The cartoon style of the 1980s can make anything exciting, even a bunch of blocks falling downward.
Many videogames made their way into cartoons of the 1980s and 1990s through shows like Captain N: The Game Master and Super Mario Bros. Super Show, but Tetris was consistently shunned by cartoon executives. Nickelodeon animator Kenneth Janeski recently righted this wrong by creating a teaser for Tetris: The Animated Series.
The premise of Tetris: The Animated Series would have fit with the Berlin Wall politics of the 1980s, and in fact seems inspired by them. The show's primary foe is an evil czar named Time Limit that built a magical wall which was torn down, releasing sentient Tetris blocks in the process. Time Limit is pretty upset by the loss of these bricks, and wants them back. With an ordinary neighborhood kid named Zack guarding them, does the czar even have a chance?
The Tetris blocks each have their own names and personalities, like smug T-block Tom, mentally unstable square-block Sam, clever L-block Lex, and never around when you need him line-block Lance. Now that they've left Time Limit's prison, the blocks hang out with Zack and BBQ.
The real excitement in the show comes from the regular stacking drama, with Zack and the blocks constantly having to create even rows of objects like pancakes, VHS tapes, and magazines. It sounds about as thrilling as mutant ninja turtles and detective ducks, no? If Tetris: The Animated Series were real, I would have watched it every week.