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What the hell happened to the cartoon network? - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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March 7th, 2010

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01:34 pm - What the hell happened to the cartoon network?
Several years ago, teaotter used to very much enjoy watching the Justice League & Justice League Unlimited animated series, and also liked the Legion of Super Heroes and Batman cartoon. However, the last of these ended in 2008. In addition to various other good things about these shows, all of these shows featured a number of interesting and (at minimum) non-terrible female characters, and while they were outnumbered by the male characters, the overall gender dynamic was never worse than mildly annoying, and was often quite good.

After these series all ended, we tried watching an episode of the and still ongoing series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which started in 2008, and didn't quite manage an entire episode because it was so wretchedly bad compared to any of the previous shows. Last night we tried another episode and watched it with a mixture of shock and horror. In addition to being terrible, it was vastly offensive.

The episode we watched last night featured Batman, Green Arrow, and Aquaman and their teen sidekicks – Robin, Speedy, and Aqualad, so six heroes who were all male. They were fighting Ra's al Ghul & his daughter Talia. Talia was the only female character in the episode and seemed to exist solely to demonstrate that "girls are icky" & also mysterious. Also, not only did the show drip nasty sexism, but all the ads for other shows on the cartoon network now seemed to be for hyper-masculine idiocy, many of which looked like parodies rather than real show, but clearly weren't. Was the cartoon network sold to wing-nuts? It seems like the entire network is far more of an actively misogynist "boys only" club than it was even three years ago.

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 8th, 2010 12:26 am (UTC)
According to Wikipedia (no references), Time Warner/Turner Broadcasting did some major downsizing at Warner Bros. Animation in June 2007 to develop KidsWB.com instead, closing the Sherman Oaks studio, which is where those older shows were produced.
[User Picture]
Date:March 8th, 2010 02:23 am (UTC)
I agree on all counts, and it's a shame. Batman the Animated Series and its various offshoots were good television, especially the original. Somebody got the bright idea to go back and do 'silver age batman' or something. It's atrocious, obviously. And Cartoon Network looks/feels more and more like SpikeTV every time I flip past it while channel surfing.
[User Picture]
Date:March 8th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
There are reasons I don't watch a hell of a lot of TV... I am staying with a small family and the kid, as kids do, likes a lot of cartoons. I cannot tolerate these abominations - at all. They are poorly drawn, poorly developed, and designed for what appears to be ADHD. Hell, "Stickin' Around" was better than what the vast bulk of these are, and it was literally stick figures.

Other than what is still coming out of Japan, I can't see any worthwhile animation here in North America.
[User Picture]
Date:March 8th, 2010 07:50 am (UTC)
I think we may be looking back at Cartoon Network with rose-tinted glasses, because for every Justice League, Teen Titans or Kim Possible there were two or three really crappy series.

That said, I don't see anything out now or coming down the pike that looks worth perusing, so it's sadly, safe to say CN is dead as far as good, non-sexist or non-stupid stuff for a while, perhaps permanently. so it's back to anime, with all its flaws, for now.

The only ray of hope is the knowledge that there are a lot of people who were exposed to the Timmverse and other good examples of what cartoons could be, and eventually some of those people will be in a position where they can create excellent, progressive cartoons. It may not resemble Justice League at all, but it will be worth the wait.

I just hope we don't have to wait too long.

[User Picture]
Date:March 13th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I would blame the network. To broadcast non-sexist, non-crappy shows, someone has to make them first.

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