Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cartoons that shaped my childhood: 1


Because I don't feel like reviewing Exit Through the Gift Shop.

1) Recess
A Disney afternoon show (previously on, I dunno, ABC or something), about the goings-on during the recesses of one PS 113, aka Third Street School, specifically centering on six fourth graders making up a regular band o'misfits--TJ, the chubby little leader, Vince, the designated Black Guy who's also really good at sports, Gretchen, nerd with unbelievably big teeth, Spinelli, the badass tomboy chick of indeterminate ethnic makeup, Mikey, the large, pacifistic dude with a Robert Goulet's singing voice, and Gus, the new kid who's son of an army general and is also really, really boring. Trying to thwart their shenanagins is Principal Prickly, who is indeed quite prickly, but also very put upon, and with an admirable mustache, and Miss Finster, the BAMF playground moniter and, I don't know, fifth grade teacher or something.

The animation was terrible (something I didn't quite remember until I recently rewatched what used to be my default afternoon film, Recess: School's Out), the writing could be shit, the characters one-dimensional, and sometimes, quite annoying. But guys. At the time of my viewings--something like first and second grade--this shit was motherfucking accurate. It made schoolyard politics as dramatic and Serious as they felt. Tons of They Call Him Barkeep characters, various dramatic events like rainy days, where you're cooped up in the cafeteria with a bunch of hysterical banshees you didn't realize you had, at best, ambient feelings towards until right then, that one kid who always told on you. This shit? A less gonzo version of my pre-pre-adolescent life.

And let's face it. You love the Kindergartners.