I'm a big believer in not leaving the raising of our kids to the television and making sure to spend quality time with them whenever possible. That's what I hope to do when I have kids. That being said, some of my fondest memories as a kid were the excitement of Saturday mornings. It was kind of like a mini Christmas every week, because I didn't have to go to school or even Church. Plus, I got to watch cartoons (usually really awesome ones too) untill at least around noon. Even if I had house work or homework to do, it was okay to wait till noon on a Saturday to get started on that stuff. It was the start of the weekend. Saturdays had a special feel to them. Over time, that started to change though.
I can still remember how the general tv line up went. Around seven o'clock the good cartoons started. Six was when the okay cartoons were on. And if you were up too early and got lucky, some times, there would even be something that might be kind of crappy, but was at least a cartoon as early as five or five thirty. And from then on untill around noon, it was like half a dozen broadcast networks and a few cable channels were competing for my time. There were cartoons like "Batman", "Spiderman", "The Xmen", "Sonic the hedgehog", and all kinds of other shows. There were so many great cartoons that at one point, they started having a separate cartoon line up on some of the networks for Sunday.
Now, I look on tv on a typical Saturday morning and I have to remind myself what day it is. At five, we have infomercials... on almost every channel. At six, we have.... more infomercials. This is usually followed at seven by, you guessed it, infomercials. Around eight or nine, the marathons usually start. No, not cartoon marathons. We're talking crime drama marathons, because that's "exactly" what you want your seven year old to watch. Not only do you not see as many cartoons on Saturdays as back when most of us were kids, but you actually see less than you would on an average week day. I realize there is an entire station dedicated to cartoons now, but they don't always play cartoons and when they do, there is almost never the level of variety that there was when I was a kid. And how could there be? It's one station with no real competition. On average, cartoons kind of suck now compared to twenty or so years ago. My fiance' and I have gotten to the point that we buy dvd sets of our favorite old cartoons any time we see them at a decent price in the store just so that when we do have kids, they won't completely miss out on the good cartoons that we had. Let's be honest here; kids are still watching tv just as much as they did when we were growing up. We might as well try to give them something better to watch than "Law and Order SVU". Just because adults enjoy watching a show, obviously doesn't make it suitable for their kids. I don't know why this change ever started, but I think it needs to go back to the way it used to be. It would really be easier on all of us. You don't have to worry as much about what your kids are watching while you're trying to eat your breakfast when you know "Scooby Doo" is on the television.