The Point of No Return.

”I've passed the point of no return. You know what that is? That's the point in a journey where it's harder to go back to the beginning than to continue on to the end.”Michael Douglas, Falling Down (1993)

Life offers all kinds of moments we can't return to, irreversible changes that are sometimes good and sometimes bad, but all part of growth. Over the weekend, I happened to see a commercial heralding ”Transformers: Cybertron”, weekday afternoons at 4:30. The last time I watched a Transformers cartoon in that time slot was over twenty years ago, when a ten-year-old MCF raced home from school with one thing on his mind: robots. Before I realized what I was doing, the VCR remote was in my hand and I'd programmed Monday through Friday. Last night, during commercials between ”How I Met Your Mother” and ”Prison Break”, I discovered that I can't go back. It's a sobering thing, but sober is often good.

It was bad. It blended animé with computer generated models, and the seams were painfully visible. The badly dubbed voices were irritating, even though some of the voice actors I'd enjoyed on other series. I would say perhaps ten minutes of the episode constituted actual plot, while the rest were elaborate sequences demonstrating the robots turning in to vehicles. They each announced their name, and changed one at a time while electric guitars blazed and a rotating glowing grid in the background threatened to give me seizures. Not only was the cel animation of the original series easier on the eyes, the transforming was fast, leaving more time to tell an actual story. This was the most blatant toy commercial I've ever had the misfortune to fast forward through. By the time a flying firetruck soared through the forest, I was already furiously deleting it from my program. I don't know what I was thinking.

Nostalgia has value. It grounds us, and common experiences unite us. Nostalgia tends to color the past in a different light, and we sometimes think things were better than they actually were. Tastes also change as we mature, but that too is a good thing. It's good to look back sometimes, realize we're not the person we once were, and gain perspective into who we are, and who we will be. I've come too far, further than I realized, and I can't go back. It's scary, but moving one step at a time is enough to take anyone forward.

That being said, one is compelled to question:

11 years of ER

Rocky VI


Police Academy: Mission to Moscow

Gung Ho the series.

Star Trek(this will definitely get me in trouble with some readers)

Susan Lucci(she's been playing the same role for 35 years)

The Golden Palace

Three's a Crowd

Kato Kaelin

Feel free to continue the list in the comments....


Blogger TheWriteJerry said...

You dare to dis' Susan Lucci!!!

I may just have to drop this blog...

9/21/2005 9:05 AM  
Blogger MCF said...

I should be surprised that THAT's the "you can't recapture the past"/"enough already" that offended you, but somehow I'm not.

34 years and how many husbands? Or has Erica settled down in the years since I last saw that show, making my comment way off base? :)

Susan Lucci is a lovely, ageless woman, btw, just to clarify that I wasn't dissing her per se.

9/21/2005 10:51 AM  
Blogger Curt said...

Any reality show featuring D-list celebrities: The Surreal Life, Celebrity Mole, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, etc. It's sad, really, though Kathy Griffin seems to be really enjoying herself, which I can respect.

9/21/2005 11:01 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

I completely relate to this post. Well, except I didn't watch The Transformers, but still.

Oh and Susan Lucci? Diss away...please.:)

9/21/2005 7:49 PM  
Blogger Lorna said...

Everything you said, except the Star Trek blasphemy. I just can't get enough of that wonderful stuff....but any comedy filmed before 1990, unless it's Square Pegs or The Duck Factory could go on that list; every soap ever bubbled; anything that gets shown on the Country Music Channel, except the music; anything with dogs in it; unfortunately, ThunderBall XL-5 doesn't hold up; and the Carson reruns.

9/21/2005 8:24 PM  
Blogger FawnDoo said...

Star Trek? Hey! :-D

I have to agree on many of your points though, especially "Joey"...and modern Transformers shows are just terrible. I watched some of "Energon" fully expecting a nostalgic trip back to my favourite cartoon of the 80s and gave up after 10 minutes. Utter, utter tripe. Okay so the original series was never exactly "Citizen Kane" but at least it tried from time to time.

Not one that has run on too long, but a show that hasn't aged well in some ways is "Babylon 5" - rewatching some of the early stuff is a bit painful.

And ok, I will grant you the "Star Trek" one - after DS9 the whole franchise seemed to lose it's way a bit. *grumble*

9/22/2005 4:45 AM  
Blogger Kev said...

The current generation of Transformers leaves much to be desired - however, Beast Wars grew on me - combining elements of the original show and the Marvel Comic into one was nice. When I first saw the toys, and saw maybe one episode on TV - I thought "Wow, Transformers is really scraping to stay alive." Then I read about it on the 'net and watched a few more episodes and love it!

Trek: classic, and it spawned so much other genre stuff - but it needs to rest for awhile!

9/22/2005 7:12 PM  
Blogger Xtine said...

I dont know about susan lucci but your post did make me think of fragles and smurfs...eh, whats a smurf anyway?

9/22/2005 10:09 PM  

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