Stabbed in the back by childhood media…
Not terribly long ago, Viacom/Nickelodeon released the entire 10-season collection of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles DVDs. Not to mention that it came packed in the iconic Party/Turtle Van/Wagon/Bus! I grew up on the TMNT and have terribly fond memories of running down the magnetic tape of the exclusive Burger King VHSs and bolting for the TMNT toy section every time I entered a drug store. I had even started a blog in their honor. How was I not supposed to buy that insanely epic collection?!
After days of ripping the DVDs and readying my Apple TV, I prepped some pizza and beer and took my old friends for a ride in land of HDTVs, serialized TV shows, and online instant streaming. It wasn’t quiet Planet Neutrino but it would suffice. Roughly three episodes in, I had a harsh realization. The original TMNT was not that good. I also realized that what seemed like years of knowledge about the show seemed to heavily revolve around the first 6-episode season. Was my ultra-TMNT-fandom a rouse?! I decided to revisit some other childhood classics.
As a child, I spent a fair amount of time with Sonic the Hedgehog as the SEGA Genesis was my first video game console. Thinking I would surely be able to plow through the game with ease, I decided to buy it on my iPhone (yes, the remastered 2.0 version). Boy, was I dead wrong. Not only did the first encounter with Dr. Robotnik (Eggman) appear to be impossible, I found the gameplay atrocious. Initially, I was disappointed in myself for my pitiful gaming abilities. However, the release of Sonic Lost World, I found that many gamers had begun to revisit the Sonic franchise with a similar conclusion: These games are terrible!
Phew! It wasn’t just me! Looking back on Sonic , I realized that a game whose primary selling point was the rush of momentum did not exist. It had been whittled down to a stop-and-go monstrosity. It also opened my eyes to a world of marketing that I did not see as a child. Sonic was successful not because it was good, but because it was the anti-Mario. It was the edgy ammunition SEGA kids had against the Nintendo crowd. Sonic was purely a marketing scheme. And because there was a thick layer of children that did not own an NES, Sonic feasted on these poor souls (mine included) with the “cool” factor. Albeit, we did score some of the best video game soundtracks to date.
This final point will surely do me in if I’ve already lost you. In trying to take my fiancée through some “classic” movies, we decided on Ghostbusters. You can probably see where this is going but hear me out. It has great moments and at the time, it was surely an amazing spectacle. But that movie does not hold up. Those pieces I found incredible as a child seemed astonishingly shallow and if not for Bill Murray, Rick Moranis and the “print is dead” quote, the movie would be nearly unwatchable.
Well, enough of my ranting. For those of you that are still able to enjoy TMNT, Sonic, and Ghostbusters, I salute you. In return, I ask what fond childhood media has stabbed your nostalgia in the back? Street Sharks? Are You Afraid of the Dark? Super Mario RPG? Die Hard? Sound off in the comments below!