October 3, 2012 AT 7:19 am

50 Years of the Jetsons: Why The Show Still Matters

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50 Years of the Jetsons: Why The Show Still Matters @ Paleofuture.

It was 50 years ago… that the Jetson family first jetpacked their way into American homes. The show lasted just one season (24 episodes) after its debut on Sunday September 23, 1962, but today “The Jetsons” stands as the single most important piece of 20th century futurism. More episodes were later produced in the mid-1980s, but it’s that 24-episode first season that helped define the future for so many Americans today.

It’s easy for some people to dismiss “The Jetsons” as just a TV show, and a lowly cartoon at that. But this little show—for better and for worse—has had a profound impact on the way that Americans think and talk about the future. And it’s for this reason that, starting this Friday, I’ll begin to explore the world of “The Jetsons” one episode at a time. Each week I’ll look at a new episode from the original 1962-63 series, beginning with the premiere episode, “Rosey the Robot.”

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1 Comment

  1. I always thought the Jetson’s had been a takeoff on the Flintstones in that it was the reverse idea, same way that Green Acres was the reverse idea of the Beverly Hillbillies.

    There were other cartoon ideas of the future on TV at the same time. Astro Boy (1963) took place in the year 2000 (actually Osmau Tesuka placed the original Manga in 2003). Astro Boy’s view of the future in some ways wasn’t as far advanced as the Jetsons, except perhaps in the field of robotics and space travel. It WAS done in B&W (except for one or two episodes that had been seen in color only in Japan).

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