thing, they aren’t missing it. My son and his friends all watch the same shows. Oh sure, my son may be watching Word Girl at 5 while his bestest bud saw the same episode at 3, but they still gather to dicuss and roleplay. Want further proof? The Wild Kratts have three (3!) live shows in my town later in the fall. All three have been sold out for months. It’s the hottest ticket in town. Fisher Price has started making toys for Mike the Knight and the Octonaughts. My son has PJs made from Phineas and Ferb fabric.
Do you know what my friends and me would have done for G-Force PJs? Things not legal in Utah.
My fellow Gen-X nerds, stop your whining. Yes, the big four networks have stopped producing a Saturday morning cartoon block. But that’s because the kids can find better, cooler shows through other mediums. And believe me, they are watching them. The big three have failed to keep pace and have moved on to other things.
Now if you excuse me, the boy and I have some Penguins of Madigascar to watch.