I’d like to start this one off by mentioning that I am an absolute super hero freak! I love them. Marvel, DC, whatever. You name it, I love it. I even draw my own characters and write out their stories. Most of the characters I write about in my novels could be considered “super” in one way or another. I. Love. Superheroes.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to talk about how television is messing up the industry. To begin, I have to tell you that my two favorite shows when I was younger were Spiderman (1990s series) and Kim Possible. When I first started homeschooling, I woke up at 4am every morning just so I could catch those two shows (this practice stopped right after they started to be shown even earlier). As I got older, my favorite show became Teen Titans. I seriously adored this show, and I still do. Currently, I am in the middle of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003 series) watching obsession. These were my favorite childhood TV shows. In fact, I still love all of them.
I tell you all of this mainly to complain about how irritated I am by their modern counterparts (except for Kim Possible, which has thankfully not been renewed). The best modern incarnation of the shows I mentioned above is the new Spiderman on Disney Channel (yes, it does make me cringe to have to mention my favorite superhero in connection with Disney). The show is not bad, but it also falls way short of its “Ultimate” title. The main problem I have with this one is the choice of voice actor for Spidey. Drake Bell is not Spiderman material. I liked the guy on Drake and Josh, and I think he can sing well, but he was not a good choice to play Spiderman. His squeaky voice is just too irritating. The show is also more whimsical than I would have preferred, but I’ll get to more on that note in my later discussions. The 1994 Spiderman series really was the best, in my opinion. The 80s had a decent Spidey too. I do not completely love this new series, but it’s watchable. That, however, is not something I can say for the next two shows.
These two really pain me. What is it with TV’s sudden urge to make good super hero show cute? Why? They aren’t supposed to be adorable. Part of the reason I loved Teen Titans and TMNT was because they could get pretty dark in some places. I like dark. You can’t be all sunshine and roses all the time with a super hero show. Bad things happen, and that can be a good thing. I mean, just look at the success of the Hunger Games. I may have digressed a bit there. Anyway. I was beyond thrilled when I heard that Cartoon Network was bringing back Teen Titans. On seeing the new format, however, I just felt betrayed. I wouldn’t have minded if they just changed the costumes a bit and gave the characters a new story line, but noooo. They had to go and turn them into midgets. I’ll ask again. Why?! The only good thing I can say about Teen Titans Go! is that all of the old actors came back. That’s it. Admittedly, the 2012 version of TMNT is not quite as cutesy, but it’s still pretty bad. There was really no good reason to change the format. It was fine the way it was! And why oh why does Mikey have freckles? Okay, so I can understand changing it. I mean, they kind of meant to bring back the 80s feel. Goofy. Focused on fun. I don’t like it, but at least there’s purpose there. Teen Titans Go! has no purpose, except maybe to tick off fans left over from the previous show or comics. I just cannot be a fan of these new shows.
Another good show (although not a super hero show) that has suffered from the cute craze is Scooby Doo. The newest Scooby is pretty bad, but I suppose we could have expected that from how much the live-action movies stunk. Scooby’s gone through a few phases, but mostly, they just sharpened the image. The newest one has just changed too much. I couldn’t bring myself to watch more than a few minutes of it when I tried.
Well, I feel better now that I’ve vented for a while. I’m curious to know what you think. Take the poll and let me know in the comments. What do you think about these new shows? Are there any good shows that I missed that you think have suffered in the last few years? Let me know.