Article by Disgruntled Monkey
Malcontented Moose stumbled on an idea that I found I really needed to do. Delving into the shows I watched as a kid, reviewing them and probably explaining a lot about myself to you, the readers. Possibly a little too much explaining. So sit back, enjoy and if you haven’t already go back and read Malcontented Moose’s top ten here.
10: Unsolved Mysteries (1987 -2002)
Let’s start off with a show that wasn’t really meant for children but I have a lot of fond memories of. I can remember watching it in the living room while my Dad read a book and mum was in the kitchen making dinner. Sure it scared me, but I was also fascinated by it. Robert Stack’s voice was a constant source of calm even when detailing some of the more disturbing elements. This was pretty much one of the foundations of my love of horror/thrillers.
09: Teknoman (1995)
Stepping into my early teens I discovered this awesome little anime series. Animation isn’t really the series’ strong suit, like many shows of the era it reused frames of animation for extension and filler. Yet there was something about the characters and the epic family story at its heart that really connected with me. Blade is a man suffering from amnesia, has the ability to turn into a robotic being and also harbours a burning hatred for alien monsters intent on over taking the Earth. As the series progressed we grew to know Blade and the people that gradually became his friends.
08: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 – 1996)
Just by going through some of my old toys it’s plain to see that the Turtles animated series really grabbed my attention. While it was an excellent marketing scheme towards kids, there was also just something fun about the series as a whole. Honestly I think this was the first nerd obsession I had. Even now when I see the TMNT toys or show I stop and take a look - if only for nostalgia. Now that I’m older I have gone back to read the original comics and find I am really digging those.
07: Transformers (1984 – 1987)
Speaking of toys and marketing to kids, you cannot pass the Transformers. The reason this series in particular beats out TMNT is because I never cried during TMNT. Yes, I am one of the many children who shed a tear when Optimus Prime died heroically defeating Megatron. Also the idea of these robots being able to disguise themselves as anything was particularly appealing. This show along with TMNT really got me thinking about characters being able to be other than human and this fascination with ‘The Other’ has carried through my life.
06: The Simpsons (1989 – Current)
The Simpsons is a show that really has formed some sort of pop cultural awareness in me. For a long time quoting The Simpsons was a way for me to communicate with friends. While my love of The Simpsons has waned over time, I can’t forget how formative it was in making me the person I am today. I find it funny how at the time parents were so worried that The Simpsons would warp children into doing horrible things, when I can say from my perspective it effectively taught me what not to do.
05: Batman – The Animated Series (1992 – 1995)
This little programme showed me that comic books and comic shows can have a lot of artistic merit. Episodes like Mad Love have excellent writing, backing it up with some fine animation that truly deserved the awards it got. I wouldn’t be the comic book reader I am today without this show. It’s so good that it still holds up today.
04: Astroboy (1980 – 1981)
Such a dark little show for children, I can remember watching it numerous times as a kid and feeling genuinely sad. There was still a lot to like and cheer for in the show but it understood that by getting dark, it makes the brighter moments that much more arresting. Astroboy definitely refined my sensibilities, especially when it came to my fictional writing. Only in the darkness can the light truly be appreciated.
03: The Goodies (1970 – 1981)
The Goodies to me was almost a gateway show to Monty Python. British comedy really appealed to me as a young kid and today I can still be a little random, much to the confusion of friends and family. The Goodies represented people that I looked up to and in some regards hoped to emulate someday, whether it be through Bill’s chaotic, fun loving nature, Graham’s scientific mind or Timothy’s dedication to an ideal. It also helped they were willing to just go with silly ideas, like a tomato soup that caused people to change into clowns. Weird, chaotic, fun and beating with a massive heart.
02: Doctor Who (1963 – 1989)
I’m much more of a fan of the old series than I am the new one, thought I still enjoy the new Who. For me though my favourite Doctor was the seventh (Sylvestor McCoy) closely followed by the fourth Doctor (Tom Baker). The cheesy special effects, the wonderful hammy performances and the sheer imagination interwoven into each episode all really spoke to me. Doctor Who touched upon elements of horror, sci-fi and fantasy, all wrapped up into an epic feel. It became a tradition that I watch a Doctor Who episode when I got home after school.
01: Count Duckula (1988 – 1993)
An obsession with vampires was born from this series. As a kid I loved the humour that was born from having a vegetarian vampire, so much so that I had to go back and see what vampires were all about. Maybe not the best thing for a kid to get obsessed about but I was hooked and was willingly thrown down the rabbit hole. Truly this series was the biggest influence on me of all.