Shows Worth Getting Up On A Saturday For
When I was writing the blog post about toys and games from my childhood the other night, I also started thinking about the TV shows I would watch around the same time. There were plenty to keep me occupied, despite not having a 24/7 source like there is today. Allocated times slots for each show was saved to memory, and I would be glued to the TV during those times of entertainment joy.
Saturday mornings shows were loud, colourful and in your face so you’d certainly be wide awake! Characters such as Timmy Mallett on the Wide Awake Club, early performances from Neil Buchanan and Sandy Toksvig in Number 73 and were watched avidly and many famous guests would appear. I would occasionally watch Saturday Super Store but it always wasn’t my first choice.
The Animations That Were My Classics
Cartoons, Animation and CGI have come a long way since the 80’s but I still have fond memories of my favourite cartoons. From heroes in shows like Dungeons & Dragons, Thundercats, He-Man (and She-Ra!), Ulysses31, Transformers and Mysterious Cities of Gold to the more lighthearted and humerous good guy shows like Batfink, Dangermouse, SuperTed, Dogtanian and the Three Muskahounds and Count Duckula. The graphics compared to today may be a little flat but I would still happily watch them now without caring much about that. It was all about the lovable characters and stories that drew me in. The music was always catchy, and I knew every word!
I will just give thanks to the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon in particular. It set me up for a long lasting and beloved pastime that spans 20 years. I play RPG in many forms with friends and the cartoon was my first taste of a much vaster and more enriching world than I ever could have imagined.
Puppets And Claymation
Given how every effect these days relies heavily on CGI and smooth editing, there is still something about the puppets that I absolutely love. I used to chuckle away at Fraggle Rock, revel in Gerry Anderson’s Terrorhawks and Captain Scarlett and in my younger years I would always include Sesame Street. The education from that show I consider far more intuitive and sensible than the shows of today that have either alternative words to the ones we would learn or just have no words at all. Both of my children were Sesame Street fans and I was happy with that.
There aren’t many model style shows that I can recall being much taken by. But one does stand out as a fabulous piece of work and that is Trapdoor. Little plasticine creatures wriggling across the screen were wonderful!
Bursting With Creativity
Arts and crafts are a large par of my life, both as my own hobby and with my children through their school and home. TV shows were always good to get the creative juices flowing and ideas would burst forth after watching shows like Blue Peter, Art Attack! and Hart Beat with Morph a beloved character and I would so badly want to make all the things I saw in every episode. I considered the presenters so talented and clever. Now, of course, I realise they had a whole host of assistance in the background as well as the ability to cut and edit the show to remove the parts that would reveal all this. Yet, they were instrumental in my own desire to be artistic and make things.
Kaylah has a massive amount of arts and craft materials at her disposal. She will have bursts of wanting to make things and I am more than happy to provide. Sometimes she may sit on her own, and sometimes I will work with her. It is because of these shows that ignited my own passion that I am able to stoke hers and it gives us something in common to enjoy.
Live Action and Game Shows
But where would we be without of course, the live action shows? Slapstick comedy like SuperGran and Rentaghost would have me howling with laughter. The more serious ones like Newsround and Grange Hill may still have me watching occasionally but my interest would wane a bit. Then there were the more mysterious ones like Chocky and the animal lover in me was enchanted by The Really Wild Show.
Most children will watch the game shows with child contestants. The gunge, the screaming audience and the zany challenges were messy, noisy and you can bet the viewers wished they were there. Fun House, Crackerjack and Double Dare all had copious amounts of goo and slime either dive into or have tipped over them.
Gratuitous Wander Down Memory Lane
Whilst this may be not much more than a long list of 80’s kids shows in their respective genres, it is to me a catalogue of wonderful memories. The shows were amazing to me, and for a while they were my whole, square and brightly coloured world. I did move on to more action packed shows such as Knight Ride and Airwolf but I will try and draw my list to a close here before I go on for another dozen titles.
I wonder how many of these would today’s kids really sit and watch? Would they grasp the lessons offered and would they even really care? I have offered a few of them to Kaylah to see her responses. She totally loved Trapdoor when I bought the complete series box set DVD. She has also been happy to watch the first few episodes of He-Man, though I was genuinely confused as I hadn’t seen them before. Nor did he look right. I then found out that there was a remake, which explained the more polished version.
I hope that you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Maybe I have jogged your memory of some shows that you loved as much as I. If you have managed to reach this point without becoming bored, then I salute you. I hope that it brings fond memories, and maybe even a little peek on YouTube to some of the theme tunes and episodes to reminisce!