Monday, December 25, 2017

What's The Sitch?

Growing up in the 2000's in America/Japan was, weird.

Originally I had a whole elaborate paragraph explaining what the 2000's felt like from my perspective (a kid in a suburb just outside NYC), but it way too heavy.

The shorter version is that I the 2000's could easily be divided into three parts.
The first part was basically like this, the second part was like this, and the last part was like this. I think that's a 100% accurate description. The first third of the decade was a very dark, fearful, angry and unpleasant place to be. The second part was a bit better and all about Britney Spears. The third/last part was when the world went bankrupt, the Kardashian empire took off, and the smart phone revolution led us into the 2010's.

Oof, how do I segue from that to what I really want to talk about? I guess I'll just talk about what consumed my time back then in what I thought was a pretty okay mid-2000's.


CARTOONS! Look, I was a lazy carefree kid growing up in a middle class suburb. Obviously my afternoons at home from school were spent doing homework and watching TV. A whole lot of TV. Probably too much TV.


My favorite cartoon for pretty much all of my childhood was Ed, Edd n Eddy but here in 2017 my "Favorite Cartoon of All Time" does not have a clear cut winner. But one of the prime contenders is Kim Possible.

Three reasons. One is that I've seen the entire Ed, Edd n Eddy series so many times that I can no longer be entertained by it. Another is that Kim Possible is, to me, an embodiment of the mid-2000's and in turn my "childhood". Third, because SpongeBob SquarePants tanked in quality and Rugrats was kind of a mixed bag when it was said and done.


Kim Possible ran from 2002 to 2007. It's peak was basically during the second period of the decade. The oddest time of the entire oddies (which is what apparently some people call the 2000's). I watched it whenever it was on and because it was a Disney Channel product I would see it a lot outside of TV. Like for whatever reason my local Stop and Shop would carry the Disney Adventures magazines and I remember seeing Kim and various other Disney cartoons on the covers sandwiched between those gossip rags covered with names I'd long since forgotten about like Ashlee Simpson and Ryan Cabrera.


The cliffnotes version of the show is that 14 year old Kim Possible (who is 18 by the time the show ends) is a high school cheerleader who saves the world as a secret agent/crime fighter with her sidekick Ron Stoppable and his pet naked mole rat, Rufus.

The "story" is not really the point of the show. The real meat of KP was about the characters who were well written and could be put into a variety of different scenarios and settings and keep the humor going. The main character Kim is a girl who can do anything in terms of fighting crime but stinks at overcoming whatever obstacle is affecting her personal life (boys, tests, cooking, driving, etc...). Meanwhile Ron is a slackoff (like me) who has his moments and mystical monkey power. He's also different from your usual annoying sidekick in that he can actually pitch in every now and then.


Rufus is the cute animal sidekick (because Disney) whose very existence is kind of a "take that" to Disney in that the writers just picked one of randomest animals they could think of to meet the quotas. Also kudos to the animation department for making a naked mole rat look cute.


The main villains were Doctor Drakken and Shego. You know you've gold on your hands when you can make an argument for the villains being the funniest and best part of the show. Drakken is the evil genius who can never get out of his way when attempting to take over the world, and Shego is Drakken's muscle/right hand woman who is far more competent than Drakken but just doesn't try to take over the world herself for some reason.


Their dynamic is great and their banter still makes me laugh.

There were other characters with varying degrees of importance, but these five were the big ones.

Now is the part where I elaborate on my earlier blurb about how Kim Possible embodies the mid-2000's for me, but it's tricky. Partly because in a weird way the show is dated and yet timeless. It's meant to be set in the weird part of the 2000's where the 90's were finally dead but the iRevolution in the post-Subprime Loan Crisis era hadn't come yet.


It's old enough to have an episode mocking boy bands while they were still relevant but JUST new enough to predict how every teenager in high school would have had a cell phone or be cut off from society. I feel it, but I'm not sure if anyone else can if they didn't grow up with it. Oof, it is not easy describing something you grew up with. How do the rest of you do it?!

Another way of looking at it could be that the things I associate with KP feel old. Obviously mid-2000's Disney comes to mind since this was sandwiched between in reruns of Recess and Lilo & Stitch The Series with a bunch of ads for the newest episode of Hannah Montana popping up every 15 minutes. The voice actors involved in the show include Christy Carlson Romano who was on Evens Stevens, Will Friedle who was on Boy Meets World, Tahj Mowry who was on a lot of late-90's/early 00's stuff, among the usual voice actors you see behind every cartoon (John DiMaggio, Nancy Cartwright, Tom Kane, etc...). I associate all of those shows as the Disney that just came before my time.

In a way I guess that's good in that it's not pigeon holed to the oddies like a lot of cartoons from the 80's and 90's painfully are to their time periods. It could've very easily taken the "hee hee, let's make a MySpace reference" route if they wanted to but were smart enough to avoid it. It's a show that could be easily modernized is what I'm trying to say. Just drop an iPhone or something in there and boom, it's a post 2010's show now :P.

Little Zippy Liked Putting Smiley Sticker On A Lot Of Things

Apparently I was such a fan of the show that I had the show's official soundtrack CD. Still do actually. I think I asked my parents for it at Tower Records back in the day.


I've relistened to the whole thing recently and to be honest, outside of the theme song, all of these songs are trash. Pretty much all of these were tailor made for radio Disney. So they're the dumb pop songs that wouldn't look out of place being background music on those made-for-TV Disney Channel movies.


Personally I was hoping for the instrumental songs used in the show but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be.

This is the part where I'd talk about my favorite episode, but it's tough picking them. There are a lot of episodes that stick out in my mind. The obligatory boy band episode, the obligatory episode where the characters go from TV show to TV show in their universe, the superhero episode with Team Go, etc... Hmm, I guess the episode where everybody gets sick is my pick.

Annnnnnnd I just completely lost all of you who never saw the show didn't I?


Alright, before this trainwreck of a post really goes off of the rails, I just want to say that I originally wanted to talk about KP for a second since I picked up this cool sheet with six perforated cards still together. Based on the advertisement on the side I'd assume that this was a promo in a magazine from before Kim Possible was set to premiere. So sometime between 2001 and 2003. I always love finding cards depicting some of my favorite entities as a kid. Especially when I didn't know that they existed in the first place. It's so weird to think that the stuff I grew up with is starting to become the type of old, dusty, used, sad and pathetic pieces of the past just sitting around at flea markets/goodwills across the country. That's only supposed to happen to stupid 80's stuff like TMNT and He-Man!


I know it's way too early for me to start feeling nostalgic about shit but I do still feel like I'm teleported back to 2005 whenever I see or even think of Kim Possible. My hunch is that Disney is going to reboot the franchise when they find that the 2000's kids are finally a profitable age group (good luck with that :P) and I'll feel really old/actually be really old when it happens.


Damn, nothing feels like 2003 more than (pre-Good Charlotte) Hilary Duff lol.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

8 comments:

  1. Good post! I was a little too old for this show but had younger siblings who were into it.

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    1. Thanks TLC. Your siblings had great taste.

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  2. I was too old for this show when it was around. My mid-2000s were spent playing shows in bars downtown and listening to a lot of emo pop punk; *sigh Good post by the way; glad you were able to pick up trading cards from your favourite cartoon. Has me wondering if they ever made trading cards for my favourite cartoons.

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    1. Emo pop punk huh, I'm guessing it was too late by then to be Taking Back Sunday or something like that huh? So... Sum 41?

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  3. Never saw the show, but my nieces and nephews would watch it. The 2000's for me...

    early 2000's - early years of teaching, no money, out of the hobby
    mid 2000's - started reading Beckett to stay in touch with the hobby
    late 2000's - jumped back into the hobby

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    1. Interesting, hobby wise the 2000's were non-existant lol so I can't quite imagine what collecting in the post anthrax scare must've been like.

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  4. I was a little too old for the show as well, but I always enjoy reading posts that are awash in nostalgia.

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