Max has gone completely wookiee for Stars Wars. I’m glad, because it means, to amuse him, I get to rock side-buns like Princess Leia and say things like “Aren’t you a little short for a storm trooper?” and “Luke, I wonder who your real father is…muhahaha.”

And because it means he’s leaving those jackass Ninja Turtles behind. And take your bubble bath with you, turtles!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
ManuelSagra / / CC BY-NC-SA

About a year ago, Max decided he liked “the world’s most fearsome fighting team”. I was thrilled. I mean, it could have been Barney, or the Wiggles, and then I would have had to get all King Lear up in here and pluck out my own eyes. A tomboy from the 80s, I had watched TMNT too. “Those turtle boys don’t cut off no slacks.” Great theme song. And very respectful of people’s pants.

So I discovered that the old school episodes came on Teletoon Retro. We PVR’d a few episodes and played them for Max, 24-7, so we’d never have to actually play with him or teach him stuff like the alphabet or how to behave socially. The turtles would teach him how to bust skulls and eat pizza instead. Score.

One day, I pressed play on the PVR and went about my bidness, Max on the couch pumped for some Turtle Power. A few minutes later, I heard this moaning and groaning coming from the television, with some bow-chicka-wow music in the background. WHAT THE. I ran to the TV and saw a commercial for a chat line, The Night Exchange, with a woman slithering all over the place in a black mini-dress. Max’s eyes were glued to the screen with Destiny Chastity over here telling him to “show off [his] fun side”. Great. My toddler’s favourite show about heroes in a half-shell was interrupted every few minutes by herpes in a half-dress.

I quickly realized who Teletoon Retro is actually for. (Well, the late-night programming at least, which is when we must have recorded these episodes.) It ain’t for my son, I’ll tell you that. It’s for a 35-year-old dude sitting around in his underwear holding a bong and surrounded by takeout boxes and crusty tissues. Or maybe that dude is a dad, up late at night to feed the baby, and…Oh hey, look what’s on TV, Junior! Here buddy, you hold your own bottle while Daddy makes a wittle itty bitty phone call.

And Ninja Turtles isn’t the only show on Teletoon Retro. Are these guys jerking off to Jem and the Holograms? That’s truly outrageous. Truly truly truly outrageous. Although you can hardly blame the wankers when the lyrics to the theme song include “The way she crosses her legs…The way she moves her arms…” Dear god in heaven, to what corruption were we 80s children unknowingly subjected? No wonder we’re all fucked up beyond repair. Look at me — NO WONDER I AM LIKE THIS.

These icky ads are Teletoon Retro’s doing, but the early Ninja Turtles franchise is not without a few faults of its own. (Which is probably why the new TMNT have remedied some of these retro wrongs.) Hey, I’m all for cursing and swearing, but words like “fat” and “stupid”… not a fan. Maybe it’s the “carrot top” in me, but I’d much rather Max tell his friend to fuck off than call him a “bloated beanbag”.

But the worst thing of all I heard from these 80s Turtles episodes was stuff like, “You know what women are like.” Like…what? Excuse me, what did you say, Donatello? Come over here so I can stuff your bow staff up your green, reptilian ass.

They were probably referring to the lone female in the show, April O’Neil. In the new 21st-century series, April is more of a badass and carries a samurai sword called a katana. But in these 80s episodes, apparently before we gals were fully liberated from the kitchen, she is a reporter (well at least they gave her a brain?) who constantly gets captured. And time and time again, the hero turtles come to the rescue of the poor, stupid, big-boobied damsel in distress.

No fucking way. If Max is going to watch Teletoon Retro, he’s going to have to watch She-ra. Don’t judge her by her short skirt and strapless corset; she was actually a pretty hardcore feminist. A real leader and a hero, whose conversations with other females were about freeing Etheria from the clutches of evil, not about her hair and her nails and her super cute boyfriend like oh my goddddddd giggle giggle barf.

And he’s also going to have to watch it IN THE DAYTIME. With ads for Fisher Price telephones, not phone calls to Whoreville.