I sat down with my bowl of cereal in front of the idiot box with enough time for me to catch an odd cartoon or two before leaving for the distressing reality of college life. I flipped through the channels in the hope of finding something that would compensate for the dowdiness of the coming day (I could sense it, can’t we all?). I finally stopped at Nickelodeon in the anticipation of coming across one of ‘em good old toons I expected them to air all the time, but what I did come across instead was ‘Perman’, some silly wannabe kid trying to play superhero rip-off. Ugh, I mean what kind of a name is that? Perman! Where did the ‘Super’ go anyway? Part plagiarism I say! And where’s the moral in the story? The same frantic questions were directed to my friends the very same day and pat came the reply, “What morals? They’re cartoons; they’re ‘supposed’ to be stupid!” Or are they? That’s when I realized how the old Nick and all other cartoon channels have slowly lost its charm, how the good old days of what I call genuinely creative animated motion work have given way to shallow disfigured blabbering bits of nothing. And all Nick fans would agree. We grew up on Nick in the India of the 90s, it taught us kids what the world around us then didn’t. When globalization was still a new deal and parental advice never extended beyond coming first in class, Nick came to our rescue. Some would call it the discovery of a better life beyond.
While Legends of the Hidden Temple scared the hell out of us courtesy the temple guards every time and ensured us kiddos knew everything about world history by the time the game ended, others found their zeal for adventure and sportsmanship around the world via Global Guts. And while Kenan & Kel’s bloopers, All That and The Amanda Show reigned as the epitome of coolness; Spongebob Squarepants and The Rugrats just took you to another world altogether. Ah and who can forget the oh so hung up Helga and the wild grandfolks of Hey Arnold, The Wild Thornberrys and Clarissa Explains It All (courtesy whom most of us learnt what animal rights, origins of witchcraft in England and onomatopoeia were by the age of twelve thankyouverymuch). And for the potentially insane, a dose of Rocko’s Modern Life and the wild escapades of Ren & Stimpy always did the trick. Thus needless to say, today’s ‘stupid’ cartoons ever repeating themselves without an aim just don’t measure up. I have since signed endless online petitions to get the Old Nick back, and hope it comes springs back up again just like it vanished one day. To Nick-aa-loo-deon!
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