OPINION: How “Tom and Jerry” affected the way Gen Z grew up

Abigail Kress, Opinion Writer

Being born in 2003, I have always been around the television. Whether it was in the background as my grandpa watched me sleep as a little baby, or as I was an energetic 5-year-old and my mom sat me down in front of a tv so I would calm down for a second. As I grew up, my usage of television grew and for many in this generation, I think they could say the same.

As I’ve come to Kent this year, there have been many introductions and a question included in them most of the time is “What are some of the TV shows you’re watching right now?”

As we look back at our favorite TV shows from childhood to middle school, I have come to realize that some of these shows were not so appropriate for someone of my age to watch.

“Tom and Jerry” is a cartoon centered around a cat and mouse’s rivalry with each episode centering around the two of them hashing it out. In my childhood, my brother and I would sit down and watch cartoon reruns on Cartoon Network. I always enjoyed the laugh it would give me.

But a couple of weeks ago when I was looking for some childhood nostalgia, I sat down and watched Season 1950 Episode 9. Nostalgia is not what washed over me. Instead, I was horrified at how sad the episode actually was.

In the episode, we watch as Tom battles Butch for the attention of a female cat. Tom never receives affection from his crush as Butch steals her away with his more expensive items. When Tom gives up, he goes home and starts getting intoxicated with milk. This episode is showcasing themes extremely inappropriate for kids. Not only is it telling kids that they need to have money in order to secure the girl, it hints at alcohol abuse in the end.

Which had me wondering, does the satisfaction young adults and teens get from always having name brands and designer items come from some tv shows? Or is it showing us that we need to have money in order to win over our crushes? Or just be happier in general with our money being spent on these items?

Abigail Kress is an opinion writer. Contact her at [email protected].