A dying tradition known as the Saturday Morning Cartoon became a ritual every weekend of my childhood. Way before my parents had cable and way before the days of Netflix, there were the main three channels beamed over the rabbit ears. I had many favorites as a kid growing up in the late 80’s and all through the 90’s, but one show stuck out that was a must watch along with my giant bowl of Lucky Charms and bean bag chair in toe.
A little obscure show called Project G.e.e.K.e.R. (or Geeker for short.)
Geeker was a show created in the mid 90’s by Doug TenNapel of Earthworm Jim fame and was voiced by an all star cast that included Futurama’s Billy West and Cree Summer, who voiced Susie in the Rugrats among other characters we all grew up with. The show followed the many misadventures of a man made genetic man named Geeker, a thief named Lady MacBeth who had a robotic arm, and their dinosaur friend named Noah as they try to stay away from the evil businessman Mr.Moloch, who wants to use Geeker’s powers to take over the world.
They just don’t make shows like this anymore, huh?
As a kid, I found a great personal connection to this show that up until now, I couldn’t explain. I would bug my parents to try and find toys or things that had Geeker on it but to no avail. I drew my own pictures of Geeker everywhere and even wrote obscure fan fiction, which I’m sure you’ll find a half written one out there somewhere on the internet.
But as an adult, I think I found out the reason why this show spoke to me.
Like Geeker, I wanted to be normal. For someone born in a sense as a result of genetic accident due to my rare form of Albinism, I sympathized with Geeker. I knew the struggles he had in trying to navigate a cruel world and his strong desires to fit in. One thing he is known to do on the show was to attempt to grow a fourth finger for his hand, which he failed at miserably. As the show went on, Geeker slowly learns it’s OK to accept his flaws and embrace his strength instead.
You can still be tough despite having a disability. Lady MacBeth, also known to Geeker as Becky, is the main heroine of the series. She’s tough, smart, and sassy…and she just so happens to be an amputee. Rather than feel sorry for her lost arm, she takes it one step further and pimps it out with laser guns and mechanical claws. As a kid, I hated the assistive technology I had to use to make my schoolwork bigger, but after watching Becky use the tools she has, it make me learn that sometimes, adaptive technology can make you cool and almost superhuman like. Although lasers being shot out of my eyes would of come in handy on the bully who stole my lunch money, I made do with Close Circuit TV magnifiers and telescopic lenses. Becky could be badass with her aersonal of technology, so could I.
I may make mistakes, but that’s OK. Geeker is very accident prone, always finding himself in trouble somehow. He may not be the brightest of the bunch, and things might get tough, but no matter what pickle he finds himself in, he smiles and finds ways around it. This is something that just recently I made a connection to, battling with bad PTSD symptoms and the consequences that have come about. But like Geeker, I refuse to give up or give in to what people think is best for ne. I’m better than that, and I’ll rise up, even if it means taking a step back or asking for help sometimes.
This show was a rare gem in the Saturday Morning lineup that was chock full of action, suspense, and a great non preachy lesson in personal acceptance, lasting only a season due to government regulations to children’s television. Not many people remember this show because it was short lived. But it’s message was clear. Normal is overrated and anything is possible, even if you are a genetic accident in a yellow jumpsuit, or a nerdy chick with a rare condition.