My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Friday, March 9, 2012

TV Memories 06 | Scott Roche

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I watched a metric butt ton of TV as a kid. I could have given Mike Teavee a run for his money. As a “latchkey” kid who had cable TV when that was something of a rarity, I watched quite the variety of shows. Possibly the best TV memory I have though, from a life full of them, would be weekday afternoon TV from my Elementary School days. I’d get home, sling my books onto the couch, fire up the snack foods, and get my watching on.

Far and away, the biggest standout had to be the one-two punch of G-Force/Star Blazers. I know, I know, the anime purists out there are cringing. These where the chopped up, re-mixed, over dubbed versions of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman and Space Battleship Yamato respectively. I cared not a whit then, blissful ignorance my only excuse. All I knew was, the cartoons were awesome, and my classmates and I zipped around the playground pretending to be Jason or Derek Wildstar. As much of a science fiction geek as I was then, and am now, the optimism and butt-kicking heroics are what shine brightest in my minds eye.

As I got older, the offerings changed. Fast forwarding to my Middle School and High School years, I would have to say that Nickelodeon dominated the idiot box. Two real super stars ate up most of my time. The first was a Canadian live action kids show called You Can’t Do That On Television. This really was like “Saturday Night Live” for kids. The hilarious skits usually included a bunch of gross out humor (they were the source of the green slime that became synonymous with the network), and it even had some eye candy in the form of Christine “Moose” McGlade. I had a crush on her anyway,

The other Nickelodeon offering was Danger Mouse. James Bond done as a large white mouse, essentially. He had everything from a stuffy boss to a cat petting uber villain. Well, okay the pet was a caterpillar, but close enough. Explosions, silly situations, and heroics were the rule of the day. The catchy opening credits had me singing along, and I never missed an episode. It’s funny, so far all of my memorable shows were from other countries. We did have Looney Tunes and the Saturday morning shows of my youth were mostly American in origin, but not so for the afternoons.

This was rectified in college. Yeah, I still watched afternoon cartoons well into my twenties, where I could. Again, there are two vying for the top spot. Animaniacs is clearly number one. The adventures of Wako, Yakko, and Dot as well as Pinkie and the Brain were consistently hilarious. The animation was crisp and the writing was smart. Much of the humor was aimed squarely at adults, or so it seemed to me at the time, but they never left the younger set out. The other entry has to be Batman: The Animated Series. It’s the comic book cartoon that proves those things can be just as adult as live action. The style was perfect and the voice actors nailed their performances.

These days I don’t really get to watch cartoons or afternoon TV of any kind. I know that there are shows that my kids will treasure as much as I do these. I’ll admit to knowing the names of a few. I catch Phineas and Ferb whenever I can. The boys are hilarious and the amount of imagination it takes to put out that show is tremendous. I also watched my fair share of The Wonder Pets and The Wiggles when my kids were younger. What strikes me is these days there seem to be more live action offerings. Kid’s sitcoms and even soap operas, of a sort, dominate the air. Who knows which will resonate in the memories of my three? Regardless of the answer, I make sure, as did my folks, that they get more fresh air, sunshine, and good books than they do TV time. That makes picking their favorites even more special.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a tree to climb.

A military brat, fan of horror and occult fiction at an embarrassingly (for his parents anyway) young age, and a seeker of the true reality beyond that which we see every day, Scott tries to include as much life experience in his writing as he can. Every story he writes combines these elements into something that he hopes you will not only enjoy, but tell all of your friends about. He is active in the podcast fiction sphere and is a contributing editor at Flying Island Press. You can also find Scott's work on his website and many of your favorite online hard copy and eBook retailers. Also look for Scott’s new series Invasion From the Hidden Planet, dropping serially in audio and eBook formats at

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