Surely it can’t really be this bad? I loved this so much.
I sat in my extremely comfortable rocking chair, all alone with a stack of DVD’s and a TV in front of me. You see, a few months ago I had become nostalgic. I craved some reminder of my childhood, some proof that the times I had enjoyed so much as a child hadn’t disappeared. I played the first DVD. It contained a few episodes of my favourite childhood TV show: Nickelodeon’s Rugrats. I hadn’t seen the show in ages. That fact is a little funny in itself because I still quote some of the more obscure lines to my sisters who also enjoyed the show and we have a laugh. About an hour into watching reruns, I switched off the TV in boredom.
I loved this show as a kid, yet rewatching it now in my 20’s I couldn’t stand more than 4 episodes of the show. I actually kind of scoffed at how bad it really was. The stories weren’t particularly good, the characters, while memorable, weren’t enjoyable and the whole thing just seemed off. This begged the question: had the show changed or had I?
My childhood wasn’t the best. I was picked on at school, I lost my dad and my mum wasn’t always there for me. What I did have was a comfy couch and a solid 3 hours in the afternoon where mum wasn’t home to tell me to do my homework. I had an escape from my life. Watching what Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil and Angelica were up to allowed me to forget my own problems and enjoy the can of Fanta I had smuggled out of the fridge that my big sister didn’t see.
The same experience happened but with video games a few weeks later. I had found my old Gameboy Colour and my copy of Pokémon Yellow. I was so very excited, Pokémon was always a big part of my childhood. I spent so many hours playing and wasted so many AA batteries. So I blew out the dust from the cartridge and plugged it in. Memories flooded back of how I had to find a Mankey or Caterpie to actually beat Brock’s gym. I named my character and started my grand adventure. I didn’t even make it to Pewter City. The fundamental brokenness of the game just baffled me. Sure, for its time Pokémon Yellow was a masterpiece of a RPG game but compare the broken mechanics to the most recent generation and you are left wondering why you put up with that crap as a kid.
I realize now that unlike Peter Pan we all have to grow up. It’s how life works, childhood me is different to how I am now. So even though I loved Rugrats back then, I have to admit I don’t like it at all now. But that’s okay. It still has a place in my heart because it isn’t the show I enjoyed, It was the escape it provided me in a hard time of my life.