There used to be a weekly magazine called TV Guide. Yes, an iteration of it still exists, but the periodical’s practical function is long gone. It was perfectly simple in both function and form: in addition to a couple of television related features, the compact digest helped viewers plan their entertainment schedule. It was a useful tool before On Demand programming, DVR, and streaming platforms.
TV Guide rotated off and on the family room ottoman for most of my childhood, but the only issue I ever cared about was the double-sized fall preview. Most of those extra color pages were dedicated to new shows and I can still see the glossy, full-page billboards for Manimal and Misfits of Science in my mind. But to me, the sweet spot of the issue was each networks’ (there were only three) new Saturday morning schedule. Ideally, I could have used three TVs, even the black and white set the bank gave us for opening a new account. Those Saturdays in September, I sampled everything, bowl of Trix in my lap, glass of Quik on the end table: Blackstar, Dungeons and Dragons, Thundarr the Barbarian—I admit, I watched the Smurfs and the Snorks, too, Shirt Tales and Laff-a-lympics. I watched cartoons I think most people might remember as chicken pox fever induced dreams (cue Pandamonium and Drak Pack). That was Saturday morning.
Let’s be honest, Saturday morning of the 21st Century is just another morning. Sure, we have Cartoon Network and Nicktoons running 24-hours, but it’s not the same at all. That magic of anticipation, of the unexpected is almost extinct. It is the goal of Saturday Morning Serial to help fan the spark of expectation and imagination. We hope you enjoy it.