A really brief elevator pitch for this morning.
In the early 1960s, the Hanna-Barbera animation studio produced a pair of wildly successful cartoon series that still resonate in American culture today. The Flintstones projected modern-day issues onto an imaginary prehistoric past, while The Jetsons did the same for the future.
In a post-Simpsons, post-South Park, post-Family Guy world, even your average animation consumer is far more sophisticated and cynical than viewers were in 1963. Moreover, to reboot the future-past anachronism concept, we’d need to update the tropes of the two shows to match modern tastes.
So, here’s an idea, based on the rising interest in the Age of Sail (q.v. Pirates of the Caribbean, Master and Commander, Black Sails) and the Colonial-Revolutionary period in America (q.v. John Adams, TURИ): put the backward-looking cartoon series in an imaginary 17th century setting, perhaps a North American port town called Norumbega where the ongoing plot could take the characters either inland or around the world by sail.
The series name? The Flintlocks. Instead of having it be a family name (which would make the series merely a parody of a parody) make it the name of a trading company.
And, how does today’s imaginary future differ from the sci-fi dreams of the Boomer generation? Well, we’re now in a post-cyberpunk era, with more focus on diving into the web than zooming out among the stars. So, to pair up with the Flintlocks, let’s reboot the forward-looking cartoon series in an imaginary Information Age quasi-dystopia.
The series name? The Netsons.