Today’s kid television programs are never as good as the ones you watched in your childhood. There are few exceptions, Adventure Time is show I’m currently obsessed with and am DVRing like mad, but it can’t compete with the toons I was raised on. Batman, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; the eighties and nineties were full of such stellar animated goodness wouldn’t it be nice to revisit those years?
Discovery Communications and Hasbro (two companies we nerds have a lot to thank for) have created a new TV channel geared for children and families to watch together. It premiered last October, 10-10-10 to be exact (aren’t they clever). The Hub, available on digital cable and satellite, is a channel bringing a combination of family friendly entertainment. I know what you’re thinking, family friendly? What the hell, we’re nerdy bastards, we specialize in decidedly un-family friendly fare, but give me a chance to explain. While family friendly their programming may be it is also nerdtasticly nostalgic. Not convinced? Let’s talk about some of the gems they’re airing.
There a three cartoons I know most of you would enjoy revisiting, the original Transformers, G.I. Joe and Batman Beyond. Classics. Batman Beyond, a show I remember fondly, especially for crochety, old man Bruce, airs weekdays (Monday-Thursday) at 5:30 pm E.T. It’s perfect timing to begin watching the often overlooked DC animated show since the Batman Beyond universe now has it’s own ongoing comic book series following it’s successful mini-series last year. From what I’ve been able to catch I believe they’re airing them in order, but if not I’m sure you can piece it together. Come on, it’s a kid’s show, man.
The other two classic toons air during the Huboom block of programing. It begins at 11:30 pm, meaning this block of shows is not geared for the little ones even though nothing shown during this time slot could be viewed as offensive, unless you’re offended by bad puns and utter campiness. This block is one of the best things on weekly nighttime TV! Why? Well, for starters at 11:30 you can watch the 1960s Batman series starring Adam West and Burt Ward. I know, right! You can’t buy this show on DVD, believe me I’ve looked, so to have the chance to catch up with the dynamic duo every night is a treat. Best part? They’ll air the two-parters consecutively night to night so you can indeed tune in at the same Bat-time, same Bat-channel. Sometimes TV programmers are surprisingly brilliant.
At 12:00 and 12:30 they air the two shows that really put Hasbro on the map, Transformers and G.I. Joe. They have been many versions of these cartoons since but none have captured the true essence of a 22 minute, animated toy commercial better. Watching them again I can’t help but laugh at the stupid plots, cheesy dialogue and sometime atrocious animation. But it doesn’t matter, my heart warms every time I hear, “Yo, Joe!” or “Autobots, roll out!”
In addition to great cartoons The Hub has been adding a lot of live action shows you might remember fondly as well, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, The Wonder Years and Doogie Howser M.D. It’s like Nick at Nite all over again! These shows begin at 8pm and play until Huboom starts.
I’m really enjoying the new channel but I’m also a cartoon connoisseur so I’m not very objective. Anyone out there going to tune in and relive their childhood Saturday mornings? To learn if you’re cable or satellite provides The Hub visit www.hubworld.com.