Okay, I'll admit it; as a kid, Arthur
wasn't my bag. I was too busy wasting my time on trashy nonsense like re-runs of Biker Mice from Mars
, or Spaced Out
, or something. It was just a thing that was on in the background when I was playing Game Boy while waiting for something that interested me. Oy vey, young me... you sure turned out alright despite the odds! But hey (HEY!), you know... years later, that little bespectacled aardvark just popped into my head out of nowhere... something about it must have stuck with me. (...It was probably the theme song.)
Anyhoo, I seemed to remember an episode about some trippy duck show, and decided to look it up on YouTube
... and I saw the light
. True, Arthur
may not be the funniest, the most poignant, or hey (HEY!), even necessarily the most entertaining show out there... but it doesn't have to be. What Arthur
does best is really capturing the seldom-seen world of children like nothing else I've ever experienced. Boasting perhaps the single greatest cast in all of serialized animation, they are none of them archetypes beyond the most superficial glance (and depending on the writer, natch) and all have their good and bad qualities. You might not always learn something from an episode, but the true joy of Arthur
is just seeing how these characters respond to the situations they're put in. They just really make you care about those guys.
These days, people seem to give Arthur
an overly hard time because of certain (not entirely unfounded) quality issues, but it's not like it's that bad. Show's the same as it's been for a rough decade now, too... which is to say, not as good as in early times, but still more than worth a watch. It's maintained its quality better than The Simpsons
have over time, I'll tell you that much (I keep hoping for them to just plain cancel it so that Arthur
may claim the title of longest-running animated series, but second place ain't bad).
But hey (HEY!), there's just something about a show where people's default expressions is a smile. No matter how the world may change and life may seem harsh sometimes, it's good to know you can always go to Elwood City for a while and forget your troubles. As long as Arthur
is around, humanity's got a chance yet.