When something reaches the 20-year mark, it means a few things. You’re no longer a teenager, and now belong to that ‘young adult’ demographic the media is always trying to please. It also means that, whether you like it or not, after 20 years you’re made mistakes. After all, nobody’s perfect. Nothing in the history of time has made it to the big 2-0 without stumbling, sometimes across the finish line. When I was 20, I made a lot of mistakes, like on my 20th birthday. I’m kooky like that. Now, judging and comparing one’s mistakes is a national pastime. It’s a lot more fun to compare someone else’s mistakes, though. Pop quiz: George Lucas’ biggest mistake? You might be inclined to think Jar Jar Binks, or the endless re-editing of the original trilogy, right? My answer would be the Ewoks, because there is no fucking way a bunch of teddy bears would stand a chance against Stormtroopers. There’s just no way. But that’s an argument for a different time.
Anyway, Cartoon Network (which is now 20 years old) has made plenty of mistakes: cancelling Toonami, cancelling Sym-Bionic Titan because there weren’t “enough toys connected to it.” What I deem as the network’s biggest mistake, though, is the cancellation of Megas XLR.
Megas, for those that don’t know, was a show about a giant robot (really a mech or Zord for those that grew up with Power Rangers, or for those that didn’t have a childhood, a robot that is piloted by a human) from the future that winds up in the hands of a big-boned guy from Jersey named Coop. Coop discovers Megas in a junkyard and fixes it up, while adding his own personal touches like flame decals and a muscle car for the robot’s head/cockpit. Coop shows off his robot to his best friend Jamie, a woman-chasing slacker. Megas is from the future and is sent back in time by Kiva, a martial arts military engineer babe who was meant to pilot Megas after re-designing it, but can’t because the controls are now a mix of a car with a stick-shift and several video game controllers. The Glorft are an alien race trying to take over the world who originally built Megas as a prototype; they’re trying to get it back. Complicated? Not really. Along with sending Megas back in time, Kiva and the Glorft also get sent back.
This show combined several of my favorite things into one funny, action-packed show: cars, robots, monsters, video games, sci-fi, comics, anime, giant robots fighting just about everything and fourth wall-shattering buttons. Fourth wall-shattering buttons, you say? What’s that? A deus ex machina in the form of several buttons, such as a “5 minutes until end of episode” button.
This was a show that was easily relatable because Coop was just like us, the fans. He wasn’t some ‘chosen one’ or some expert trained to save it. He found a robot and decided to save the world, even though he’d end up destroying most of it anyway. Driving a giant robot around a city is going to cause a lot of destruction, especially when the only training Coop has is playing video games. That destruction magnifies when most of Megas’ hand-to-hand combat is derived from professional wrestling, which is pretty cool. That’s the appeal of Megas XLR besides the giant robots. It’s what an everyday guy would do with a robot. And who doesn’t dig giant robots?
Well, apparently Cartoon Network, since they cancelled it after two seasons. But now Cartoon Network has a chance to do what rarely happens in life: correct a mistake. If you were to go to Twitter right now and search “bring back Megas XLR,” you would find many fans using that hashtag as a rallying cry. Even more promising is that the creators of the show are said to be in talks with Cartoon Network to possibly bring the show back. Look at what happened to Futurama, another sci-fi show canceled too early only to returnwith a vengeance. Now is the time to bring back Megas as part of the Toonami block, or as an Adult Swim show.
So I urge you, Cartoon Network, bring back Megas XLR. There is a loyal fanbase ready for it. There is much potential in a show that draws from so many elements. During Megas’ absence, three Transformers movies have been made. Shouldn’t children be treated to a better quality of giant robot?