Friday, December 18, 2009

Bad Saturday Morning Cartoons

One thing you'll almost never hear me talk about is how much better Saturday morning kid's shows were in "my day".

With a few exceptions (Pee Wee's Playhouse comes to mind), Saturday morning television was almost always a con, a tie-in, or a bitter disappointment. (And still is, from what I can see).

Case in point - an animated version of Happy Days called The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang added time-travel, a talking dog, and Cupcake - the girl from the future - to the mix. It had none of the charm of the prime-time original, and the voice actors (Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, and Donny Most) all sounded like they were reading their lines at gunpoint.

Too often, the shows were just blatantly exploiting a current fad to get attention. How else to explain Rubik, the Amazing Cube - part of (get this) The Pac Man/Rubik, The Amazing Cube Hour on ABC.

In this show, when the Rubik's cube puzzle is solved - it turns into a magical alien (or something) with a cube for a body. Menudo sang the theme song, and the show had a "Hispanic" flavor - with a cast of Latino characters. It also had Hispanic ratings, and was canceled after one dreadful season.