Part 2: Through the adult eyes of ‘The Jetsons’ viewer

Part 2: Technology overview of ’60s show ‘The Jetsons’

Where technology went right and wrong on ‘The Jetsons’

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Sci-Fi Museum-The Jetsons (Photo credit: Razvan Orendovici/Flickr)

As a kid, I preferred spending my time reading “Ramona,” “The Babysitter’s Club,” “Fear Street” and “Goosebumps” books. When it came to comics, I drowned myself in “Peanuts,” “Curtis,” “Luann” and “Archie & Friends.” But every blue moon, there would be a cartoon that’d catch my attention. And “The Jetsons,” released in 1962, lured me in every single time.

Photo credit: The Jetsons/Wikimedia Commons

The Smithsonian already blew my mind to find out that I was basically watching 24 episodes over and over again. (Seasons 2 and 3 didn’t release until 1985 and 1987, and they were nowhere near as entertaining.) I was mystified by all the technology. And as an adult, I wanted to rewatch the first season to see what my favorite cartoon would look like through the eyes of an adult. What was society like? Has technology matched up in 2019? Click here to find out how I felt about Episodes 1–8 and Episodes 17–24.

Here’s what happened in Episodes 9–16:

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Photo credit: Torsten Dettlaff/Pexels

Episode 9

The wildest part to see as an adult: Unfortunately the news proves that adults will follow kids home. But the audacity of this marketing exec to hide and wait for Elroy to get all the way to his unit before he came over to pitch a commercial to Jane is troubling.

Technology matches reality: Arguably cell phones could take the place of these antennas on Elroy and Astro, but they’re loud enough so that even passersby will know Jane called her son and dog home. (Unfortunately, Elroy is one of those annoying dog owners who doesn’t see the need to leash his dog either.)

Recommended Read: Check out posts from “A Doggone World”

On the technology to-do list (I want it): A microchip, which is a radio-frequency identification transponder, helps veterinarians and shelters identify your dog if lost. The problem is that if someone steals the dog, that microchip isn’t doing all that much to help. I wish microchips would improve to help people find the location of their lost pets because NextDoor is constantly reporting this.

Technology gone wrong: I’ll take a hard pass on driving sideways just to get on the freeway. I’d rather wrestle my way in like I’ve already done several times before. Also, if my dog hates people I’m around this much, I don’t want a space helmet (i.e. muzzle) on him. Bite away!

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Photo credit: IntelFreePress/Flickr

Episode 10

The wildest part to see as an adult: Unfortunately, enough folks in Corporate America have trained someone to do their own job or a managerial position. Uniblab has the worst of both worlds in Corporate America: He lies about blowing off work and snitches on other co-workers in the process.

Technology matches reality: Although telemedicine still doesn’t have the same popularity as in-person visits, the practice started around the 1950s. And considering I spent years talking to my doctor via the hospital private inbox system, it is indeed possible to avoid exorbitant primary care physician visits. Too bad Elroy racked up $100 for faking it.

On the technology to-do list (I want it): This Supersonic Dress-o-Matic sounds like an easy way to pick your outfit for the day. Still though, why is it taking so long to get virtual dressing rooms that actually work in the United States?

Recommended Read: “If the Technology Fits, Wear It ~ The Missed Potential of Virtual Fitting Rooms

Technology gone wrong: I’m on the fence with this morning workout machine that you can watch yourself exercise on — while you’re still laying in bed. But it looks like you don’t have to worry about overly talkative fitness instructors or commercials, so this is more of a “meh” than an absolute no.

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Photo credit: Arkin54/Pixabay

Episode 11

The wildest part to see as an adult: I brag about my 95-year-old grandfather being an army veteran, master chef, gardener and mechanic, but even he wasn’t the 110-year-old grandfather George has. (Side note: I didn’t agree with former President George H.W. Bush’s politics, but him jumping out of a plane at the age of 90 was quite the memory.) This man is outperforming kids playing sports, wearing out Astro at the park, skydiving with Jane and bowled three strikes with George. He made the whole Jetson family run for cover.

Technology matches reality: We actually outdid the electric rocking chair. Alibaba has quite a few massage rocking chairs to choose from.

On the technology to-do list (I want it): A dog license is indeed $5 now, but it’s only for one year. If $5 could cover the dog’s life span, that’d be at least $70 saved — assuming the dog lives to be around 14 or so.

Technology gone wrong: Space families are going to have some pretty fat dogs if they keep driving them around everywhere instead of walking them. At least they went to the Department of Asteroids recreational center so the dog could run around for awhile. Why does Astro weigh 220 pounds though?

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Photo credit: Luke Chesser/Unsplash

Episode 12

The wildest part to see as an adult: Considering I spent today chasing a dog around to first put on a sweater and then to get a cat’s body out of his mouth (yes, true story), I’d be happy to just grab a remote and enjoy an anti-gravity tool to get ahold of him.

Technology matches reality: Not only have we caught up with smartphones and video calls, but we can indeed have conversations via our watches through Apple smartwatches.

On the technology to-do list (I want it): I would much rather electronic feet massaging me than an actual person walking on me. I have no idea why people get Ashiatsu massages. This seems safer.

Technology gone wrong: The Jetsons need blinds. People are forever floating up in their space suits and spying on this family — first with the human flying space suit and now flying dogs.

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Photo credit: Pixabay

Episode 13

The wildest part to see as an adult: It’s kinda cute to see George is noticeably jealous of Nimbus the Great from “Space Magic.”

Technology matches reality: Not only do we have the option to just press buttons to order fast food without going to a cashier, but we bypassed “The Jetsons” and made it so that we can order food from facial recognition too.

Recommended Read: “The Rise of Ghost Kitchens and Not So ‘Fast’ Food

When the mail carrier comes, a bell sounds to let The Jetsons know they have mail. That makes me nostalgic for AOL’s “You’ve Got Mail” alert, but pop-ups are all right too.

On the technology to-do list (I want it): I’ve never really been enthusiastic about any cereal besides Honeycomb and (for a short time) Lucky Charms. I would, however, be way more into cereal if somebody reached through the screen and handed me a TV to watch.

Technology gone wrong: I’m a bit underwhelmed that when space people have a common cold, they just stick their feet in the same water bucket as we do now. I expected this foot bath to be more tricked out. Ours operate like a Jacuzzi.

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Photo credit: jarmoluk/Pixabay

Episode 14

The wildest part to see as an adult: Wow, the shade thrown at pollution in Pittsburgh admittedly made me laugh. It got even worse when the medical body camera found cobwebs in George’s brain. But George finally stood up to Mr. Spacely so it was worth it. Every time George threatens to quit, Mr. Spacely follows him like a puppy.

Technology matches reality: Lucky for us, doctors are not using miniature cannonballs to get a camera down our throat. Anyone who has had an Ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or colonoscopy is all too familiar with a camera being able to see inside of the human body. The PillCam could also take the place of a colonoscopy, but there are warnings of lower gastrointestinal bleeding.

On the technology to-do list (I want it): While I do not personally want it, I’d like to see veterans fighting overseas have the opportunity to use something like this. Beat that, Cogswell’s Cogs! (Only problem is should enemies get a hold of it, it would just be more issues with weapon control.)

Technology gone wrong: I don’t care what a life jacket can do. Two hundred pounds of anything falling on me is an absolute no. All that trouble from jet planes and closing walls, but a washing machine ruined the entire thing? People would never leave laundromats.

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Photo credit: sweetlouise/Pixabay

Episode 15

The wildest part to see as an adult: I’m still puzzled about how Astro is running loose with more than 2,000 families living in the Skypad Apartments. Not one neighbor has complained?

Technology matches reality: I have definitely had to deal with sneaking a dog into my condo (that doesn’t allow dogs) for a few minutes to pick up an outfit. Like Astro (aka Tralfaz), that dog made all kinds of noises — she got caught in the screen door, dropped a bone at the front door, tried to run up the steps and shook her chains. Just like The Jetsons though, I love that dog — terrible hider and all. On a separate note, just as Tralfaz could choose a meal, dog owners now have automatic feeders to avoid missing a dog meal.

On the technology to-do list (I want it): I have absolutely no reason to get a tan, but having any kind of opportunity to have a Honolulu experience (or any Hawaiian island) is fine with me, specifically on cold Chicago days. Lay back. Enjoy it. Wear suntan lotion.

Technology gone wrong: Self-driving cars are about as ridiculous as I expected them to be then and now. A self-driving car on the show caught a man in the air only to crash into a wall shortly after. In 2019, they’re still crashing.

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Photo credit: skeeze/Pixabay

Episode 16

The wildest part to see as an adult: Although I cannot wrap my mind around why these two competitors keep going golfing together, clearly Mr. Spacely really enjoys hearing how Cogswell is trying to put him out of business.

Technology matches reality: Although the Minivac isn’t quite the same, there are plenty of packing opportunities to make packages cheaper to send. The Vacuum Space Saver bags are one example.

On the technology to-do list (I want it): After writing “Betting on a Bargain” about Amazon’s business strategy, there’s not a doubt in my mind that they’ll get around to this free shipping option to reduce the size of their shipping — press one button to reduce and another to enlarge. Only problem is I’m wondering how the recipients can enlarge these shipments once it reaches their destinations.

Technology gone wrong: Always have a spare part in stock before you start inventing any new machinery, especially if you know your competitor will blacklist you. Matter of fact, companies should buy in bulk.

Click here to find out how I felt about Episodes 1–8 and Episodes 17–24.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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