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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Galaxy High

Today's entry in the blog combines two very different topics.  One topic, I absolutely loved...the other I couldn't stand.  But by blending both of them together into a nice thick mix, the two contrasting parts become one blended beauty filled with thirteen servings of animated fun and laughs.

The two parts that make up this whole are Saturday Morning Cartoons of the 1980s (yay) and high school (nay).  

Now, as far as my dislike of high school goes...well, you already know how I feel about that.  I won't talk about it here in today's blog because most of you have heard that story before.  

But Saturday Morning Cartoons of the 1980s?  Now we're talking.

I was born during the early 1980s, and as a result, I got more than a taste of the wonderful creative period known as the 1980s.  It truly was a great time to be a kid.  I must have planned my entire schedule so that I could watch every single cartoon ever made.  

Fortunately, with only three networks to choose from (my family didn't sign up for cable television until 1988), it made it quite easy to watch every single cartoon with my foolproof schedule.  From September to December, I'd watch CBS.  Then from January until April, I'd watch NBC, and from May to August, I would watch ABC.  I tell you, I put a lot of time into making sure I got the most of every single Saturday Morning Cartoon schedule.  

But, lest you think that cartoons were all that I cared about as a kid, I should also mention that I made sure that my homework was completed, and once the cartoons ended for the day, I was promptly shooed outside to play.

I mean, if you were lucky enough to be a kid during the 1980s as I was, you know exactly what I am talking about.  And in a world in which Saturday Morning Cartoons airing on major networks seemingly is a thing of the past, I'll always treasure those memories forever.

Now, I'll admit that I was a huge fan of the long running shows that aired on Saturday Mornings.  Shows like "Alvin and the Chipmunks", "The Smurfs", "Muppet Babies", and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" were almost always on at my house.  But I have a confession to make.  Some of my all-time favourite cartoons were shows that only aired for one season.  Unlike most sitcoms and drama series, a standard cartoon serial only ran for thirteen episodes (approximately a little over half the episodes of a standard sitcom).  And I think that one of the main reasons why I love the one-season wonders so much is because they were here one moment and gone the next.  

And it wasn't necessarily because of the fact that a lot of them were bad shows.  A lot of them were very good.  They just weren't given a fair shot.

I'm just going to put it out there.  I bet most of you don't remember one-season wonders such as "Heathcliff", "Rude Dog and the Dweebs", "Dink the Little Dinosaur", and "The New Archies", and many of you might not even like those cartoons.  But those were some of the shows that I enjoyed as a kid, and would still enjoy today if they were airing on television today.

And then there's today's blog topic which combines animation with high school...and as it so happens, the setting happens to be a high school that its students would rank as being out of this world.

Seriously, the high school happens to be in outer space.

It's a show called "Galaxy High", and it happens to have one of the most unique and interesting theme songs that I remember hearing for a cartoon.  I think that's how come I was immediately drawn to the show as a then five-year-old boy.  Have a listen for yourselves.

Okay, so by today's standards, it sounds extremely dated.  In the 1980s, this was considered cutting edge.

The show itself only ran for thirteen episodes between September 13, 1986 to December 6, 1986, after which it continued airing in reruns until September 1987.  And fun fact for all of you reading this.  The series was created by Chris Columbus - the director behind such films as "Home Alone" and the first two movies of the Harry Potter film series.  And another fun fact.  The theme song itself was composed by Don Felder, a member of The Eagles!

Now, I'll admit that when I first watched this show, I was a kid hyped up on the sugary sweet goodness of Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms.  I remember vividly what all the characters looked like, but couldn't really remember what the show was all about until I started watching random episodes of the show on video sharing sites.  And after watching about six of the episodes, I think that I can talk about who some of the characters are, and what made this show so unique.

So, here's how it all began.  You have two typical American high school students who could not be more different.  You have star athlete Doyle Cleverlobe.  He's great at every single sport in his original high school, extremely popular with the ladies, and is arguably the most popular kid in school.

Compare that with the life of Aimee Brightower.  She's your stereotypical school brain.  She spends more time studying than socializing, and unlike Doyle, Aimee is a wallflower, who quickly finds herself fading further into the background each day.

However, both of them do have one thing in common.  They have both been selected to transfer to Galaxy High School, a high school that happens to be floating in the middle of outer space on top of a giant asteroid known as Flutor.  It most certainly is the opportunity of a lifetime, and of course, Doyle and Aimee are psyched about being able to go to school in outer space.  I mean, wouldn't you be?

But it isn't until they arrive at Galaxy High that Doyle and Aimee realize that the student body of Galaxy High is nothing like what they are both used to.  

Let's just go over some of the students of Galaxy High, shall we?

Milo de Venus - Galaxy High's student body president, he always welcomes students with open arms...all six of them.
Gilda Gossip - A student with Medusa like hair with lips attached to each strand - perfect for spreading rumours like wildfire.
Beef Bonk - The leader of the gang known as the Bonk Bunch.  Also the school bully who has a deep-seeded hatred for Earth and Earthlings.
Wendy Garbo - An attractive alien who quickly becomes friends with Aimee.
Booey Bubblehead - A girl who has a bubble for a head...which simulates the fact that she's not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer.
The Creep - The runt of the school who has a secret crush on Aimee.

So, yeah...certainly an interesting crew of characters, wouldn't you agree?  But, don't let their appearances scare you.  All of them (well, except for maybe Beef Bonk) were extremely nice and cool to hang around with.

But here's where the show becomes interesting, and teaches the viewer a very valuable lesson on popularity...being that popularity is what you make it.  And that sometimes you can be popular in one place, but completely be humbled in another.

It's a lesson that the egotistical Doyle learned the hard way when he enrolled as a student at Galaxy High.  Being used to being the big kahuna at his Earth school, he saw Galaxy High as a chance to become the most popular kid in the whole universe - even telling Aimee to stay away from him because she would cramp his style.

So imagine Doyle's surprise when Aimee ends up becoming the most popular girl in school!  She quickly befriends Gilda, Wendy, and Booey, and is the object of affection from many of the male aliens.  Doyle, on the other hand, is not really making any friends (except for maybe Milo), because his aura of superiority really turns off the other students.

I always said the student body of Galaxy High were great judges of character!

As the series progressed, Doyle began to loosen up and found a way to fit in using his athletic abilities to charm the students of Galaxy High.  And he even begins to treat Aimee with a little more respect - seemingly paving the way to a possible romance.

Just a shame the show got cancelled before anything really happened.

And now I have a special treat for all of you reading this.  I managed to locate the first episode of Galaxy High for your viewing pleasure.

Click HERE for Part One
Click HERE for Part Two

Click HERE for Part Three

(And, I want a locker just like Aimee's!)

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