I watch a truly alarming amount of children’s programming.
The sad thing is that I don’t watch kids’ shows because I have my own rugrats (I don’t) or because I’m trying to occupy other young minds with the blaring mindlessness of television. I’m not even doing any kind of noble research project.
I just…I just really like kiddy T.V. shows.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with a grown person enjoying a well-written episode of Sponge Bob. But when that adult begins endowing Sponge Bob with complicated motivations and anxieties…then that adult needs a glass of wine and a new hobby.
And so, on this theme of ‘Inappropriate Ways To Watch Children’s Programming’, I would like to bring you Jessica’s Top Seven Fictional Crushes, straight off the Disney reels and Cartoon Network.
1. Justin from Wizards of Waverly Place. I started watching this show to make fun of it. Seriously. I thought I was being clever, and within the first five minutes I started blogging in my head about how awful it was. “More like…stupids of…stupidly place.” Ha! Classic. But after ten minutes or so…I started giggling at some of the jokes. After twenty minutes, I started rooting for my favorite characters to come onscreen. And after the fourth straight episode, I was totally in fake-love with the show’s protagonist: dorky, adorable, awkwardly booksmart Justin Russo. After confirming my crush, I looked up the actor on Twitter, to see if he was as wonderful as I imagined him to be. But after the third tweet that spelled ‘girl’ as ‘grrl’, I decided to stick with fiction.
2. Ron Stoppable from Kim Possible. I think I have a thing for awkward, accident prone guys who have a witticism for every situation, I think. Kim Possible is basically the coolest show on television. It stars Kim as a teenage crimefighter (I know) who battles supervillains ranging from the menacing to the ridiculous, all the while trying to manage her schoolwork and her place on the cheerleading squad (I KNOW). Ron is her childhood best friend, who comes along and does what he can to help. I adore him because he is incapable. I promise this reflects in no way on Taylor.
3. Beast Boy from Teen Titans. I’m not going to try to justify this. This is shameful.
4. Aladdin from…uh…Aladdin. Okay, ladies. Admit it. Those eyebrows. That winning smile. The bad boy exterior that concealed his golden heart. You know you wanted Aladdin, from the age of eight onwards. If he just gave up that fez, he’d be perfect.
5. Shego from Kim Possible. Seriously, you guys. Watch Kim Possible.
6. The Flash from Justice League. The fast talking, fast moving member of the Justice League tries hard but never gets a break. Okay…he…he doesn’t try that hard. And he’s kind of obnoxious. But any episode where he is cut down to size by an irritable Batman just melts my heart. You’d think this means I had a fictional crush on Batman, but I tend to root for the underdog.
7. Speed Racer. Specifically the Emile Hirsch iteration. I don’t know if this is specifically children’s programming, but it has a monkey so I’m going with ‘yes’. The movie was panned by critics and suffered poor box office sales, but I can’t imagine why. Laura would argue that Speed Racer is inferior to the masked vigilante, Racer X, but give me the wholesome, hometown hero any day of the week.
So there they are. My secret shames, printed out loud on the internet for everybody to see. I am utterly convinced, though, that I am not alone in this. Somebody out there must have a stupid fake crush on Brock from Pokemon or Bumblebee from the transformers.
Shout out your fictional loves in the comments! Book-loves are okay as well.
I promise not to tell anybody.