Tomorrow Never Knows (Part 1)
Nickelodeon & The Disney Channel, The John Lennons And Paul McCartneys Of Their Time
I have this theory about children who grew up in the 90's that what children's programming they preferred as a child speaks to their personality, much like if your favorite Beatle is Paul your one way and if your favorite was John your another way. Typically Pauls are more conservative and wanting to be in control while Lennons are more open minded or prefer to push the limits of things. Both parties are well respected and talented in their own right but very different none the less.
Nickelodeon = Lennons
Nickelodeon in the 90's was experimenting quite a bit with new animation and cohesive story telling in shows. We would see shows like Ren and Stimpy that would push the very limit that you could stand and sometimes going over. The animation was very stiff, the characters would make quick and abrupt physical movements followed by a grotesque close-up where you would see veins,bruises, blood shot eyes,snot drenched overgrown nose hairs, everything. They had the typical children's cartoon setup where the characters were in the real world yet they were talking self sufficient house hold pets but thats about where the similarities to classic children's programming ends.
their equivalent to Christmas would be "Yak Shaving day", selling rubber nipples to a closeted homicidal maniac wrapped in rubber garments was a natural occurrence, i also recall a sequence where Ren found it necessary to squeeze lemons on the open wounds on his knees after he took a cheese grater to them. the series lasted 5 seasons before being cancelled.
Now Ren and Stimpy was more of an indulgent show, whereas a show like doug taught kids morals through a very genuine and like-able show. The main character was Doug Funnie, he had just moved to town which alienated him from his surroundings which we all can relate to as we all feel misunderstood in a strange world in our youth. Doug likes Beets, both the fictional health concious band and the vegetable, the show did not glamorize superficiality like shows of today (I.E. hannah Montana, icarly, jonas.. what have you) they were completely committed in promoting a healthy way of living mentally and physically. Doug would often escape into his imagination and fantasize about being in extraordinary circumstances saving the day which is always a child fantasy.
I always found Doug's neighbors the Dinks interesting, I've been informed that the name Dink is an an-acronym for Double-Income-No-Kids, which is precisely what the Dinks were, both were employed and having no children they could afford to spend their money on expensive and seemingly useless gadgets. Mr. Dinks catch phrase was "Very Expensive" as most of his insane nick knacks were.
I'd like now to talk about a show that more or less combines the two. That show would be Rocko's Modern Life. Rocko was Wallaby fresh from Australia, he worked in a Comic Book store and had a love for jackhammering. The show would juggle with satirical humor most kids were too young to understand and surrealism, but the two seemed to work. Rocko would learn the consequences for over spending on credit cards, the corporate charade that was the gym salon, while in other episodes rocko would experience time travel and even unknowingly help ralph bighead get out of an unread clause in his TV show contract, all the while being drenched in double entendre and sexual innuendo.
I could talk day and night about shows such as The Adventures Of Pete And Pete, but how that show was so brilliant is another article entirely. as well as Hey Arnold, Aaah Real Monsters Kablam and Rugrats.
Nickelodeon also had game shows for kids this helped us understand why grownups seemed to like them. the shows all dealt with things kids were interested in such as a jubilant amount of slime-ings, Toys r Us Gift Certificates and pop culture questions, Legends Of The Hidden Temple(somewhat educational), Double Dare, What Would You Do, Figure It Out, Guts are some examples of those shows. I used to be amazed when i would watch kids become part of the video-game in the show Nick Arcade, it wasn't until I was older when I realized how simple green screening is.
The early 90's was a renaissance for kid's programming on Nickelodeon, it was like their own Sgt. Pepper's album; They used old and new techniques for entertainment and sometimes made up their own, the results forever changed the face and standard of their industry.
I believe people who grew up enjoying shows that would make them laugh, think and sometimes frighten them are the kind of people who would enjoy these things in their later life. John Lennon was a person like this, his songs were regarded as being more cerebral then Paul's, he liked to push the limits of what people enjoyed and would show them new ways of doing so.
bear in mind i have not done any scientific research on this theory its more of my opinion, but i would love to hear what you guys think about it whether you agree or disagree.
Part 2 with Toon Disney and the McCartneys is currently in the works