Opening Up Dad’s Netflix Family Heirloom Vault

Netflix Stream Team FamilyHeirloom Go Go Gadget Dad and Daughter

My first 8 years were spent on a slab. A rectangle of concrete with a modest square patch of green which put a slight distance between us and our quiet suburban street, the name of which I can no longer conjure. I don’t recall too much about the ranch house, except that the siding was a pleasant green, a shade reserved for homes of a certain vintage, and that our neighbors on the right had a dark brown wood fence that not even the adults could see over the top of and that they would not return the wiffle balls we accidentally homered or foul tipped (I cannot remember the exact alignment of the imaginary diamond) into their backyard. A bleak pair they were.

The next dozen years were far more plush, with three sets of carpeted stairs, a swimming pool in the ground, and not a single neighbor, cheerless or otherwise, out back to snatch plastic balls from excitable children who’d just connected with the meat of a skinny yellow stick.

The basement of the home in which I went from boy to teen to man has still a furnished bottom with more square footage and lavish style than most NYC penthouse apartments sitting high above the fray. There was a jukebox stocked full of 45s — Sinatra, Bon Jovi, and a fair amount of WWII music among them — and a full bar complete with stools that spin a full 360 degrees and a tabletop video game my mom loves to play, a massive ‘L’ shaped couch built into the wall, and a huge big screen TV, the kind only fashioned in the 1980’s, the kind embedded into a fortress of wooden furniture.

I grew up down there, in more ways than one, and I can still see the forts I’d make with the oversized squares of red seat cushions, and sitting inside for hours with bowls of Frosted Flakes, watching and gut laughing at the misadventures of Healthcliff, Grape Ape, Inspector Gadget, He-Man and other Saturday morning cartoon characters who shared that underground expanse with me.

Now I’m back on a slab, a longer concrete rectangle, on a quiet suburban street, with two young cartoon lovers in my care, not a cantankerous neighbor to be found, and too long a time between fort making.


A couple of years back per the time stamps on these blog posts, I’d shared with you how I shared with my girls (and a small party of their small-ish friends) my youthful affinity for Heathcliff the cat. ‘Twas a favorite cartoon of mine as a young lad of 8 or 9.

A close 2nd to that ridiculous feline was the even more ridiculous Inspector Gadget. When my absurd little tinkerer discovered the hapless Inspector on YouTube earlier this year, I was understandably thrilled, even as I cringed at how poorly the old show had aged, biting my critical tongue to not dampen an ounce of her joy.

Netflix Stream Team FamilyHeirloom Go Go Gadget

And then we two recently learned of the Netflix Inspector Gadget reboot, which means appointment viewing in the days leading up to Father’s Day. Because what’s better than a bright-eyed young lady snuggling up with dad to watch one of his favorite characters made fresh for a new generation of cartoon aficionados? I’ll tell ya what: all of that inside a most epic tent fort!

Netflix Stream Team FamilyHeirloom Go Go Gadget

To mix things up in our tent last night, we also streamed a little Super 4 together. The Netflix original Playmobil show isn’t from my childhood but theirs and is right up our alley because that toy brand and those remarkable figures have been the most prominent fixture of the splendid childhoods of both my daughters…and I remember playing with Playmobil when I was their age too.

Playmobil toys are a thread that runs through our lives, connecting generations and making the bond between dad and daughter that much stronger. I only wish Super 4 version 1.0 was around in 1985.

That there’s a new Netflix show in 2015 featuring a variety of Playmobil people (knight, secret agent, pirate and fairy) is almost too awesome.

Netflix Stream Team FamilyHeirloom Go Go Gadget

Super 4 is EXCELLENT! It is must watch young family viewing. It’s charming and very comedic, with a terrific female pirate character named Ruby.

Netflix Stream Team FamilyHeirloom Go Go Gadget

Whether you had Go Go Gadget arms as a kid or if you’ve been known to wax poetic about the lasagna you’d share with Garfield or for some reason, you desire going back to school with the Saved by the Bell crew, Netflix is the best way to open up your family heirloom vault and share with your kids the old (and possibly rebooted) TV shows and movies that defined your childhood. So get a few sheets, pillows and seat cushions ready, and climb inside to stream away!

*OWTK is a part of the Netflix #StreamTeam. They’ve provided the materials to make our tent, a few Go Go Gadget shirts and other small goodies (like the Danger Mouse key chain the Mrs. ripped out of my hands to put on her keyring. Who knew she was such a fan?)

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