A few weeks ago, I woke up early on a Saturday morning and turned on the TV to provide some background noise while I had the delusion of being productive. I’m not certain what exactly I was thinking, but I decided to look at the guide to see what cartoons the networks had on Saturday mornings these days. It had been a long time since I had last checked. Apparently, it had been a really long time. The broadcast networks had a whole lot of nothing. By saying nothing, I’m not saying that they had nothing worth watching, they just had no cartoons. It was all lame, boring news programs. Eventually, there was some educational programs between 10 and noon, but that’s not what I wanted.
I can remember as a child, my brother and I would always wake up fairly early on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons. There’d always be doughnuts for breakfast. On special days, it’d be doughnuts from a bakery, rather than the pre-packaged ones from the grocery. My brother and I had a rotation on who got to pick out which shows would get watched, because all the broadcast networks had something on. He was 3.5 years younger, but we generally agreed on what we liked. The exception I remember was Pee Wee’s Playhouse. He loved the show, but I hated it.
I don’t bring all of this up to explore how we got from there to here. I have theories, but that’s a topic for a different time. I bring this up because as I was going through the guide a few Saturdays ago, I had a yearning for that time. Not having cable didn’t keep us from enjoying shows on the weekend. (The disappearance of after school cartoons on the broadcast networks has also saddened me.) I don’t normally get very nostalgic, but I did here. It convinced me to revisit an idea I had had in the past. Now, as much as I would love to bring cartoons back to network television, there are several hurdles in my way. I don’t manage programming, and I don’t own an animation studio. What I do have is a blog and other writers that love older cartoons as much as I do. So, here’s what we are going to do.
Every Saturday morning, starting on February 3 (this Saturday), one of the writers here will feature an episode of one of their favorite cartoons. Not necessarily something that was on Saturday mornings, but I can’t remember TV schedules from my childhood to know for certain. That week’s writer will recap the episode, and give their thoughts on it. That’s the basic template, with each writer free to dive into the show as much as they choose. Some weeks it may be an expansive journey through the content. Some weeks it may be more of a nudge with the elbow encouraging you to check this out.
So please check that out. Leave comments on what you think, suggestions on things you’d like to see.