Let the 1990s Go, Already!

Hey, remember the 1990’s?

Duuuuude! The 90’s were AWESOME! Cartoons like X-Men, Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, Doug, Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy and the Disney Afternoon were TOTALLY RADICAL TO THE MAX!!!
 
Yeah, that was a pretty great decade for cartoons, wasn’t it? But let me clue you in on a little secret about the 1990’s. SPOILERS…..
……..They’re over now.
Today, Twinsanity would like to speak to all of the 90’s Kids out there. Those folks who, when asked how channels like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Disney Channel can improve themselves, inevitably pipe in with “They should just cancel all of that new crap and bring back the 90’s shows!” and make ranting YouTube videos shouting “I want my Nickelodeon back!” or “We want old Cartoon Network back!” To these individuals, we offer this little piece of advice. Five simple words which we feel will be beneficial to you yourselves, but to everyone around you and the TV networks you love as well:
LET THE 1990’S GO ALREADY!

We’re continually amazed when we hear or read teens and young adults saying that kids’ channels (most notably Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network) should abandon all of their current programming and only air the shows from their 1990s schedules.

“Seriously? An’ people say I’M goofy! A-hyuk!”
 
These fans don’t seem to realize just how wacky that idea sounds. The very idea that a 24/7 cable channel could survive in today’s market by staying locked in a single era for all eternity is laughably absurd. How are Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon supposed to evolve and succeed if you waste their time slots and waste space with shows that have been run countless times, literally everyone knows about, everyone has seen at least a zillion times, everyone can buy on DVD or Blu-ray and everyone can watch on a different channel or online? Time is a fast moving industry that slows down for no-one. What these people don’t seem to realize is that networks like Nickelodeon, CN, Disney Channel and The Hub are tailored for kids, not adult nostalgia buffs. What they also fail to realize is that in order to move forward ad keep success going, new and original content is necessary. Statements such as “I want my old (fill-in-the-blank channel) back!” or “Only air the 90s shows!” annoy me, because doing so would be ratings suicide because today’s kids are more interested in their shows, which is not to suggest that some kids wouldn’t watch them, but the kids’ demos have always been stronger for the current shows over the canceled reruns. Network executives know that a current airing of Phineas & Ferb will put more butts into seats than a 30 year old rerun of Gummi Bears would.
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And what sort of egotistical, delusional butt head would say something like this un-ironically?
“The only reason why kids prefer their shows is because they haven’t seen the good ones. If kids saw the older cartoons, they’d like them more.”
 
if-my-calculations-are-correct-youre-an-idiot
 
 
Do you have a source for this claim? I mean, besides the ass that you pulled it out of? Using this logic, then the shows from your parents’ time are automatically better than they shows that you grew up with. Honestly, the “old shows = good, new shows = bad” argument doesn’t make sense to me at all, because every era has/had good shows and bad shows. A TV show isn’t automatically bad because it’s new, nor was every TV show from the past automatically a classic. Some TV shows were either forgettable or were garbage even when they were first run, and said shows haven’t improved any 2 or 3 decades later. Waynehead wasn’t a good show when it debuted on Kids’ WB back in 1996, and even now, the worst episode of Regular Show is still better than the best episode of Waynehead.
Another thing people who make statements like the above fail to take into account is that today’s kids actually like today’s cartoons. Imagine if the 90’s Kids got their wish and the Big Four kids’ cable networks did remove all of their current shows and only ran the 90’s stuff all day:
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Kid: Hey, what happened to Sanjay and Craig?
Parents: Oh, we went out to Nickelodeon Studios with picket signs and sent them angry emails and boycotted their network until they promised to get rid of all of those new shows. Now Nick only carries Doug, Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy, Clarissa Explains it All and Hey, Dude all day. Enjoy!
Kid: But I liked Sanjay and Craig! That was my favorite show!
Parents: Kill that noise! Sanjay and Craig is a terrible show! It wasn’t on when we were kids, so it obviously sucks! Now you’ll watch the 8-hour Doug marathon and like it!!
 ****************************************************
Are you seriously so narcissistic that you honestly believe that kids would instantly glom onto the 20+ year old shows that you grew up with and think that they’re better than the shows that they enjoy watching now? To be fair, some might like them almost as much, or just as much, but most of them would still want the Breadwinners, Clarence, Finn and Jake, Mordecai and Rigby, Uncle Grandpa, Blythe Baxter, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Phineas and Ferb and the gang from Gravity Falls back. While some kids do indeed have some appreciation for older shows, by and large kids generally prefer the current stuff of their generation to the stuff of previous generations.
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There’s another little detail that these nostalgiatards seem to be overlooking: that 20 years ago, there were people who were saying the exact same things about their generation of cartoons that they’re saying about the current one. Back in the 90’s, there were folks nerd-raging about how Cartoon Network needed to get rid of the Craptoon-Craptoons like that gawdawful Johnny Bravo, that ghastly Cow & Chicken, those repulsive Eds, those stupid Powerpuff Girls and that immoral, hedonistic Toonami trash and go back to the “good ole days” of being the Hanna-Barbera Reruns channel and just showing Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, Bugs and Daffy all day like God and nature intended. This is precisely why I don’t take stock in nostalgic fan-wanking: most nostalgia boils down to: “(This current show) is so stupid! It’s nowhere near as good as (this other older show which was just as stupid but I love it because it was a part of my childhood)!”
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Then there’s this statement that I read regarding Warner Brothers animation:
“Maybe Steven Spielberg should come back”
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Nice thought, but it’s both short-sighted and unrealistic. First, there were many talented people responsible for Warner Brothers’ Silver Age: Tom Ruegger, Paul Dini, Paul Rugg, Sherri Stoner, Deanna Oliver, Bruce Timm, James Tucker, the late Dwayne MacDuffie, to name only a few, so it’s illogical to credit only one person as being responsible for an entire era of programming. Second, love your optimism, but you’re not going to invite Steven Spielberg to work with WB again and suddenly everything is going to magically return to the way that it was in 1991. I enjoyed the Silver Age WB shows also, but that era is over, and nothing can resurrect it. The above notion is just as realistic as suggesting that Quincy Jones return to Motown so that studio can go back to the way it was in the 1960s. One can’t make another Silver Age any more than one could make another Woodstock* (by which I mean the 3 day music festival of 1969, not Snoopy’s bird pal).
*And before anyone points this out, I’m aware that a Woodstock II was tried a couple of decades ago, but while the original Woodstock was the bringing together of an entire generation, Woodstock II was nothing more than a pathetic cash grab that came and went with barely a thought and you’ll also notice that to date there hasn’t been a Woodstock III.
You can’t artificially re-create a Golden or Silver Age. They just happen, and lightning rarely strikes twice. You can’t just go to Liverpool, round up 4 guys, give them mop-top hairdos, teach them how to sing and play instruments, ship them over to America and declare them the new Beatles. There will never be another Beatles. There may be other successful British bands, some may even possess huge talent, but they still won’t be the Beatles. Only the Beatles will ever be the Beatles. Hollywood tried to create New Monkees once, and we all saw how that turned out:
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Young Cutup on the Street: I think the New Monkees should be a heavy metal Monkee, a New Wave Monkee, a dentist Monkee and a Rabbi Monkee. Yuk-yuk!
MTV Reporter: Look, if you’re not going to take this seriously, I’m out. (Tosses aside his mike and walks away)
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Another tired practice which needs to cease is the nonstop whining to bring all of the 90’s shows back with new episodes. “Bring back Johnny Bravo!” “Bring back Powerpuff Girls!” “Bring back Hey, Arnold!!” “Bring back Jimmy Neutron!” Guess what? Rob Paulsen is working again: he’s currently the voice of Donatello on Nick’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. And guess what else? Warner Bros. is working on a new animated series starring Bugs Bunny titled Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production. You’d think the 90’s kids would be happy about these things, but nooooooo! All we hear in response is “NO! WB should be reviving Animaniacs and Rob should be voicing Yakko and Pinky again! I don’t care about Wabbit unless Buster and Babs and Taz’s family from Taz-Mania are going to be in it! Where’s our new Animaniacs revival? Where are our new Tiny Toons episodes? Where’s that mega-Animaniacs/Tiny Toons crossover show that WB never actually said they’d make, but we’ve all concocted in our heads and have declared on the internet that they must make??!?” Do you honestly think that WB can just say, “Dude, we’re getting the band back together!” and round up all of those same voice actors, writers, producers, directors and animators from all of the separate lives and projects that they’re working on now and just resume the show and it’ll be exactly as it was before? I think a more feasible solution would be to take just some of those characters, like just the Warners or just Slappy Squirrel or just Rita and Runt and spin them off into separate individual series.

But let’s play devil’s advocate here for a second and assume that WB did decide to make a new Animaniacs. I can guarantee that all of the same people who were crying to get the show back would within weeks, days, be ranting on the internet about how much the new A! sucks, how it’s not the same as before and how WB ruined their childhoods. Do you know how I know this would be the case? Because it’s the same thing that happened when CN revived Dexter’s Lab with different art and animation, no Genndy Tartakovsky, Candi Milo replacing Christine Cavanaugh (who retired from voice acting) as Dexter and a bunch of Mandark, Mom and Dad cartoons. It’s the same thing that happened when Xiaolin Showdown was brought back as Xiaolin Chronicles, with nearly all of the characters having different voices and the addition of the character Ping-Pong, aka the Cousin Oliver of the Xiaolin Showdown franchise. It’s the same thing that happened when Teen Titans was brought back as Teen Titans GO!, with the same voice actors as the original but completely different in tone and visual style. It’s the same thing that happened when CN gave you those 2 post-cancellation Powerpuff Girls specials (the 2nd one of which was minus creator Craig McCracken) that everybody complained were too fast-paced and looked and sounded too different from the original show. Well, guess what? YOU wanted all of those shows back and they gave them to you. Like the old Toyota commercials used to say: You asked for it, you got it. Now choke on it!

 “I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. Now go eh-way or I shall taunt yew a second time!”
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And then there are requests like the following:

“I think that Warner Brothers and DC Animation should make another season of Teen Titans. Just one more season, to wrap things up.”

C'mon Man!

Haven’t you had enough? Teen Titans was supposed to end after 4 seasons, but due to fans’ requests, you got 5 seasons and a made for TV movie! And I don’t want to hear some WB executive say “Well, we were going to make a new Superman animated series, as well as a Super Best Friends Forever animated series, but titanfan 4 eva11!!! wanted a 6th season of Teen Titans, so the aforementioned DC animated projects have been pushed back to late 2016.” If you just want to see TT’s loose ends tied up (whatever those “loose ends” might happen to be), then a Teen Titans: TAS comic book series, prime-time special or a DTV would be a better idea, I think.

To sum up: were the ‘toons of the 90’s awesome? Yes, of course they were. No doubt. But does that mean that we should try to ram the 90’s cartoons down the throats of today’s youth and scream to them that our cartoons were better and theirs aren’t worth jack? No, dude, just no. It’s a simple equation, folks: we should just let this generation enjoy what they enjoy, while we enjoy what we enjoy. Is that so unreasonable?

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5 Comments

  1. Goldstar, it's like this. That generation of kids never grew up. Their generation's sort of like a real-life Never-Never Land. They're afraid of trying something fresh & new. We're older, and we get the picture. Trying to mentor these 20-somethings on today's product is near impossible.

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  2. The thing of it is, I actually wouldn't be against the idea of a reboot or update of a 1990s cartoon series, provided that a) rebooting old shows wasn't all that the networks were doling, and b) if said reboot/update were actually good. Unfortunately, most “new” versions of TV shows only serve to remind us of how much better the original series were.

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  3. While I'd be lying if I said I didn't find it annoying, and I never understood why people spend so much dedication hating on…anything, it isn't that big of a deal. Let's be honest, around your teenage/young adult years you, Silverstar, or someone you knew was complaining about Thundercats and G.I. Joe, and how Hong Kong Phooey and George of the Jungle were the best shows ever. And in 2024, 19-year olds on TV.com will complain about the new cartoon airing and talking about how great Sanjay and Craig and Clarence were. And before we were bombarded with “WASN'T XIAOLIN SHOWDOWN GREAT?!!?”, people were hating on shows around 2004. And if it really does bother you, you can just ignore it; don't respond, don't insult, just let them do whatever they want; they'll grow out of it one day, they'll learn the world wasn't perfect when they were a kid, and that there's more important things than whatever Nickelodeon's farted out.

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  4. That is SO true in live-action, as witnessed by the failures of reboots of Bionic Woman, Night Stalker, Knight Rider, Kojak, Ironside, & Charlie's Angels, all within the last several years. As for animated reboots, you'd need to have people involved who are not only passionate about the product, but cognizant of the fanbase as well. It's a slippery slope that is difficult to climb, as we all know.

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  5. Ian

    “2 post-cancellation Craig McCracken-less Powerpuff Girls specials”? Wasn't McCracken involved with the first one? I kind of liked that one, even if it felt too long.

    Like

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