Kid Shows Once Forgotten -SB


Why do shows from our childhood stick with us after all these years? When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I remember sitting down with my family during supper time and picking a show to watch with our meal. I don’t know how it happened, but we were watching Courage the Cowardly Dog. It seemed fine with me; it was a cartoon and that’s what I liked back then. However, I feel as though my little brain wasn’t developed enough to fully process exactly how terrifying this show was. Courage the Cowardly Dog (Courage) is a Cartoon Network cartoon which aired for four seasons from 1999 to 2002. It is one of the many TV shows from a lot of people’s childhoods, including mine, and I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or not.
One of the first things you may think of Courage is, “Oh, it’s just a cute metamorphic dog who lives with those 2 old people.” Leaving it at just that, however, would be a disservice. Clearly, this series was adored by many people, since the show has just above 50 original episodes. Many people, including myself, have very distinct memories of certain episodes which include terrifying and traumatic villains. For reference, a common episode fans bring up as one of the scariest is season four, episode 13 titled “Perfect.” Which is also the last episode of the series. As much as it is creepy, it also has an important lesson.
In the episode, Courage is left with a stern British woman. Think uptight all-girls school: That’s where this lady would fit right in. She is even equipped with a long ruler to make sure Courage is standing tall and walking straight. The lady goes through a series of tasks with Coward, testing him on whether or not he is perfect, which he clearly isn’t. This is when one of the creepiest parts of the episode comes in. When Courage went to sleep that night, in his dream was a blue blob with a human-like face and a long, curling tube on the left side of its head. It says in a breathy voice, echoing and increasing in volume, “You’re not perfect.” I used to hear random voices in my head when I was younger and they sounded very similar to how the blob guy speaks, so when I heard that again when I rewatched the series, it did not sit well with me. Not to mention the character’s appearance. Sure, I’m not scared of it, but you have to admit that it would be terrifying for a child to have watched. Throughout the episode, we see a common theme: Courage’s imperfection.
The reason so many people think that this is one of the scariest episodes of the franchise is because of that one blue blob dream from earlier. It was one scene which lasted for 11 seconds, but something in our brains takes those 11 seconds and distributes the creepy and ominous quality throughout the entire episode. Nonetheless, Courage the Cowardly Dog is a treasure in cartoon history.
To bring it back, the end title music is unironically very good. I feel as though a lot of kids’ shows back in the 1990s to the 2000s had great soundtracks, but it could be a symptom of nostalgia. I’m glad that I had an excuse to revisit one of my favorite childhood cartoons. I hope everyone who reads this takes the time to watch Courage the Cowardly Dog because it is nothing short of a great show. It does have many scary occurrences, but it is honestly a funny program with some great lessons. If you watched Courage when you were younger (or even if you didn’t) I highly recommend watching it again (or for the first time) and seeing it through new eyes.