TV Bites With
It's Saturday Morning. Do You Know Where Your Kids Are?
by Neena Louise
I love cartons. LOVE THEM. Or, more truthfully, I used to
love them. Recently, I tuned into Saturday morning TV that used to be (not so
very long ago) riddled with a dazzling array of cartoons and kids shows. I kept
looking at the calendar to make sure it was, indeed, Saturday because what I saw
on TV didn't come close to reflecting what used to be typical for a Saturday
Prim, proper, politically correct, message-laden and BORRRRIIING cartoons
clutter the dial (well, more like sprinkle the dial). Do kids actually watch
this junk? Or, as I suspect, do they just watch it because there's nothing else
to choose from? What happened to cartoons like Looney Tunes, The
Flintstones, The Jetsons and Scooby Doo? And where did the
typical Saturday morning classic TV shows like Batman, Tarzan, Get
Smart and Lassie go? Sure, you can pretty much have what used to be a
typically kid-oriented Saturday morning if you have cable, but why should you
And, my, isn't the morning short? By 9 a.m., most networks are airing news and
home improvement shows. 9 A.M.!? Hello!??! Don't they know a lot of people (both
kids and adults) sleep in on Saturdays? I don't know a single adult who switches
on the TV at 9 a.m. on a Saturday to watch the news or to get info on how to
build a house addition in 30 minutes or less. Nor do I know a single bleary-eyed
kid that stumbles to the TV eating cereal out of the box to be enthralled by Bob
Vila or be fascinated by the latest world catastrophe.
Where did Saturday morning go? There are enough home improvement shows during
the week that they're not needed on Saturday mornings. And the news? You can't
get away from the news, so it really isn't needed on Saturday
mornings. Did the networks tire of trying to compete with cable and simply gave
up? Or is it just that the ratings for cartoons were so dismal that they figure
they might just as well run the (cheaper) news? Considering the low quality of
cartoons, the latter wouldn't surprise me, but, as I've always said: show
quality shows and the audience will follow. Show junk and people will switch to
cable and satellite. Obviously, that's not a concern for the Big Three networks.
I always thought that the Saturday morning Kidfest existed to keep kids occupied
so the adults could sleep in a bit. If I was a kid and had only this junk to
choose from, I'd be so bored I'd be jumping on Mommy and Daddy's bed at the
crack of dawn, insisting they get up and DO something. Then again, if this is
TV's idea of appropriate fare for kids, perhaps I'd rather the little tykes
learned to grout tile and keep the peace in the middle-east instead.
would love to know what you think, sound off on the
boards and let us know what you think!