Captain Planet was truly one of the worst television TV shows of all time. Every episode was like a full-length version of one of those “and knowing is half of the battle” sketches of GI Joe, except always dealing with the same topic. I suppose you can say “Well, it’s good that young people are being taught about an important issue.” Except that half of the morals of the stories are already dated (it was before Global Warming was the issue of the day, back when it was all about the Ozone Layer) and they didn’t make it fun or interesting in the process. I mean, I was somewhere left of center on environmental issues when I was a kid, but that show was hard to take. Perhaps I was too old for it by the time it came out. As He-Man demonstrated, most young people will consume just about anything and think it good. It’s amazing that children’s TV programming has improved as much as it has.

I was a fan of Toxic Crusaders, though, which was also an earthy program. But one that managed to be at least a little bit interesting and humorous. I doubt I would appreciate it if I went back and watched it today. But it was at least tolerable to my younger self.


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12 Responses to HCW: Captain Planet

  1. Mike Hunt says:

    You were a young teenager when the 20th anniversary of Earth Day happened. Do you remember it at all? I seem to remember the media making a very big deal out of it.

    It’s amazing that children’s TV programming has improved as much as it has.

    The trick is to make it interesting for the parents too.

  2. trumwill says:

    I have no recollection of 20th Earth Day. My brain was only jogged to remember that Earth Day exists when I was reading Abel’s novel.

    Good point about parents. That’s probably gets at the heart of why they felt the need to prove. Well that and maybe artistic pride. Young adults have also demonstrated that they will watch children’s TV programming if it’s well done (like Airbender). So you can grab a larger audience.

  3. SFG says:

    Ah, Toxic Crusaders…naaah, that was more of a gross-out show, what with the guy who blows everything away by sneezing and the mutant in the tutu. Basically, it was Troma for kids.

    I actually enjoyed Captain Planet, not sure why. It was a little preachy, but it was interesting enough, and made me feel somehow virtuous for watching it. Though, really, weren’t the action figures made of the same plastic as GI Joe?

    I wonder if this is the way politics trickles down even to kids, given my upbringing in a very blue city in a blue state.

  4. trumwill says:

    Right or wrong, I think that environmentalism is impressed on children starting at a very, very young age.

  5. Mike Hunt says:

    Right or wrong, I think that environmentalism is impressed on children starting at a very, very young age.

    You are correct. The other thing that schools preach is anti-smoking. I can’t tell you how I used to badger my parents to quit when I was a kid. I shudder to think about it.

  6. stone says:

    Definitely funnier than his performance in “Hotel Rwanda.”

  7. stone says:

    “The other thing that schools preach is anti-smoking.”

    And anti-drugs. For the past 20 years, it’s all been about “Red Ribbon Week.” Ugh, it’s coming up at my kid’s school. They’re supposed to wear red EVERY DAY FOR A WEEK. And the pledges, the speeches, the art contests, the stupid local news photo ops, the crowding into quads for fascist pep rallies.

  8. trumwill says:

    the crowding into quads for fascist pep rallies.

    I guess you weren’t Miss Team Spirit.

    I always liked pep rallies. Much better than class.

  9. stone says:

    Dude. It’s fascist because they’re rallying *against* something, rather than for the school team. Did they have rallies against drugs when you were in school, or did you just skate by under the wire?

  10. trumwill says:

    We had this. I don’t know if that counts as a pep rally or not.

  11. SFG says:

    We, actually, did not, but I went to a quite lefty private school.

    And I’m not sure I’d describe antidrug rallies as ‘fascist’. I mean, it’s not like they’re advocating the creation of a totalitarian single-party state or anything. Was it Orwell who said fascism just basically means ‘not desirable’ now?

  12. trumwill says:

    Drat, I forgot to write my related Ghostland post.

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