Friday, September 16, 2011

Hey, Kids!!!

Something that is pretty much absent from TV these days are Saturday morning cartoon shows based on either movies or TV shows. I thought of this one day when I first saw the 2-DVD deluxe set of Boogie Nights, seeing the characters from the movies in cartoon form on the cover of the slipcase. It reminded me of something you'd see in a full-page ad in TV Guide, proclaiming Hey Kids!!! Coming this Fall on NBC!!! It might have been interesting, but take away the porno-biz sleaze and snowstorms of cocaine, and you're not left with much, unless you give the players a SuperFriends type of angle to work with.

I got to thinking of this again recently while watching an episode of Laverne & Shirley, and I sort of remembered that there was once a cartoon show where they were in the Army. Looking it up on YouTube, I saw that--yes--it was part of an hour-long show that also included Mork & Mindy and the Happy Days gang (well, some of them, including a dog that trailed Fonzie, by the name of Mr. Cool).

Yes, it was terrible, but that also got me thinking that that sort of Saturday-morning wackiness has all but disappeared. I was wondering what kind of shows could be turned into Saturday morning cartoon shows; Friends would have been a great one, as would Seinfeld (Namowal said she could envision a show called Seinfeld In Space, featuring a tag-along robot that talked in beeps and weird codes that only Kramer could understand and translate).

But those are older shows, so how about some current ones? Kind of hard to choose. Too many of today's TV shows are too full of fat, gay and sex jokes (sometimes all in one sentence!) that they wouldn't be compatible for kids unless removing them entirely, and (like the Boogie Nights gang) you're left with not much that once made it great, but would leave the storylines open for much better scenarios. Maybe The Office and Two And A Half Men (minus the whoring, booze and fart jokes). The Big Bang Theory is just crying out to be cartoonized, as long as the gang is not in space or anything; put them on unthinkable journeys, such as a skiing trip, or even going fishing!

That led me to another untapped idea: instead of having ex-stars of old favorite sitcoms get together for those dreaded reunion TV shows and movies, why not have a two-hour animated cartoon reunion special? Much better than having to see your favorites all fat, old and grey now (which is probably why they don't want to do those reunion specials in the first place !), you could see them as they always were, complete with tacky '70s style animation (think Filmation).

Network heads, this could be a goldmine!