One of the best cartoons everRating: 0 likes, 5 dislikes
This was an absolutely fantastic show, and one of the best cartoon series ever made. Why? Because one, it doesn't take kids for stupid, and two, it relates to the real world somewhat. I remember a time when most cartoon shows would be like this. Whether they are more firmly rooted in reality, such as Hey, Arnold! or Doug, classics like Tom & Jerry or the Looney Tunes, even out-there fantasy shows like TaleSpin, Ren and Stimpy, Pinky & the Brain, or the superhero shows I personally never really watched—they're so relatable because they are, however slightly, rooted in a universe with some parallels to real life. When I watch cartoons today, time seems to be mostly divided between thinly-disguised extra-long adverts for Japanese toys, or shows that just try to "out-crazy" each other with seizures of colour and effects and exaggerations without substance, all characters constantly screaming in the most annoying voice they could come up with, and stupid if at all existent plots.
I don't want to make this a review that's based on hosing current-day cartoons, but I wonder what happened to shows that we watch because they are funny and witty and thrilling. As I said: kids aren't stupid, and they know when they're being taken for idiots. Shows like Rocko's Modern Life are so great because as kids we love them, and when we grow up we continue loving them, because we discover new things that we maybe missed or didn't understand before. Even as kids we realised that these shows were better than the others who dumbed everything down because "it's for kids". It's certainly also in part due to the creators. Would you rather work on a project you can be passionate about because it's full of cool stuff, or dredge away on a shallow scream fest that you can't even bear to watch, and you know nobody will be watching 5 years on because its flashy effects are no longer flashy, it has lost its "hip" and it has become painfully obvious that it was a piece of turd all along.
Rocko's Modern Life, as the title implies, takes place in (a deranged version of) our world. Kids know the places and situations and characters from their own lives, and see them exaggerated and turned ridiculously funny. As a kid, I loved it because it is hilarious. Today, I still love it becuase it is just pure genius no matter which way you look at it. It has a layer of social commentary beneath it that you don't have to peel back as a kid, but maybe feel is there, and will appreciate very much when you grow up.
These are the shows that kids will fondly remember when they grow up. Nickelodeon used to be chock-full of them. I guess today we need to give our kids such shows on DVD if we don't want them to turn into ADHD drones.
Review posted on Wednesday, November 16th 2011 at 1:43 pm