Realistic relationships in cartoons: Spectacular Spider-Man & Undergrads

Valentines Day is today, and while some may be out there celebrating in crowded restaurants and movie theaters; The majority of us are waiting for some new content online to keep our minds occupied as we try to stop sobbing all over the keyboard. What better way to do this than seeing some realistic depictions of a relationship on animated shows.

Most cartoons include very basic relationships where the boy and girl are just meant to be and this is a trope that is done in almost all shows. We also have shows that try to make it into a central part of the show but while it may create drama for the show it doesn’t accurately depict a real life relationship. I’ve only encountered two such shows that reflect wanting to be in a relationship and the complications that arise.

The first show to get this right is Undergrads which was an awesome but a short lived cartoon that aired on MTV in the early 2000‘s. The show was meant to show the life of a College Freshmen and it succeeds. It shows you all the things that most people have gone through their lives while in school from learning to live by yourself to meeting people including girls. Nitz, who is the protagonist, is a total idiot when dealing with girls and that’s something most of us can relate to as we see hims pending the whole season trying to get with this girl. The show only lasted one season and had a bitter sweet ending since you could relate to all the mistakes he did throughout the year and not seeing all the things he actually had going for him and right in front of him.

The second show to get things right is none other than Spectacular Spider-Man which was another short lived show lasting only two seasons. Odd to think that a superhero cartoon for kids would nail this but it really does as the show takes place when Peter Parker is still in High School and not only learning to be Spider-Man but also learning to be a teenager.

Not only do we see Black Cat aka Felicia Hardy, Mary Jane and Gwen Stacy all compete for a piece of Peter Parker’s heart but they even add a few twists and an extra girl to the mix. It doesn’t feel too convoluted and actually flows rather well and realistic. Greg Weisman tried to do it again with Young Justice by adding a bunch of shipping to the show that made tumbler people fall crazy in love with the show but sadly Weisman went too far in that show and it wasn’t anything like real life.

What other shows do you think handled relationships realistically in cartoons? Let us know and if you are feeling mighty depressed and want to see others tumble and ruin relationships by little stupid mistakes just like in real life make sure to watch Undergrads and Spectacular Spider-Man.

Luigi Kawasaki

social hermit

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