Monday, May 4, 2009

I'm Living for the Weekend

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I've always been a fan of Saturday Morning Cartoons. Even up through high school and into college, which explains how The Weekenders is one of my all-time favorites, even though it didn't debut until 2000. It ran on ABC, and ruined Pokemon's run on the WB. It's not on at all anymore, although reruns were on ToonDisney and a few other channels for a few years.

This show worked HARD on being completely original and setting itself apart. The show centers on four kids and what they do on the weekends. Two guys and two girls, and their families are seen from time to time. Tino, voiced by Jason Marsden, is the main character, and often breaks the fourth wall while telling the audience about what's going on. But, two things that set the show apart: the kids' clothing and hairstyles actually change, which is rare for cartoons; the pizza place that they frequent is never the same background... the theme of the place is constantly changing. Some of my favorite themes were Cirque du Pizza, Mount Pizza-Uvious, Sherlock Pizza, Mission Impizzable, Pizzamergency, and Lord of the Pies.

Rarely was school a topic in the show, and I think that was a big draw for kids looking for an escape from other shows (which Recess did in a similar manner, but focusing mostly on playground situations). The crew could be found hanging at the arcade, the mall, movies, listening to music, playing sports, and other things tweens might do. There are no "very special" topics, but there was a holiday episode showcasing Christmas, Solstice, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah.

It got the boot because it was a Disney show. Disney and their fear of a show losing viewers just stops shows in their tracks.

This is a very early episode in the series, but it shows families, hobbies, and the general tone of the show.

Later Days!
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