Ah, to be young again.
To sit in front of the television on a Saturday morning, and watch as your favorite cartoons come on.
Fantastic tales of adventure and wonder, for roughly five hours a week.
It was a phenomenon that lasted for decades, but my personal favorite amongst these shows?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
A series that lasted nearly a decade, thriving on its popularity with the kids.
Spawned toys up the wazoo, playsets, video games, the whole nine yards.
It was a franchise with staying power.
At least, the first seven seasons were.
Things got weird near the end.
The tone of the show went much darker, illustrated perfectly by the changing of the skies and the material of the dialogue.
The story also got more and more convoluted, more complicated as the years went on…especially in those last three seasons.
People will always remember Splinter, Shredder, April O’ Neil, and the Turtles themselves of course.
Fans of the cartoon in particular grew to love Bebop, Rocksteady, and Krang.
But far fewer will remember Lord Dregg, the big bad they introduced after stranding Splinter and his crew in Dimension X.
Or the fact that those last three seasons ran for eight episodes each, a far cry from the peak seasons of up to forty-plus episodes.
The declining viewership was a reflection of interest falling off a cliff.
It’s hard to maintain a winning routine, but even harder to deal with changes to that routine.
Talk about a cowabummer.
How hard can change be, right?
Let’s ask The Generation Kid, who seems to be wrestling with the drastic changes happening all around him.
Happening to him, even as we speak.
Everyone faces that crisis at some point, Kid.
There comes a point where life as you know it ceases to exist.
The routine you were used to for so long?
Gone, vanished without so much as a trace.
And now, the world seems much bleaker to you.
Welcome to the newest season in your life, Kid.
Oh, how you’ve grown since you arrived here in the Slaughterhouse.
Showed everyone what you’re made of from the jump.
Won yourself the Lambs to the Slaughter match, etching your name amongst the greats.
Became the Rewind Champion, and have proven to be a fighting champion through and through.
You reached your peak.
It’s all downhill from here, Kid.
Where you go is all dependent on how you can react to these changes.
Because right now?
I’m the viewing audience.
And going forward, you’re here for my amusement.
You can embrace the new order of things, and continue your much-deserved success here in the Slaughterhouse.
Or, fight back like the brave little man that you are, and see just how quickly you drop off.
Because right now, you’re a hero in a half-shell and everyone loves you.
But when I’m through with you?
You’ll be forgotten.
Dismissed as a minor character in the bigger picture.
Just another memory, fading into obscurity.