Friday, November 1, 2013

Slice of life cartoons and why I like them

This is my first blog post on animation.

During the 1980s the only cartoons you could watch Saturday Mornings Cartoons or reruns of classical theatrical cartoons from the Golden Age of Animation.  SMCs of course were notoriously of low-quality and were quite bland to boot.  Theatrical cartoons from the Golden Age were of course of much higher quality but they went out of production in the 1960s most of the men who worked on them were either old, retired, or dead by that point.  The situation began to improve in the late 1980s with the introduction of new cartoons like The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Disney Afternoon cartoons like Gummi Bears, Ducktales, and Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers.  Of course the real breakthrough in cartoons didn't come until early 1990's when the first Nicktoons premiered, Doug, Rugrats, and of course Ren and Stimpy.  We all know that R&S started the gross-out cartoon genre, and Rugrats became a franchise of its own years later.  Doug by comparison, seems rather forgotten compared to the other two Nicktoons that premiered in 1991.  It was not edgy like Ren and Stimpy or at times gross like the Rugrats and the series itself seemed tame compared to the other two as well.  Doug on the other hand was maybe more innovative in its own right.  It may have very well started the slice of life cartoon genre.

While cartoons dealt with everyday situations since the Golden Age, OTOH the situations in the Golden Age cartoons were more wackier and were less realistic.  Slice-of-life cartoons of the 1990s were more realistic and seemed more down-to-earth storytelling wise.  They were usually pleasant to watch and the characters were usually people you can relate to.  They also tend to have more likable characters than some comedy shows.  A slice of life cartoon may or may not have much of a plot which combined with the lack of conflict at times could make people think the cartoons are boring.  Which is why slice of life cartoons don't' seem to have as large a fanbase as cartoons that are reliant on comedy and slapstick but they usually have significant and loyal fanbase.  I certainly enjoyed slice of life cartoons like Doug, Beavis and Butthead, Hey Arnold, and As Told by Ginger and a few others.  Many slice-of-life cartoons of served as a form of escapism and I think they often complimented comedy cartoons. There were stark differences between the two which led to more variety in the animation genre which I wish there was more of lately.

Nowadays slice of life cartoons are mostly under the radar.  I think the reason why genre mostly died out is due to the rise of cartoons like Spongebob and Fairly Oddparents and to a lesser extent, Family Guy which rely on more wacky situations which were enjoyed by young and old audiences.  Studios seem to have caught on the success of these aforementioned cartoons and began phasing out many of their slice of life cartoons.  The economy of the 2000s didn't help either.  Studios didn't want to take chances anymore so they decided to play it safe.  Most slice of life cartoons today are relegated to PBS because many of them are Educational TV.  Some comedy cartoons today do dabble in the slice of life genre but usually not for long. 

Lately, I've been shying away from comedy and slapstick cartoons.  The problem I have with comedy cartoons today is that the comedy often goes way overboard, this means that character development usually takes a back seat so the cartoons can be wacky and outlandish at times.  I also feel the market is over-saturated with comedy cartoons.  Many comedy cartoon usually have less likable characters than many slice of life cartoons which could make them less enjoyable.  While likable characters certainly do exist in comedy shows, the less likeable ones often get the spotlight which I'm not too crazy about.  Many of the long running comedy shows have main characters declining in likability such as Spongebob and Peter Griffin.  This doesn't mean I don't like comedy shows, some which are well written like Simpsons (Seasons 1-8) and Futurama that I enjoy a lot.

I would like it if the slice of life cartoons made a comeback.  It was good that they had variety in the animation genre.  Slice of life cartoons are a form of escapism just as much as comedy cartoons can be.  While they may not have as much conflict as many comedy and slapstick cartoons, this didn't mean that they weren't enjoyable.  There were certainly people who enjoyed them besides myself.  They popularity of the cartoons weren't phenomenal but this didn't mean that people did not like them.  I don't think they deserved to be branded as boring and unentertaining because they could have funny and interesting moments.  Everybody has different tastes when it comes to cartoons, some people like comedy cartoons, others like slice of life cartoons like myself.

Well that was a good post.  See ya soon.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Rebel's who go against authority good? I think not!

Wow this was quite a week!  We narrowly avoided default again.  For the past few years this has become an on and off again occurrence.  Whenever a deal is reached, it is always at the eleventh hour.  It's just pathetic.  I like most Americans is disgusted with our government.  OTOH I'm not going jump on the anti-government bandwagon.  I'm not a rebel who want to tear authority down because that would create more problems.  I believe that some authority is need or else we would descent into chaos.  We maybe annoyed by certain rules and laws but they don't come out of the sky.  There are reasons why they exist. 

I just seems that rebels who go against authority are popular with the American public.  I on the other hand, tend to see through the stereotype.  I know that many of these so-called rebels are not exactly the nicest of folk and yet we root for them.  They don't only go against members of authority, they occasionally go after innocent people as well.  Tearing down authority is not the solution to our problems, in fact it would create even more problems.  I read that a few people on the Internet wish that we would go back to simpler times like the 1970's.  What was so great about the 1970's???  Sure you had good sitcoms and cars in that decade, but music was a mixed bag, animation was in the crapper, crime was skyrocketing, we were dealing with the aftereffects of the Vietnam War, had rampant inflation, and the clothing styles, UGH!   Sure it seemed like we had more freedom back then but the 70's overall, was not a good decade.  People maybe nostalgic for the past (I can get so as well) but I also do believe the past also had a lot of problems as well.

Now you may think of me of going against what most Americans believe but I'm also rational about certain things.  I try not to jump to conclusions but I also like a little insight to what goes on.  I'm not against freedom in general, but I do believe that people tend to abuse it or use it to justify immoral actions.  I have standards, like everyone else.  I also think that society could use a few rules because having no rules is not really a good thing.

Well, I'm done ranting.  I'll post again soon.  See ya!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Photos from Jamaica

I really meant to go to out east today but I just missed the train.  I had to make a change in plans.  I had a train ticket to Jamaica so I ended up going there.  While I was there, I took some photos.
View from the western overpass

C3 5017 cabcar layed up at Jamaica

A diesel train hauled by a DE30 arrives at Jamaica

A C3 layed up with Airtrain terminal behind it

View down 144th St towards Jamaica Ave

Jamaica Station building

A small regional jet taking off from LaGuardia

Looking northwest toward Jamaica Hospital in the distance
The weather was great.  I had to wait a half-hour for the train back home because I missed the one that was at the station.  It was a nice ride on the train, there was a fair at Merrick station and a flea market taking place at Bellmore station.  Already half of Massapequa station has been demolished for renovation.  It was nice taking a train ride again.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My first Blog Post

Hi everybody!  My name is Frank LeViness.  I'm 30 years old and living on Long Island.  This is my first blog post.  The subjects will be based off rail fanning, photography, and anything I want to speak my mind about.  My opinions may be frank, but I'm an honest man.  You can all agree or disagree with me but I will not tolerate people giving me a hard time and I don't suffer fools gladly to be honest.  My opinions may differ from most people because I have a different perspective on life.  You are welcome to make comments as long as there is no spamming or defamation.

Well, that's enough with my introduction.  I will post soon.  See ya then!