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May 3, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]


“Hannah Montana isn’t making another season? Thank you God!”

Procrastinating turned to panic this morning when I found myself twitching at the table, furiously scribbling lecture notes from March ahead of an afternoon test. It was 6am and after an hour, I abandoned my attempt at studying for children’s television programming. And what a waste of time that was. Where did all my beloved animated series go? Here’s a few select children’s series from the nineties you won’t find on TVNZ:

The Magic School Bus:
Let’s start with Ms Frizzle and her pet Iguana, Liz. The Magic School Bus went everywhere, from the prehistoric ages to inside a scab on that whiney kid Arnold’s knee. Children were immersed in an age where science ruled. Jesus, that horrible sitcom Friends has screened on TV2 endlessly for over a decade. And they axe the School Bus? Not cool, TVNZ, not cool at all.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe:
I almost had the power over the summer when I contemplated buying the DVD box set. Think about it: He-Man and Battle Cat versus Skeletor and Beastman at Castle Grayskull? Why would you ever want to leave your house? Your life will pale in comparison to their awesomeness. Give up… Just give up.

Captain Planet:
Earth, Viiiind, Fire, Water, and ‘Heart’ (honestly, was he really that important?) all combined to bring us a large blue man who, according to Wikipedia, had the ability to control the elements, telepathically speak to his minions, and was “nearly invincible”. That’s right, children. Captain Planet is God. Let’s be proud at least one of our childhood heroes has achieved deity status.

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
No really, where the fuck is she? Thanks to DOSBox, I’m now cursing the fact I can’t find her! As a gumshoe at the ACME Detective Agency, her gang of misfit criminals have spent the last half an hour running me all over Hong Kong, Berlin, and some other place I forgot existed. While the television series Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? has most of us hooked, for a lot of kids it was the computer game we yelled at.

Sesame Street:
When I was your age, Cookie Monster actually ate cookies, Oscar the Grouch was still a nasty bastard, and 12 was the highest number we could count to thanks to a pinball machine. What have you got? A vegetarian cookie monster and a muppet who is HIV-positive. Please, don’t tell me how to get to Sesame Street.

Of course, it goes without saying that several shows have been missed. The nineties was a fairly epic decade for children’s television, we can hardly do it justice. But sit yourself down one morning and take a look at the CGI Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the latest wave of the anime invasion, and those squeaky-voiced child actors who must be related to someone famous to have landed that role. Now look closer…

Because Carmen Sandiego is probably in there somewhere.


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