My friends and family know to not attempt to make any contact with me during the Fall TV season premiere week. I’m known for having a daily planner that lists every fall premiere, winter finale, spring finale, and summer premiere. In college I was known as the girl who, when asked to come to a friend’s music recital, answered with ‘Yeah, Buffy’s premiering that night so I’ll catch you later.’ (Don’t judge me; this was in the days before DVR and one had to do some hardcore throw downs with roommates for control of the common room television). In grad school I was known as the 24 pusher for loaning out tapes of 24 (again before DVR’s, people!) with just enough episodes to get my friends addicted. This forced them to come knocking at my door for the next fix tape in the wee hours of the morning.
I’m serious about my television. I’m serious about watching it and serious about evangelizing to the masses and spreading the word and joy about awesome, entertaining, and just plain ole fun shows that you may miss out on due to the overwhelming craziness of television in general, but especially during premiere week.
Which is why I feel it is my duty to alert you to the fact that this weekend it’s all about Animation Domination; not just the stellar block of animated series we all know and love that will kick off on FOX this Sunday, but also the new Saturday morning cartoon line-up that Cartoon Network will be premiering.
If you’re a cartoon junkie like me, this is the weekend you’ve been waiting for. Firstly, Cartoon Network has made Saturday mornings must-see morning TV for me again by airing a stellar two hour block of shows: Ben 10 Omniverse, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Green Lantern, and the brooding teens of Young Justice: Invasion. None of these shows is technically new: Ben 10 is just the latest evolution of the Ben 10 franchise, SW:TCW is entering its fifth season, and Green Lantern and Young Justice: Invasion are both second season shows that are picking up from some pretty good cliffhanger season finales. Cartoon Network made the big decision to combine their biggest hitters into a Saturday morning animated cornucopia. This is a blessing since Clone Wars originally had to go up against Grimm, Fringe, and Supernatural on Friday nights; it was a quadruple Sophie’s Choice like situation for those with limited recording capabilities.
Now, I know you may not like all of the offerings, but you’re sure to fall in love with at least one of them. For me it was the least likeliest, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Not because I’m not a Star Wars junkie; I am a huge lover of Star Wars. But after the prequels? Bitter City. But unable to resist at least peeking at what they were trying to do, I watched a few episodes and, before I knew it, was hooked back into a world that I thought I had fallen out of love with. Even more surprising: somehow the producers behind Clone Wars did the impossible: they made me like and somewhat respect Anakin Skywalker and actually feel a little bad for him whenever I rewatch Revenge of the Sith during the very frequent Spike TV Star Wars marathons.
After Saturday’s cartoon-fest, there is the joy of what is Sunday’s original Animation Domination on FOX. Sure, some of these shows have lived past their prime; The Simpsons and Family Guy have a lot of clunkers, but American Dad is not cruising on fumes at all. (The Cleveland Show has also found its groove but, alas, it doesn’t rejoin Animation Domination until next year). American Dad is probably my favorite of the Sunday night animation block (and not because of my Stan Smith crush); you have a great family sitcom that despite being a parody of a classic family sitcom is actually a really good family sitcom. With a sociopathic alien. Jury is still out on my feelings on Bob’s Burgers but a show that does a crossover event with FX’s Archer can’t be all bad.
I feel I have now done my civic television duty in giving you a heads up about the bevy of animated glories that await you this weekend. Hopefully, you will find a new obsession to add to your overburdened DVR and get into online message board wars over. Or at least you’ll find a great new half hour of great entertainment.
Person of Interest
The Big Bang Theory