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50 Years After The Jetsons

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The Jetsons, the future-oriented animated cartoon series from the 1960s, turned 50 this week. The Smithsonian takes a look at what the show meant, then and now.

At the Smithsonian blog Paleofuture, Matt Novak looks back at the last 50 years and the impact that The Jetsons had. He writes:

It’s important to remember that today’s political, social and business leaders were pretty much watching ”The Jetsons” on repeat during their most impressionable years. People are often shocked to learn that “The Jetsons” lasted just one season during its original run in 1962-63 and wasn’t revived until 1985. Essentially every kid in America (and many internationally) saw the series on constant repeat during Saturday morning cartoons throughout the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Everyone (including my own mom) seems to ask me, “How could it have been around for only 24 episodes? Did I really just watch those same episodes over and over again?” Yes, yes you did.

But it’s just a cartoon, right? So what if today’s political and social elite saw ”The Jetsons” a lot? Thanks in large part to the Jetsons, there’s a sense of betrayal that is pervasive in American culture today about the future that never arrived. We’re all familiar with the rallying cries of the angry retrofuturist: Where’s my jetpack!?! Where’s my flying car!?! Where’s my robot maid?!? “The Jetsons” and everything they represented were seen by so many not as a possible future, but a promise of one.

Hit up the link below for the full article–prepare to be surprised at just how few episodes of the show were ever animated and aired.

50 Years of The Jetsons: Why the Show Still Matters [via Boing Boing]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/26/12

Comments (9)

  1. Tim

    OK, so where is my flying car?

  2. Harry

    And my jetpack?

  3. SatoMew

    I’m a 1990s kid and I remember watching “The Jetsons” on Cartoon Network (prolly the UK edition, dunno which one it was that is broadcasted here in my country).

  4. r

    “Meet George Jetson…His Boy, Elroy…Daughter Judy…Jane his wife.”

  5. adeel

    brings back so many great memories. love the jetsons!

  6. Citrus Rain

    I want to say I watched this on Nickelodeon as a kid in the early 90’s, but can’t remember if it could have possibly been Cartoon Network. I only knew about PBS kids, Fox Kids, Nick (entire channel), and Disney.

    But I remember watching Jetsons and Flinstones alot more than the faint possibility of Dexter’s Lab. Also Street Sharks.

    The town I grew up in didn’t get Cartoon Network until around 2005, but with my great grandma’s old apartment, I can’t determine if it could have been either the same provider as home, or as all my other grandparents houses.

  7. Nick

    I dont know but I get a feeling that now people are no more interested in space exploration
    During the cold war era breakthroughs in space technology happens rapidly
    Human race sent their own kind to moon in 1969
    NASA made announcements that they will send man to mars by 1990s and other to other planets by millenium
    Nothing happened except sending some robotic probes
    What do you guys think?

  8. bedlamb

    @ Nick

    I think Citrus Rain makes a good point.

  9. Ernie

    It was actually 3 seasons. First season had 24 episodes, second season had 42 episodes and the third season had 9 episodes. I have them all on a hard drive.

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