TV: My Babysitter

Shows that kept me entertained while my parents worked.
April 02, 2008
Hello everyone! Nostariel here! I'm still a new member but hopefully that won't stop you from reading my first article. Anyway, I was an only child until about seven years ago. My parents who both had jobs never really had lots of time to spend with me so I became accustomed to babysitters. One of them being the TV. This electronic marvel was a source of much entertainment but unlike most people my TV had what is called the "Armed Forces Network" or AFN.

This network was a staple of all the children of my generation who grew up in Navy, Army, and Air Force bases during their childhood and had lots to offer. Aside from the usual which had shows which were currently playing in the States it also had special channels. One of these channels was AFN Spectrum.

Now this channel was more of a culture channel because it mostly showed classic TV. Although I enjoyed cartoons immensely I was one of those kids who didn't limit myself to that. So, with a rice ball in hand and a glass of juice I started my weekly viewing of :

Being seven years old at the time my friends never understood why I found it so funny but I did. The opening song was awfully catchy and the characters were all likeable but it was Gilligan and the Skipper that cracked me up every time.

Gilligan was always getting picked on which was hilarious! It made me feel so bad for him that I always wished that he would do something to prove to everyone that he wasn't a burden. Then it happened, the episode that I was hoping for. I remember this quite fondly to this day and it always brings a smile to my face. Unfortunately I never payed attention to episode titles so I don't know what episode it's from.

It was an episode where some sort of beacon or space capsule fell from the sky onto the island's lagoon. There was a scene where everyone was talking about what to do with it. All the while it was slowly floating away from them and Gilligan didn't do a thing 'cause I think he found out or had a hunch that it was something dangerous. Later on they stopped arguing enough to realize it was getting away and started blaming Gilligan but then after it got a good distance away from them the capsule exploded. Hence, because of Gilligan they weren't blown to pieces.

Now, as the weekends came I always woke up extra early to catch cartoons. Living in Japan one of my favorite channels were NHK and TV Tokyo. Now I know these are what people call "anime" but to me there was no difference between cartoons and anime. In the literal sense there isn't anyway as anime just means anything animated. But for the sake of better understanding I'll use the term anime for this.

My first anime ever was Sailor Moon and I'm not ashamed to say I loved it! It even rivaled my fondness for Barbie!

At the time I had never really seen a show like it before. It was cute, colorful, comedy was abundant, but I'll have to say the drama was what got me hooked. It seemed like a very straightforward story to me. Saving the world was nothing new but then they added backstory to it and I was thoroughly engrossed. What shocked me the most was the villains though. As a little kid I was used to villains being...well..evil.

However these villains had actual motivation that made sense! It wasn't the simple "I'm evil so I'm going to destroy the world for no reason" type. These villains had loved and lost and slowly it had turned them into what they were. That sealed the deal for me so I guess you could say I have a soft spot now for Mahou Shoujo anime.

My next anime early riser always got me fully awake by 9 A.M. That anime was Digimon!

There was just something captivating about being flung into a strange land with all these creatures in a Digital World no less! The opening song always made me feel happy. Oh and by the way I'm not talking about the opening for the English Dub. I was also one of the kids who were obsessed with Pokemon but truthfully I think I enjoyed Digimon a whole lot more. I even recall a couple of episodes that made me tear up. The only Pokemon episode that ever made me cry was the episode where Ash had to let his Butterfree go.

My last two shows for this article came after school was over and was the reason I always enjoyed that time of day. My Mom also came back from work around that time and always had chocolate for me from that kind lady at the neighborhood Deli. Usually it was Butterfinger but sometimes I also got those sugar breads that were shaped to look like a braid.

These tasty treats accompanied my afternoon viewings of:


Pepper Ann was someone I could really relate to when it came to school. In truth I was also like her as a kid with the imagination and the funny situations except for the talking to myself in a mirror. What I liked most about her though was that she wasn't afraid to speak her mind and be herself. There was one episode that was always memorable to me. Though not the funniest or maybe not even the best the series had to offer it always stuck out in my mind.

It was the episode where Pepper came across those electronic keyboards. She pressed one of those buttons where you follow the lights and it helps you learn how to play a song. Anyway, everyone thought it was actually her playing the song (Greensleeves) so beautifully so she got really popular. But of course it didn't last as they eventually found out she was a fake. I just found it hilarious when she kept trying to hide the truth but then she made the right decision in the end. It was on the whole a very satisfying episode. Moving on!

On the moody side of the TV spectrum was the awesome Batman: The Animated Series. This show is the reason I became inspired to draw so much as well as making me see that cartoons can be a work of art. This show was just so amazing I'm not even sure how to describe it! It gave my favorite comic hero new life so to speak. Batman was now back to his scary but awesome self.

I'll never forget it when it showed Mr. Freeze in a whole new light. No more was he that villain without motivation spouting endless ice puns! He became a tragic villain and I started to like him better than Two Face. This series was great all around and accompanied with that awesome It was like a mini movie. Batman will always have a special place in my childhood that's for sure.

So that ends my article. I think it might be just a little on the long side but hopefully all of you enjoyed it.

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