Cynicism in kids' shows
Has it gone too far?
Do you think kids' shows have become too cynical?
Back in the day, all kids' shows were optimistic and always had good triumph over evil, but somewhere in the late 90s or early 00s they started inserting more and more cynicism to the point where it can be argued it's gone too far.
Yes, in Tom & Jerry a lot of the time Tom was abused by Jerry for no reason, but I don't think that was intentional cynicism. They were just thinking "The viewers know Tom is an asshole by now, so we can just save time and not set that up."
The earliest show I can think of to include bits of cynicism was The Weekenders. The show was mostly optimistic, but there were a few episodes where things ended badly for people who didn't deserve it.
Some notable examples of cynicism in kids' shows:
Several episodes of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (You know which ones)
Any Dan Schneider sitcom
Post-movie SpongeBob SquarePants6
I dont know what kind of problem you have with cartoons being to different from the past days now but geez beside the fact that we all allready know what you think about it isnt it allready time to like .... NOT discuss this any further? I mean we got dozen of threads for this anyway, cartoons are cartoons are cartoons, sure the tastes have changed and the animation is different and maybe the moralic point isnt what it used to be, but theres allways the solution to just switch the TV set off and read a damn book or watch recorded episodes of your favorits back in the days. Theres allways a way out of a misery and in this case its NOT to constantly moan about how different todays shows are.11
I think any trace of contrived cynicism is a sure sign that the show creators hate their job. I mean, if a bunch of network executives forced you to make more episodes of SpongeBob when you clearly intended it to end, wouldn't you project your feelings into the cartoon, not caring if you were fired?1
My parents let me watch too much Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and now I make my parents go out of their way to do what I want so I can be entertained! They told me it was bad for me but... I didn't listen!
Wacky Delly is beyond cynical. The sausage outright declares his hatred of baloney and the cheese hints that everyone else is inferior to him. Plus that gruesome meat loaf murder scene doesn't help the nature at all.
The 10 minutes of mayo, however, is a pure and wholesome program that children's TV doesn't see enough of.22
But I have to admit.
Kids certainly are missing out on some things.
Now some people here are already aware of my distaste of shows such as Regular Show and Adventure Time. Now I have no problem with fans of those shows or anything, but from what I've seen of them (admittedly not a lot, because hey, why watch something you don't like?), they aren't exactly something they little kids should be watching on a regular basis.
They should watch better cartoons like David the Gnome.
I'm not even sure what I'm saying right now.
But the point is, we've come to the point where parents don't think Disney movies are child-friendly, but are perfectly willing to let their children listen to Ke$sha or whatever it is.6
- Kon said:
Am I doing it right?
No no, I think you're confusing "cynicism" with "trying too hard to be funny" and "terrible writing".
Really though, why does it matter? Shows have always been cynical; well, all of the good ones, anyway. It's just a matter of whether or not the writers actually know how to tell a good story. Moral Orel for example, possibly the most cynical show in existence, is also one of the most groundbreaking and incredible shows I've ever had the pleasure of watching.8
I don't mind discussing cartoons because I have a general interest in them and one day I hope to get in the animation business or have have some role in it.
I do mind when it seems some people take these things a bit too seriously, like thinking they can corrupt our youth or get mad when a cartoon character gets shit for seemingly no reason or some other stupid bullshit.7
However, the Cocoa Pebbles commercials truly were the most beautiful cartoons, for it was able to reappropriate the dated source material by shifting the focus to Barney's addition thus adding a new layer of depth and social commentary in a post-crack-cocaine and meth society.14
- KlausTheWizard said:
donkey kong country was pretty optimistic
even after you cease to exist, you can plead to be sent back so you can set things straight
That was pretty clever. It's another It's a Wonderful Life parody, but this time, he convinces the guy to actually make him exist again without learning a lesson. Because Donkey Kong fucks all expectations.8