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Saturday Morning Cartoons

As a child there was no greater joy on a Saturday then getting up early, filling a bowl with sugary cereal and milk then sitting down directly in front of the giant console TV in our living room to watch cartoons. In the days before on demand entertainment Saturday mornings were sacred. A kid internal clock would cause them to drag and resist getting up on weekdays but knew precisely when their favorite show would be starting on the weekend and cause them to pop out of bed. It was also an odd time in the house when the parents would sleep in and we had the run of the place.

My parents divorced when I was young but until that split my sister and I would religiously watch cuddled up with a blanket. Over the decade of the 80s the lineup fluctuated but among our favorites were The Flintstones, Looney Tunes, Johnny Quest, The Jetsons, Tom and Jerry, Duck Tales, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Thundercats, Inspector Gadget, The Transofrmers, The Smurfs, The Real Ghosbusters, Muppet Babie, Yogi Bear, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, G.I. Joe, The Care Bears, The Gummi Bears, Schoolhouse Rock, Snorks, Heatcliff & the Catillac Cats, Dungeons & Dragons, Pound Puppies, M.A.S.K., BraveStarr, The Littles, Wacky Races, Jabberjaw, Speed Buggy, Silverhawks, Dino-Riders, The Racoons and of course Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

Things were pretty civil except when she wanted to watch something girly like Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, Punky Brewster or Josie and the Pussycats. Only having one TV in the house made for tense negotiations but so long as we were watching cartoons we considered it a successful morning.

Some time in the 90s the FCC added requirements for TV channels to increase their educational programming. Consequently the cartoon block slowly morphed and with the availability of on demand programing like Netflix, Hulu and the likes where kids could start and stop any episode they want the experience was lost.

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