Are You CN This?!

You know what I miss?

Tuning in to Cartoon Network and seeing things like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Or this:

Or even this:

There was a time when watching CN was an immersive experience, a visual treat for the senses. Good times, man, good times.

“You’re the one who’s always criticizing people for being nostalgia-tards and being stuck in the past, unable to embrace the present, and now you’re making a nostalgia thread! You’re a hypocrite! A big fat hypocrite! Mr. Hypocrite Pants!!”

No, I assure you that what I’m saying is not simply laced in nostalgia. It’s not necessarily the shows and blocks themselves that I miss, but the fun and the passion that went into them, as well as the uniqueness and diversity of said shows and blocks. You just don’t see that on CN now. This is a trend that I’ve been noticing happening on CN for a while now. Somehow, it seems that the life, the vibrancy, the dazzle, the care and the passion that used to go into Cartoon Network’s bumps, their shows, their blocks, their overall presentation has dissipated over the years. Something happened along the way, and I think I know what that something is….
Now by now it’s common knowledge that I’m not a huge Adult Swim booster and I’m usually among the first to cast stones at it (no, that’s not a rock in my pocket, I promise!), but I think that there’s precedent here. As much as it pains me to say this….
“Turner Broadcasting doesn’t care about Cartoon Network!”
I know that sounds like a really spammy, trollish thing to say, but think about it. Now that Adult Swim has proven itself to be the most successful thing running on CN right now, all of its’ parent company’s praise and attention is now going into AS; CN right now is little more than an extended lead-in to Adult Swim. It would certainly explain why AS keeps getting more air space and why Cartoon Network’s current spectrum is so narrow. All of the current prime CN shows are, from my perspective, just ‘feeder’ shows for boys who will eventually transition into AS one day. I really feel like CN is no longer interested in being a general audience/ children’s network contender or competing with the likes of Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and The Hub anymore on the overall K2-11 spectrum, and are more content finding a very specific demo (boys 6-11/9-14) to target and then lure into AS – their big money maker. That’s basically all Turner talks about regarding CN in press releases. As a general animation/entertainment channel, Turner has basically given up on Cartoon Network. The only reason they don’t just make the entire channel AS is because they can’t air TV-MA shows during the day. Now things may change when new management comes in, but as it is now, Cartoon Network is little more than training ground for the junior dude-bros who will one day become Adult Swim’s audience.
On that note, I leave you with something equally disturbing:

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8 Comments

  1. While variety and passion is the spice of life, I've kind of warmed up to AS being more important to Turner. Granted, I only watch it for reruns of Family Guy (though I heard good things about Rick and Morty, and I was impressed with the episode I saw), it's clearly working for the network in the long run, and CN is still getting attention. I like Regular Show, Teen Titans Go, Clarence, and others I heard are impressive, and sometimes networks should do their own thing. My only issue is give DC Nation more attention. Let Viacom, Disney, and Hasbro duke it out, and Turner dance alone I say. But that rap song…ew.

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  2. You're right, of course. While I try to stay impartial and not allow myself to get locked into a particular era, I admit that there was a tinge of nostalgia dust in my eyes when I typed this post. I miss that era of CN, but at the same time, I understand that Cartoon Network is just that, a network and a business. I can't hate on them for airing what their audience wants them to air. It's their job to cater to what they think their biggest audience wants to see, and that's apparently what airing on there right now. In the future, it may be something else.

    In the meantime, there are other venues, such as the other children's channels, The Hub, Nick and Disney, as well as home video and the internet. (Heck, one of my favorite shows of the moment is “The Isle of Rangoon”, a web series. And it's not like Turner has completely turned its' back on CN's old fanbase; if the reports are true, then come the fall Boomerang will be remade into something closely resembling a mix of old CN and The Hub, so there's that.

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  3. Please know I wasn't trying to force to change your opinion. In all honesty, I can see where you're coming from, and I'm giving my side of the fence. If you have issues with Cartoon Network, preach them. If you prefer things that were run earlier, go on ahead. As I said, the network has flaws and some up and down years, but it could be worse. We could be in the era when Cartoon Network's Toonami was dying and on its last legs, the fugly Nood rebrand that was generic, tacky, and showed network at its blandness, and when CN Studios only had two shows in production, while the rest were Canadian acquisitions that were passable at best and unbearable at worst, and the generic live-action that were just cash-ins on reality series that were popular 5 years ago. (And keep in mind, I'm not against live-action on Cartoon Network, as long as it's a fraction of the channel; I mean, G4 had Cheaters and Cops, and Syfy had WWE, and no one complained about that.)

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  4. S'all good, man. I know you weren't trying to force me to change my opinion, truth be told I started to have second thoughts about this post minutes after I typed it. I generally try to just appreciate networks for what they are and try to look for the positives in them. CN right now isn't perfect, but there are some things worth watching on it. Again, it's not so much that I preferred earlier CN, but more like I preferred the older, more creative bumps and when they weren't so squarely targeting boys and when action cartoons received some love (generally I prefer girl-centric cartoons, “cute” cartoons and zany comedy cartoons to action-y fare, but I can still enjoy a decent action toon once in while), but overall while I do have my personal preferences, I try to avoid haterade and retro-snobbery whenever possible.

    And just for the record, I did complain about G4 airing stuff like Cheaters and Cops and SyFy airing WWE. 😉

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  5. What I found amusing was using pics of Kanye West, Dr. Smith, and Weird Al in the same post. Radical.

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  6. Actually, the dude in the glasses with the long hair is Doug Walker, internet reviewer and front-man of ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com, in character as 'Douchey McNitpick', the anal interweb nitpicker.

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  7. What you said about Cartoon Network only targeting a very specific demographic of young boys reminds me of how Disney Channel only targeted a very specific demographic of young girls. That kinda rubs me the wrong way because while I'm now in my 40's, and have watched cartoons all my life, it would be nice they had something that has more wider appeal just so I don't feel like the odd man in the room, or get turned off by my surroundings. I'm not saying 'bring back the classics', (Though I do admit to having that mindset at one point) Nor am I denying that some sows do have some outside appeal, (I'm a 'brony' by the way) but I do miss the variety, the cleverness, and passion that Cartoon Network use to have. Heck Disney Channel, while not perfect in it's past, had some variety, as well. (Maybe not the cleverness, but still) While I'm well aware that cable networks are a business, and have to progress in order to survive, it's a shame to see these networks lose the magic they once had.

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  8. I agree with the notion that all this gender-skewing is stupid and also wish that networks like Cartoon Network would become more gender neutral, but I don't see that happening anytime soon, 'cause that's not where executives' heads are at. Here's the thing: the Suits only WANT boys watching the “dude” shows and girls watching the “chick” shows. They want the segmented genders and gender-specific programming because that will make them the most money, as it's just easier to program and sell advertising space for than them actually trying to create shows that would appeal to everyone. To a CN Suit, girls watching boys' shows means that advertisers aren't happy with them for what they consider to be the wrong demographic watching their ads. On CN, girls watching a show just as much or more than boys will cause them to cancel said show, because that's not the market they want watching CN. This actually happened with CN Real's “Tower Prep”; according to executive producer Paul Dini, the show started to gain a substantial following among girl viewers, so the The Powers That Be over at CN axed the show because they only wanted boys watching TP; their argument was that “Boys buy the action figures, girls only like stuff about pink and princesses!” I agree that that sucks, but right now this is how TV and advertising works, making things for 1 gender exclusively and if the other gender is watching then that's a wasted viewer to them.

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