I’m back after a week of recuperating and trying to get ahead. Honestly it was just as busy as any other week, but without anything being published to the website. I’m glad you stuck around though and are back for another Weekly Blog. I’m hoping to make up for last week with a week full of new pieces so continue to come back and check them out as they are published. I still have a lot to do in the following weeks, but I’m hoping that doesn’t affect the amount that is published. Just in case it does, at least I gave you some warning. I want to reiterate how much I appreciate all your views, likes, comments, and general support. I love hearing from everyone and getting feedback (both positive and negative) so I can continue to grow the website, grow the viewer base, and build a community here on the website. So thank you again for your continuing support and if you like this, I hope you check out the rest of the website and the other pieces published here.
Now this week I want to talk about something that may have been left to the wayside among all the other important news going on in the world. In this crazy world of Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and rising tension between the United States and North Korea, some of you might of forgot to focus on things like reboots of 90s TV shows. So if you don’t know, let me inform you what is going on in the world. In July 2014 it was announced that Cartoon Network was bringing back The Powerpuff Girls. The reaction to this decision was mixed with a lot of people upset that they were bringing back the 90s cartoon without the original voice actors working on it. The new Powerpuff Girls premiered in April 2016 and received average views amongst critics and was roasted online by fans of the original show. All of the people who had grown up in the 1990s watching the original Powerpuff Girls were upset about the original voice actors being replaced, the drop in quality, and overall characterization of characters they grew up watching. This hate for the show seemed to sizzle out until recently when it was announced that a fourth Powerpuff Girl was being added to the show, named Blisstina or Bliss.
This new Powerpuff girl is African American (unlike her Caucasian “Sisters”), has purple eyes, and blue hair. This brought out a whole wave of people complaining about Politically Correct Culture and how it’s ruining everything including their childhood. This outrage then grew further when it was revealed that Bliss was created by Professor Utonium 10 years before creating Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup while trying to beat out a rival professor to create the perfect child. This differs from his reasoning to create the original Powerpuff Girls which was he wanted a family. So Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup were created out of love while Bliss was created out of a competition. This had people upset. There was also backlash because the first Black Powerpuff girl was someone who had problems controlling her powers and could be seen as stereotyping People of Color as temperamental and not in control of their emotions. Basically the whole internet was blowing up and mad at Cartoon Network over the reboot of The Powerpuff Girls and this new Powerpuff Girl: Bliss.
Let’s compare this to another cartoon that was rebooted recently: Samurai Jack. This Cartoon Network show premiered in August of 2001, so it is not a “90s show”; however it was on Cartoon Network around the same time as the original Powerpuff Girls and probably shared viewership. Personally I watched both while they were airing and I know many people my age did the same. Now this show ended with its fourth season in 2004, but was rebooted for a fifth season that premiered in March of 2017 during Adult Swim’s block of programing known as Adult Swim. This revival of the show was met with great responses from both Critics and fans of the original show. It should be noted that this reboot had the original creator, Genndy Tartakovsky, attached to it as a Director and Executive Producer as well as having the original voice actor for Jack. The art style was almost identical to the original run of the show which also added to the positive feedback. People really enjoyed this show coming back for the fifth season and it didn’t receive the negative outrage surrounding it like Powerpuff Girls.
So what am I trying to drive at by comparing these two shows coming back? Well that’s a good question. I really just want to talk about the children who grew up watching kids programing in the late 1990s/early 2000s and how they deal with things like outrage culture. To shed a light on any biases, I should inform you I am one of those “90s kids.” I was born in mid 1990s and grew up watching kids cartoons in the late 90s into the early 2000s. Now I didn’t have cable at home so I watched things like Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh on Kids WB (later the CW), but I did manage to watch Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon shows when I was at a friend’s or relative’s house. I am very familiar with the original Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack and enjoyed the shows when they first aired. Now I have not watched either reboot of the show so I can’t personally comment on their quality. I can say that too me all of this outrage around the Powerpuff Girls or Cartoon Network’s current programing doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Let me explain why.
What I think it really boils down to is that a network like Cartoon Network isn’t trying to appeal to the 20 somethings like myself who may be flipping through the channels. We aren’t their choice demographic. Yeah there are people my age and older who still watch cartoons on Cartoon Network or Disney Channel or Nickelodeon, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but their core demographic is kids. Not young adults. Kids. You might be one of those outraged fans thinking that Cartoon Network is destroying your childhood by changing Powerpuff Girls or by rehashing Teen Titans. Maybe you’re upset about Pokemon Sun and Moon changing up their animation style. Maybe you actually welcome the change and are huge fans of this modern age of Cartoon Network. Or maybe you’re like me and you really don’t care. You weren’t going to watch them to begin with, so they don’t matter to you. No matter your feelings about it, it’s important to realize that Cartoon Network and other similar networks are appealing to a different age rage and can’t focus on pleasing 20 and 30 year olds who are high off of 90s nostalgia. That doesn’t work as a great business model. They know they can make money by rebooting and making sequels, but they also want to change it up so it will appeal to a new generation. That idea is not new. They have been rebooting things from the 70s, 80s and 90s a lot recently. Michael Bay’s parade of Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies is a prime example of trying to capitalize off of 80s nostalgia in order to sell explosions and toys to children.
So yeah things are going to get rebooted and revived and even rewritten. And it’s all going to be ok. The stuff you loved as a kid can still be special and you can keep those nostalgia glasses on so you don’t have to think about how they don’t really hold up compared to today’s standards. There’s just no reason for “90s kids” to get upset and throw Twitter temper tantrums when a network decides to change something you loved as a kid. I’m sure that this article isn’t really going to make an impact on outrage culture or the way people view the things from their childhoods. I just hope people can take a second, take a deep breath, and realize that just because they are rebooting everything from the 90s and changing it, doesn’t mean that your childhood is over. You can love the stuff you love and let children love the new stuff. The fact that there are full grown adults bickering about a show aimed at 10 year olds is a little ridiculous. But again our President called Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man” in front of the UN National Assembly. So I guess that’s the world we live in.
Well that’s all I have to say about Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, and 90s Nostalgia. I just hope that I’m not swept up in a wave of angry comments and emails from my peers questioning my loyalty to the 1990s. If you liked this Weekly Blog post, there are plenty others that you can check out. They have a large variety of topics, so I’m sure you can find something you like. If Blogs aren’t your thing, feel free to check out my Creative Writing Pieces and Pieces based off of Writing Prompts. Again, there is a large variety of stuff I write about, so I’m sure you can find something that interests you. Thank you again for your views, likes, and comments. All your support really means a ton to me!
I hope you have a wonderful week!
Header Photo Credit to The Odyssey’s article, “36 Things Only ’90s Kids Will Remember”
Picture of Bliss and the other Powerpuff Girls comes from Nerdist’s article, “Meet The Powerpuff Girls’ New Sister, Bliss”