Goodbye, Saturday morning cartoons – you had a good run. This past weekend marked the first time in more than half a century that not a single TV broadcast network aired a block of cartoons. Amid the nostalgic outcry from Generation X, I find myself wondering just what the big deal is. Kids today can watch cartoons whenever and just about wherever they want, and as far as I’m concerned, Saturday morning cartoons are more than ready to retire to the Smithsonian next to the Muppets and Julie Newmar’s Catwoman costume.
Sure, I loved Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Real Ghostbusters, Muppet Babies? You bet your ass I was parked in front of the TV at 8:00 AM sharp, cereal and toast in hand and eyes glazed wonderfully over. But you know what would have been even better than two uninterrupted hours of delicious weekly cartoon brain-rot? The ability to shuffle that two hours to whenever I wanted it: preferably to some hour of the afternoon.
With Sunday church, Saturday was my one chance as a kid to sleep way, way in, and I almost never did, because what if I missed something important on Garfield and Friends? The advent of streaming video from Netflix, Hulu, and the rest would have been a dream come true just for their ability to give me awesome cartoons on top of the option to sleep in for once without feeling like I was missing something. Add in the opportunity to pause the television to go refill my bowl of super-sugary cereal and grab a second Pop-Tart, and I probably would have sold my little seven-year-old soul. Our kids aren’t missing out on an important childhood tradition; they’ve really just traded up in a major way.
Fellow parents born in the 1980s, please don’t mourn the loss of Saturday morning cartoons. Instead, be grateful that this is one less reason you might get woken up at seven o’clock on a weekend morning by a tiny person who is absolutely certain that you need to make her scrambled eggs and toast RIGHT NOW or she’s going to miss Darkwing Duck oh my god Mom what are you doing don’t you know what time it is?! After putting in plenty of night duty when your babies were babies, you’ve more than earned your weekend sleep. Don’t keep yourself awake crying over spilled Saturday-morning-breakfast-cereal milk. Besides, we’ve never liked it when the Boomers rant and rave about how much better things used to be back when they were children. Save yourself the time and energy of buying a ticket for a ride on that particular nostalgia train. And if you really have to start a cartoon-related sentence to your kids with “Back in my day,” make sure you finish it with, “I would have sold your uncle to a pack of wandering vagrants for the opportunity to fast-forward through commercials.”
(Image: matka_Wariatka / Shutterstock)