Guy Hamdon is an average twelve-year-old boy cartoon character with a skateboard, pesky siblings, and a superhero alter ego. That alter ego happens to be a female superhero named SheZow. On the Hub network's new cartoon series of the same name, Guy shouts the magic phrase "You go, girl!" and gleans superhuman strength and speed, plus a skirt, go-go boots, and a hot pink shapeshifting car.
I'm looking back to my '90s cartoon education for this edition of Pop Pedestal, where we celebrate pop culture characters we admire. This week is all about Reggie Rocket, the rad-girl sister I wish I had from Nickelodeon's Rocket Power.
What time is it? Time to get to the bottom of what happened between Adventure Time's Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the Vampire Queen! Before I lose anyone who isn't a fan of this irreverent, Cartoon Network show, a recent episode alluded to a complex, queer relationship between two of the older, female characters on the show. But you know what happens when complex, queer relationships make their way to mainstream television...
Television stations in the US are required by FCC regulations to have a minimum of three hours a week of "educational programming" aimed at children. This actually began in the 90s, and initially television stations met the requirements by having little life lessons tacked on to their various cartoons. Some of you may recall very peppy "Sailor Moon Says!" segments, or "Knowing is half the battle!" from G.I. Joe. Other "edutainment" shows baked the lesson right into the text, such as Captain Planet and the Planeteers (pollution is bad, environment is good, go Captain Planet!) and Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? (geography and fighting crime!). More recently, FCC regulations have tightened up a bit, and shows need to do a bit more than say "Drugs are bad, m'kay?" to quality for an E/I rating, but we still have a good decade of important "educational" cartoon shows to look at and consider the life lessons we're to learn!
So, what can watching cartoons teach us about people who are crazy? Oh, lots of fun things!
If there's one show I watched as a kid (other than Star Trek) that made me the nerd I am today, that show was The Magic School Bus, with its accompanying series of books. In MSB, Ms. Frizzle's class was a utopia where learning was literally a magical experience. Starting on PBS, it has also had stints of syndication on NBC, Qubo, TLC, and The Discovery Channel, making it the longest-running children's science show to date.
Today, I conclude my comparative review of South Park and Family Guy. This is the last part of a four-part series (one, two, three for your convenience) called the Offensive Olympics. These shows are both notable for their propensity to rely on political shock value and the oppression of marginalized bodies to make their jokes, so I am investigating which is worse, and on which axis.
Saturday morning cartoons was a rite of passage for many of us growing up in the USA in the 1980s. Smurfs, Transformers and even the WWF cartoon was on the docket each weekend. Yes, each of them were platforms for selling us cereal and toys, but it still stinks.