Is there a word for the kind of family legend that only half the family enjoys telling?
In our house, it’s my parent’s legendary consequence bombs. They were the MASTERS of follow-through, no leniency allowed. Case in point, when I lost the house key they gave me in grade six, I didn’t get another one until three years later. To make sure I would learn my lesson.
Most of the time my mom was home before me, but if she wasn’t, I could wait outside, or if it was cold, I could go next door and wait inside Sylvia’s house, which was embarrassing for any number of reasons. First of all, knocking was humiliating, second of all, she had four kids including a son my age, but worst—no matter how much I pretended to be blissfully absorbed in whatever deep junior high novel I was carrying, sooner or later I succumbed to watching as her kids played ‘Carmen Sandiego’ on their “IBM-compatible” computer.
It was addictive, mostly because the crimes and the criminals were so funny and so accessible. Later, my shame grew, because by the time Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? was a hit TV show, launching Rock-A-Pella on the world, I was definitely too old for it, and mostly ‘casually’ left the TV on that channel while doing other things. This is one of the reasons I always fail those “Are you a Gen X or a Millennial” tests. I don’t knowwww because who could resist this?
(Actually, upon reflection I was being too hard on myself, since I was apparently right in the target audience for the show. Also, you know how hard I had to search to get one where the kid actually wins at the end? That’s the 90s, man!)
That kind of nostalgia, multiplied by a generation with much more buying power than my tweener one, is why you should not be surprised that Netflix is rebooting an animated ‘Carmen Sandiego’ series starring Gina Rodriguez!
It’s actually a no-brainer. Gina Rodriguez is super-likeable and relatable but gets to play a nice, safe, non-Virgin-al villain, and while it’s animated because, I assume, it’s easier for her schedule and that of Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard, who plays a Carmen acolyte, there’s NOTHING to say this can’t spin off into a live action feature film and I bet you money that’s in the contracts. I’m not clear on how ‘educational’ the show’s going to be, but I doubt there will be any resistance if it is—I guarantee WITWICS is where many, many people learned about Lake Titicaca, and why would you leave that kind of humor on the table?
Gina Rodriguez also has a book coming out and a number of movies and voice projects en route – watching her navigate the incredible appetite for anything she does is going to be very exciting, more so if she keeps choosing things like this, that have the kind of fun factor she’s become known for.
You’re welcome for the earworm that’s in your head the rest of the day, however, I take no responsibility for the YouTube hole you’ve gone down watching old ‘Carmen’ episodes and trying to remember how Rock-A-Pella sang ‘Contessa…’s IN JAIL’