Okay, so I should have been in a bed a few hours ago. But my dad is coming from out of town for lunch, and by the time that last post was finished it was a little too late to logically be able to go to bed and also assume that I can wake up in time.
And no, I’m not neglecting my NaNo. Is my word count where it should be if there were weekly progress reports: fuck no. But there aren’t any weekly progress reports except the ones I set for myself. More or less. Inbound pressures of a positive and loving nature are abound, for certain, but I don’t need to feel too bad. It’s moving forward again, if slowly, and that’s something.
So I’m here to fill your bloghole on this Saturday morning. With what, you ask?
Cartoons, obviously. But not just any cartoons. Today I want to talk about First Generation NickToons.
Now, if I wanted to be an absolute purist, I would have to post the first post tonight and it would have to be about SNICK. And then another post tomorrow morning for the actual NickToons to more adequately conform to the appropriate time scheduling.
But fuck that I’m gonna condense it down to one post because, wait for it…
I remember the actual first SNICK lineup when NickToons aired.
Doug/Rugrats/Ren And Stimpy/Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Oh yeah, the pilots for the original NickToons lineup originally aired on SNICK. And let me be the first to say that the first few seasons of Are you Afraid? were off the chain. After the first week, I BELIEVE the lineup became Clarissa Explains it All/Ren and Stimpy/Roundhouse/Are You Afraid of the Dark? but according to the wiki the latter was the pure original lineup. Yes, I cheated and checked the internet. I’d say sue me, but instead I’ll say screw you because one should always utilize a resource to check a statement if it’s a possibility.
Now, Clarissa was an amazing show, and it springboarded Melissa Joan Hart into Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which aired in some of the late Family Matters/Boy Meets World/Step By Step generations of TGIF on ABC. Melissa is now, in case you were wondering, starring along side “Whoa”-y Lawrence on a show called Melissa and Joey, a sort of modern-day Who’s the Boss? that, while a little ham-handed, is actually kind of delightful. It’s less jaded and cynincal than New Adventures of Old Christine.
Which brings me to Roundhouse. Knowing about this show is enough to get you into my good graces. I’m serious. I’ve become friends with people simply because I mentioned Roundhouse and they reacted. All That was good. The first cast especially, but I have a soft spot for Danny T. of Pete and Pete fame, which was another Nick favorite of mine in the 90s. But Roundhouse was a little less polished, very theatre troupe-y with easily modular set pieces and minimalist props. And it felt more like a performance that was being filmed than a TV show that had a live audience.
That having been said. “Welcome to Good Burger home of the good burger can I take your order?”
Now let’s get to the milk and cereal of this post. The goddamn cartoons. Doug. Oh man. Doug. There just aren’t words for how I feel about this show. I still whistle/hum/scat the theme song at work. A perfect slice of awkward 90’s pre-teen angst and daydreaming.
Rugrats is a little easier to talk about because its more of an ensemble. Yes Tommy is the main protagonist of the show, but the other characters are never necessarily overshadowed by him. If nothing else, the characterizations and the attention to phenotypical visualizations were so amazingly congruent, even across the extraneous spin-offs and films. And there’s such a rich variety of characters all playing off each other with an agility that isn’t even found in some intelligent adult sitcoms now.
Man I miss Frasier. Shut up, it’s fucking Shakespearean. [endorsement pending] The majority of the humor and language are “high society” and very stuffed-shirt, as a good portion of the interactions tend to be between Frasier and someone a lot of the time. And yet there are pockets of low humor, typically provided through Daphne and Martin, though more purely sexualized or slut-shaming humor is generally directed at Roz, since as a love interest for Niles Daphne needs to remain in a more of less positive light in regards to the sexual-morality paradox. There’s even a dog. The humor is never necessarily all that obscure or subtle, the situations are funny regardless, but they are provided in a much more high-fashioned way, with a few cheap laughs thrown in for the penny seats.
And oh…Ren and Stimpy, right. I’ll be honest, a lot of Ren and Stimpy is a very garbled mess of very bright colors and sounds and just insanity. Also Powdered Toast Man. and Log. And Don’t Whiz on the Electric Fence. An audio cassette was released at some point with all the songs. Oh yeah I had that.
A DJ friend of mine we shall, for reasons known to…whoever needs to know…shall be called Mr. Mustachio…likes to run psytrance mixes as background music to muted Ren and Stimpy episodes that he occasionally unmutes to add some audio crazy to the mix. Because the visual crazy isn’t enough I guess.
In all fairness its pretty badass. If your skull doesn’t implode like a Nazi opening the Ark of the Covenant.