Nostalgia is a powerful force in the entertainment industry. Now that all those children who grew up in the late 90's/early 2000's are Internet-savvy college students, so many online discussions inevitably include a discussion about how the cartoons of our youth were somehow inherently superior to all other programming. Because these self-proclaimed "90's kids" are now the driving forces behind and the loudest voices on social media, this unprecedented wave of nostalgia gets louder and more widespread every year. Young adults all across the country are campaigning for a chance to experience the media of their childhood once more.
Once they realized that nostalgia could actually turn them a profit, television stations were more than happy to indulge in some retro programming. In 2011, Nickelodeon introduced a late-night block of programming called "The '90s Are All That," consisting of old Nick shows like Kenan & Kel, Rugrats and CatDog. The next year, Adult Swim announced the return of Toonami as a late-night block of action anime. It was no secret anymore that there was some money to be made in bringing back old shows and characters.
As of a couple days ago, Cartoon Network is officially jumping on the nostalgia train, and it's bringing Netflix along for the ride. The "Recently added in TV Shows" section of Netflix Instants is now flushed with Cartoon Network's recognizable CN logo as more than a dozen Cartoon Network and Adult Swim shows become available for streaming. This partnership – which includes older shows like Dexter's Lab, Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack as well as still-running shows like The Regular Show and Adventure Time – was announced back in January.
Many shows are not available in their entirety – several only have one or two seasons up for streaming – but more may become available if this initial experiment does well enough. For the time being, those students who have been missing the unique charms of Johnny Bravo and those who are looking to remember those unnecessarily inappropriate episodes of Cow and Chicken they may or may not have repressed as children have something to spend their time on this spring.