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Top 5 TV shows from childhood

Cartoons are one of the greatest parts of childhood, but which resonate with Gen Z?
Students+today+are+filled+with+nostalgia+for+the+television+shows+of+their+youth.+%28Photo+illustration+created+by+Wildcat+Chronicle+Staff+using+royalty-free+image+by+Vika+Glitter+via+Pexels.com%29
Students today are filled with nostalgia for the television shows of their youth. (Photo illustration created by Wildcat Chronicle Staff using royalty-free image by Vika Glitter via Pexels.com)

Some of the most important times of people’s lives come from their childhood, 10 (or so) years in the past. Sitting down on the couch or the floor, listening to the static of the TV for a few seconds, the sun beaming through the curtains and blinds, and the blast of a theme song: this is the scene so many recall. 

Childhood shows: they made people laugh, cry, and feel excited for the next episode. Shows like “Regular Show” and “Ben 10” remind fans of an era that was simpler and yet neither makes the Top 5. So, without further ado, go back in time one last time.

#5 Wild Kratts

Starting off at Number #5 is “Wild Kratts”, a show on PBS Channel, in which two brothers, Chris and Martin Kratts, explore the world and discover many wild but different animals. The brothers also befriend many, showing a different side to what most would consider to be dangerous; of course, “Wild Kratts” is a kid’s show, so no one is getting mauled to death by a lion. That said, the Kratts do have four villains to deal with, one being a rival inventor (Zach), a fashion designer (Donita) and her henchman (Dabio), and Chef Gourmand with a new villain (Paisley, a web designer). Together the brothers and teammates (Aviva, Jimmy Z, and Koki) help foil the villains another day. 

Wild Kratts is #5 because the show tries and successfully teaches kids about basic biology, zoology, and ecology. This is the longest show the real-life Kratts brothers produced, and the last show to premiere on PBS Kids. “Wild Kratts” also teaches kids that small strides can have big impacts. “Wild Kratts” is a good, educational show that many should have seen in the late 2000s to the early 2010s, and arguably has the best theme song for a PBS kid show.

#4 The Amazing World of Gumball

Those who enjoyed watching “Regular Show” will definitely enjoy watching Gumball and his adopted brother, a fish named Darwin. In “The Amazing World of Gumball”, Gumball always has a scheme up his sleeve and drags Darwin with him. Fun fact: Darwin used to be the family pet until he grew legs.

“The Amazing World of Gumball” would be considered a sitcom due to the brothers’ shenanigans, along with the smartest member in the family, Anais, the breadwinner and mother, Nicole, and lazy but surprisingly diligent and buff father, Richard. The show ends with the universe collapsing or imploding from how unnatural Gumball’s universe is.

Gumball definitely deserves the #4 spot for how each episode brings some sort of humor, ranging from funny to dark humor. The show never strays from controversial topics and always loves to take a swing at such topics, from philosophy, marriage, cyberbullying, political intolerance, mental illness, and the human condition. This is a must-watch with siblings and maybe parents. Also a show that provides Gumball nuking their fictional town with his unique plan to be president. A 10/10 for sure.

#3 Scooby-Doo!

A series of mysterious, whimsical adventures with four teenagers and a talking dog is the idea behind “Scooby-Doo”. The main goal of Mystery Incorporated, the group at the center of this cartoon, is to solve supposed crimes involving supernatural creatures that turn out to be business owners trying to scam some other corporation or individual. 

The famous ‘Mystery Machine” that appears in every version of Scooby-Doo. (Photo by Photo courtesy of Jay R via Unsplash )

“Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated” earns the #3 spot for the major impact Scooby had on other animated and mystery shows. Also, there is nothing more memorable than Scooby-Doo, a major icon in the animation industry. With special help from Fred (the leader), Daphine (the beauty), Velma (the brains), and Shaggy (the G.O.A.T.), the show demonstrates teamwork gets the job done. Plus, there was the iconic meme that appeared in 2017, known by OGs as Ultra-Instinct Shaggy, that continued to solidify “Scooby Doo” as a still timely piece of humor and foolishness.

To this day, Shaggy has used only a mere 5% of his power.

#2 Gravity Falls

“Gravity Falls” is a story about twins Dipper and Mabel Pines, who are sent to spend a summer with their grunkle (meaning a great-uncle), Stan, in a mysterious town named Gravity Falls in Oregon. Stan utilizes child labor, with the use of the twins to help run his mystery shack, a tourist trap store. Yet things take a turn when Dipper finds a cryptic journal that leads to more strange and downright disturbing events for the Pine Twins. With a twist that involves Grunkle Stan having a twin named Ford, (who was trapped in a dimension machine but is released after using Dipper’s journal), this show offers plenty of twists. Soon thereafter, a Doritio came along and nearly destroyed the universe, but was stopped by the twins’ trust and bond.

After a long fight, “Gravity Falls” falls to #2 but that does not mean the show was not good: in fact, the opposite is true, as this show expresses the unique connection between of siblings, and offers important lessons, such as if siblings do not reconcile, the rift leads to grudges – which are not good since siblings are, of course, lifetime friends.

Also, one cannot discount the massive influence “Gravity Falls” had on future shows such as “Star vs the Forces of Evil” to “Rick and Morty”. The show provided a legacy that is cemented as one of the greatest masterpieces in cartoon history.

#1 Phineas and Ferb

Two brothers, Phineas and Ferb Flynn, along with their friends, aim to find a way to satisfy their insatiable boredom during their long one hundred and four days of summer vacation. Their sister tries to get them “busted”, or in trouble, by snitching to their parents, who are not the brightest, and fail to see their sons’ creations and inventions. Their family pet though, Perry the Platypus, is a secret agent battling against “evil” Dr. Doofenshmirtz. So a lot is going on in the TV show “Phineas and Ferb”, right?

For all that, “Phineas and Ferb” is at the #1 spot. The show uses the same formula, but always keeps each episode fresh. There are motifs of love, anger, hate, forgiveness, sibling fights, frustrations, violence, and of course, character growth. Also every episode has a different musical song that endears “Phineas and Ferb” to viewers’ hearts.

Plus, the show offers some important lessons; for example, do not be a snitch (look at Candace).

Want to know what WEGO students and staff had to say about their favorite childhood shows? Click here to check-in with WEGO.

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About the Contributor
Fernando Calvillo-Morales, Multimedia Content Creator
Senior Fernando Calvillo-Morales has put a lot of his time into clubs and sports including, Student Council (where he is co-President), Rock Climbing Club, the Varsity tennis team, Robotics Team, yearbook, and Compass. Fernando is clearly a leader within the West Chicago community. He has always been very dedicated, and applied himself to being the best he can be. A significant part of Fernando is his humor: most would say he is quite a jokester. He can never fail to make someone laugh and instantly improve their day. Loyalty is also an especially important quality to Fernando, and he is a firm believer in helping others find success. When Fernando is not found drinking chia water, he is listening to NF. His favorite part about NF is his ability to sing and go in-depth about the highs and lows of life, and how to overcome obstacles. 
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  • Mr. Aiello's DenDec 7, 2023 at 10:55 am

    NO SPONGEBOB? How dare you…