I blame Zack Morris. And Kelly whatsherface and that one who went on to do Showgirls and that guy who hosts dancing shows and that other one. And, of course, I blame Screech. I shake my fist at Screech.
When I was growing up, Saturday morning cartoons were the event of the week. We would talk about what was going to happen on our favourites in much the same way that people do of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Seriously, if you weren’t a child of the 60s/70s/80s, then you probably cannot grasp how important Saturday morning animation was to our lives.
And then Saved By The Bell came along.
Cartoons weren’t as ubiquitous as they are now. They were pretty much relegated to Saturday mornings and a bit after school. But Saturdays were prime time for kids. As opposed to Sundays which were quite dreadful because of dreck like this.
The routine was simple: creep to the TV with a bowl of cereal, pull up a slab of floor and just watch. Any show. All the shows.
That viewing habits have shifted away from cartoons makes me nostalgic and a bit sad.
Okay, so it seems cartoons were replaced by ‘educational content.’ Hmmm. How much more educational did they want, I mean, we had School House Rock!
Look at these tv line-ups from the 80s alone. How you replace Snorks? Scooby Doo? Smurfs? Dungeons and Dragons? Hulk Hogan’s Rock and Wrestling? Monchichis? Ewoks?
You can’t. You can’t at all.
I feel a bit complicit in the death of Saturday morning cartoons. When my kids were growing up, I didn’t have cable tv. Granted, some networks abandoned cartoons well before they were born, but still. They got their cartoon fix on DVD and public broadcasting. Blah.
Let’s take a moment to reflect and mourn. And I’ll share a personal favourite: