My latest Retro Review has reminded me of my long-ago youth in the 1970s, a time when the cartoons were mostly seen on Saturday mornings, where Filmation and Hanna Barbera recycled as many backgrounds as humanly possible, and the superheroes were, more often than not, dogs.  Historians are often cruel to the entertainments of The Me Decade, but those of us who remember know the truth: There’s always awesome to be had if you can leave your cynicism at the door.  Granted, that’s not always easy, especially suffering through things like 7-Zark-7 and his senseless narration, but no journey worth taking is without its difficult terrain.

The MS-QTOD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) finds that too many people equate “growing up” with “acting like a jerk”, asking: Which entertainments of days past are still enjoyable in spite of their flaws?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. February 25, 2013 at 11:56 am — Reply

    I tend to get a lot of enjoyment out of classic sci-fi TV and movies. Even when the whole thing is so far outdated or was even cheesy for it’s original time, they are still pretty entertaining in various ways.

    I still enjoy the classic He-Man and She-Ra toons (we’ve got a channel that plays them early on Saturday mornings when the other channels have nothing but informercials on). G1 Transformers, Voltron and other old toons also still entertain me.

    I still absolutely love the older Japanese giant monster movies (Godzilla, Gamera, etc.). I don’t care if the monster is clearly a guy in a suit, it is still fun to watch.

    And similarly, I still enjoy the really old Super Sentai/Kamen Rider and similar series. Even with dirt cheap costumes and effects they still manage to entertain me.

    • February 25, 2013 at 11:59 am — Reply

      Oh, I also miss arcades. They still exist, but none are anywhere close to where I am (3+ hour drive to the nearest city with one, then about an hour or so navigating the city to get to it).

  2. AllenBT
    February 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm — Reply

    Skipping the obvious Star Trek: TOS, I’d have to go with Babylon 5. OK the effects, particularly the space vehicles suffer from HD TV, setting aside those technical issues, the story scope was terrific.

    Which makes me notice that, at least among TV and Film, its usually the properties that weren’t trying to cater to then current trends that seem to hold up the best over time, even if they end up being only mediocre successes at the time. Probably a lesson there somewhere between art v. craft.

  3. Dan
    February 26, 2013 at 6:34 am — Reply

    I gotta say….not a lot has survived my childhood. Have to disagree and say he man aged terribly. Same with (the real) ghostbusters. I’ve been told never to go back to voltron and just remember it as an increasingly hazy fond memory. Hell, i’ve even tried to watch the fox x-men cartoon, and despite the great character design and fairly faithful story adaptations, even that hasnt really withstood the test of time.

    Ren and Stimpy pretty much survived intact tho. In fact, I get MORE out of the show now, picking up all the adult references I missed as a kid. Also, the Tick animated seies, and of course BTAS have held up pretty well.

    I dunno if these count, since they were old already by the time I was watching them as a kid, but the looney tunes stuff up til about the mid 60’s, and the Tex Avery MGM cartoons still hold up.

    I also miss arcades. Boston is sorely lacking in cabinet action. And “a few consoles at the movie theater” doesn’t count. Tho last I checked, one of the theaters still had Marvel vs Capcom 2, which my ex and I loved dearly. Meeeeemorieeees…. :(

  4. comicfan1974
    February 26, 2013 at 7:52 am — Reply

    Just about everything holds up; if I loved something when I was a kid, then I always try to reclaim that affection rather then imagine myself somehow more advanced.

    The only thing I cringe at are things that proclaimed themselves triumphs of technology only to look ridiculous years later once the rhetoric of their self-promotion has worn thin, like just about everything James Cameron has done.

  5. Darth daffy
    February 26, 2013 at 8:31 pm — Reply

    I have to begin this with a story. In the seventh grade I had a jerk off of a math teacher who to fill time would give us worksheets and then watch Andy Griffith and the twilight zone. I hated the man but I learned to love the old sensibilities and great humor and terror.

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