Our generation grew up watching cartoons, we would come home from school and sit for hours, glued to our television sets until our mothers yelled at us to either eat dinner or do our homework. Now that (the majority) of us have grown up into adults we have stopped watching these older cartoons and have swapped them for other TV shows such as The Walking Dead, House of Cards and American Horror Story.
The cartoons we spent our childhood engrossed in came with hoards of commercials and the synergy between the cartoons and the products was phenomenal. We would see all of these commercials for action figures, card games, collectables and even video games and we were obsessed with them all. Pokémon was the biggest of them all. We all watched the show, we all had the cards and we were all determined to catch them all. My life revolved around Pokémon when I was younger and I can honestly admit that I would still play it today if I found my old gameboy colour. I miss training my Charmeleon and that feeling of accomplishment when it evolved into a Charizard, I miss that feeling of finally beating the elite four and I definitely miss forcing my brother to trade all of his best Pokémon with me for a level 12 Magikarp. Now as of this week, we can all drown ourselves in nostalgia because Netflix now has every episode of Pokémon available to stream online.
Netflix has been a massive game changer when it comes to our lives as older students, it gives us the opportunity to relive our past and now I’m probably going to spend the next two weeks of my life watching the adventures of Ash, Brock and Misty. Generation Y is constantly looking for ways to reclaim their childhood, Buzzfeed publishes endless quizzes about which 90’s TV character are you?, The Elite Daily is forever running articles about “The Best Foods And Beverages From Your Childhood Will Make You Wish You Had A Time Machine” and there are countless amounts of Twitter and Facebook pages dedicated to posting ‘Throwback’ photos to our childhood. But why are we so obsessed?
I would argue that most of us are just scared of growing up and having responsibilities. I’m sure that every generation before us has had these bouts of anxiety about the future, but our generation is definitely the first that had everything bottle fed to us. We all had such privileged upbringings compared to the generations at the turn of the last century. They had to fend for themselves and became independent and a much earlier age, I mean I still call my mother whenever I have to do the laundry so she can talk me through it for god sake. We just don’t want to have to let go of our easy lives and re-watching these shows, going through old boxes to find our Pokémon cards and playing vintage video games is the final thing that we are clinging to.
When Netflix announced that they had acquired the rights to the Pokémon series, I remember feeling two different emotions: first of all I was overcome with happiness, I thought to myself “finally, I can sit and cry to the scene where Ash sets his Butterfree into the wild all over again” but then I thought to myself, “God, I’m so old and I need to get over this obsession with these cartoons and video games” Which voice should I listen to? On one hand if I do sit and watch all of these cartoons then I’ll probably go days without doing any work and my productivity will be at an all time low; on the other hand I could sit and watch all of the episodes and be the happiest 20 year old on campus.
Netflix has now given the world and more importantly Generation Y the opportunity to just sit and vegetate in front of our screens, watching these shows for hours on end until our mothers or flatmates call us for dinner, or we eventually decide to do homework. Why should we have to give up our childhood when we grow up? Many people believe that our generation won’t be fully mature until we are into our 40’s and if that really is the case then I’m looking forward to the next 20 years.
I decided to listen to my inner child and here I am… crying over a Butterfree all over again.