When it comes to media, our generation has the sweetest memories of growing up watching kids’ shows which actually made sense. In terms of media content for kids, there have been so many attempts made to improve the things kids’ watch, which sadly has just defeated the whole purpose. It’s most relevant when it comes to cartoons. The content generated today is breeding a whole new genre of mindless and senseless.
If the dear Mr. Fred Quimby were to see any of the new ‘developments’ done to his pet project ‘Tom and Jerry’, he would be rolling in his grave. The whole beauty of the plot where this cat and mouse fight endlessly and don’t share a single word with each other but still share a special implicit bond, was brutally murdered by the new-age version of the show which has adapted an all new level of violence (almost at nuclear in cartoon terms), as opposed to the cute, tolerable violence it had earlier.
It’s not only the shows which have changed; channels on the whole have changed by manifold, and in the bargain have disintegrated to no end. Take the language for instance. Not a single script-writer in the 90’s would even dare to as much as pick up his pen to include something like ‘ullu ka pattha’ in any dialogue. This language transition happened when the channels tried to broaden their horizons by including regional languages and in turn, destroyed the language of poor little kids. There is a clear difference between the language of someone who grew up in the 90s and one who grew up today. What is the difference you may ask? Simply put, it is a million times better than the latter.
Shows back then catered to audiences of almost all ages. But I can’t ever imagine myself, even if I were as much of a six-year-old of today, enjoying something like a ‘Shin-Chan’ or a ‘Ninja-Hattori’. Today’s kids’ shows are a breed of far more juvenile and plot-less than it’s much more meaningful, older counterparts. Cartoons of those times had a point. They had a story and a latent message. And they even were funny (I’m not talking about the daft slapstick humour, it was genuine innocent humour).
Apart from that, cartoons today are breeding in little children an innate dormant sexism. Sometimes when I go to meet my little cousins, the boys and the girls take turns to watch television, as only the boys would watch ‘Ben 10’ and the girls would only watch ‘Barbie Princess’. We never really had that in our time, I loved watching ‘Swatcats’ with my cousin brothers and even they enjoyed ‘Little Lulu’ with me when we sat together and spent some good times together. The same goes for classics like Scooby Doo, Flintstones, and all those wonderful shows which did not propagate the Mars v/s Venus clash at an infantile level.
I get shudders down my spine to think about what these kids would grow up to be growing up amid the perplexity of the entertainment media of their time. In foresight, if this trend doesn’t change, a very typical adult male in the days to come would be a sexist soul who has cuss-words suffixed (or even prefixed) to every possible sentence (most of those sentences hurled upon his wife/girlfriend) and he would probably, at the slightest spark possible, throw about things (including furniture and electronics) in a fit of rage. Yes, we are indeed heading towards it.