The internet has been sprinkled this week with nostalgic “remember when” pieces about the glory days of Saturday morning cartoons. I can only assume if you look around the web enough you will find authors and their readers swaying, hand in hand, reminiscing on their childhoods and singing Kumbaya, lamenting “the end of an era” and passing around Kleenex. I, too, remember enjoying Saturday cartoons as a kid. Yet, here I stand, among the mourners, dry eyed and grateful to live in the future.
Last Saturday CW aired for the last time what it was calling its Vortexx programming block that included shows like Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dragon Ball Z, and The Spectacular Spider-Man. They will be replacing this block with “One Magnificent Morning” programming that is 100% educational. This means that now shows such as Expedition Wild, Dog Whisperer, and Rock the Park can be enjoyed by families everywhere on Saturday morning.
Okay, I honestly have no idea what any of those shows are about, and admittedly they do sound awful, particularly when they’re replacing superheroes. However, I am not here to convince you the new line up is superior to the old one. I am simply saying that it doesn’t matter. Before the Kleenex passing turns to pitchfork carrying and I am forced to run away, let me just say I did love Saturday morning cartoons as a child. I watched the Smurfs, I loved Gummi Bears, and my first superhero memories are watching X-men with my dad. You know what I did not love? Having to get up early on Saturday mornings to catch them. I also hated that if my parents had plans I missed a week of X-men with no way of watching what I had missed.
I think that cartoons are amazing. I spent 3 hours watching Batman Beyond last Sunday afternoon because I’m an adult and I can spend my time how I like, but also because cartoons should not be limited to Saturday mornings. I should not be forced to watch what the networks tell me to when the networks tell me to. Thanks to modern technology, guess what? I don’t have to! We live in a time when you can watch whatever you like, whenever you want to! Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and the other entertainment gods who live in the cloud (aka internet) have made this possible, and to them I give thanks. Saturday Morning Cartoons died a natural death brought on by the fact that we no longer need them. We now have the ability to watch cartoons day or night, any day of the week, and even marathon them if we so desire, and isn’t that better?