9 July 2002 | Hancock_the_Superb
Part One: The Golden Years
I used to love "The Rugrats". Before they became unbearably popular. Before Dil came. Before David Doyle died. Before the movies. Before . .. you get the picture.
Why? Very simple. The initial Rugrats was a great show.
When the show premiered, in 1991, with "Tommy's First Birthday", nobody could've guess how far it would go. It had a simple premise: what life as a baby was like.
As the show began to climb, the jokes and the show itself began to become polished. The animation was horrid - but who cares? If the show's enjoyable, then I won't hate it for a single quality. Besides, the scribbles that made up the animation added to the whimisical feel of the show.
The show was, at first, intellegent, with jokes and plotlines that both kids and adults could relate to. Media references abounded. For example, in "Showdown at Teeter-Totter Gulch", a Stetson-wearing Tommy faces off against the "Junkfood Kid" (played by Nancy Cartwright), recalling "High Noon" and numerous Leone westerns. In "The Booster Shot", Chucky's doctor is named "Dr. Lecter", a reference to the flesh-eating psychiatrist from "The Silence of the Lambs". The episode with Dean (Angelica's love interest) spoofs James Dean in "Rebel Without A Cause". "The Dog Groomer" recalls "The Terminator", "The Mysterious Mr. Fiend" spoofs "Frankenstein", Dr. Lipschitz (Tony Jay) is a Sigmund Freud-esque child psychologist, and numerous others are similarly intellegent.
Also, the characters were well-developed and likeable. At this point, the dialogue was great. Not only the kids, but the adults. The adults were intellegent, had emotions, and were very realisitc. They made many of the jokes, and were interesting, rather than the no-dimensional shells they become.
The show's popularity began to grow in 1992, but it ended abruptly in 1994, when Paul Germaine left the show.
(Continued in Part Two.)