I have been spending a lot of time on Twitter. I mean A LOT of time. I’m making so many new connections and establishing new sources for information; if you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should. The only downside is that it’s taking away from my blogging. So, I come back to you now with a post aimed at the parents.
Over break, and with the winter weather going crazy, I have had a lot of time to hang out indoors with the kid. We’ve played quite a bit, but we’ve also watched a healthy amount of TV. I have to admit, I’m a bit of a TV junky myself, so I actually watch whatever she’s watching, just because it’s on. And after watching more than normal, and having some time to form opinions, I have to ask – what the hell are we letting our kids watch?
Seriously, some of the stuff on Noggin is messed up! Let’s go through a normal viewing day, hitting a few of the shows you fellow parents might know something about:
Max and Ruby. What have these two rabbits done with their parents? It’s like a kids version of ‘Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead’ except with parents. The mom and dad are never around, leaving Ruby to watch hell on wheels Max, who repeats one word over and over. And the grandma and all other adults act like this is normal – it’s more like a Lifetime movie than a kids show. And what’s with Ruby’s annoying voice? I heard they brought in another actor to do the voice because the original was so bad.
Yo Gabba Gabba. What stoned out drop outs got together and put this together? I think this is Sesame Street for the next generation. I tried to watch it and ended up sitting in the corner having a conversation with the cat. Every two seconds it’s some burst of color or wacked out image of a kid running/dancing across the screen. One day you have Biz Markie dropping some beepbox; the next you have a big green blog with a unibrow singing about a party in his tummy. I can only take so much of this one. For fun, turn off the sound and listen to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
Franklin. This one isn’t weird as much as it is annoying. Don’t you wish someone, like Bear, would just throw a sharp elbow to Franklin’s face when he starts whining? The kid is always pissed about some injustice that he’s had to endure, like his grandma making cookies for the neighbor kid instead of him, or not getting a part in the play. And just when you think he’s terrible enough, along comes Beaver, with her big bossy mouth. And we all know someone like Beaver, so you’re sitting there getting pissed because you’re thinking ‘she is just like so-and-so’.
Little Bear. I don’t have any complaints about this one. Well, Little Bear is a bit pretentious and acts like he owns everyone in the woods. And his relationship with Emily is a bit disturbing, but other than that I find this one to be relaxing. Or maybe it’s Maurice Sendak’s illustrations that just have a calming effect. Either way I don’t mind it.
Upside Down Show. Another one I don’t mind, except that Noggin pulled back on its air time. I think that has something to do with the limited number of episodes, which really seems to be a problem with a lot of these shows.
Lazy Town. Now we’re back to one I can’t stand. This show is pretty much good for nothing. I’m all for the puppets/people mix, but in this case, I’m left feeling a little freaked out. Maybe it’s the puppetry or the extreme facial expressions by Jim Carrey wannabe Robbie Rotten, but this is one I could do without. And, again, a victim of only six episodes (or at least feels like six).
Backyardigans/Wonder Pets. I put these two together because they always seem to be back-to-back. I don’t have major issues with them except that I would have to beg for new episodes, in both cases. If I have to watch ‘Race Around the World’ and hear the line ‘it’s not sausage making day’ one more time, I’m taking all five of The Backyardigans out. Same with Wonder Pets – enough with dog that has to pee; the song weirds me out a little, not to mention that a turtle, duckling and hamster fly to save him, in a (fly)boat made of tinker toys. Side note burning question – is Linny a girl or boy? My wife have had major debates on this.
Jack’s Big Music Show. Skip. We flip over to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which, really, what can you say bad about Mickey Mouse?
Wow Wow Wubzy. I love this one. It’s kind of like a video game on crack that steals every other cartoon ever made, but I like it. My wife hates Widget because she sounds like Reba MacIntyre (and she can’t stand Reba MacIntyre) so she sometimes changes it.
Maggie and Ferocious Beast. I like this one; how can you not that has a large imaginary beast saying ‘goggley moggley’ all the time?
Oswald. Another one I like, not just because of Fred Savage voicing Oswald. Ok, maybe that’s the only reason. But I do like that Henry the Penguin is voiced by the guy who played Squiggy on Laverne and Shirley. And for a bonus for parents, when Henry’s cousin came to visit they got Lenny to voice him.
Imagination Movers. Yes, I know this is Disney, but it is becoming a favorite, thanks to the imagination based storylines and the fact that it’s just people having fun and solving problems. Plus the singing gets the kids off the couch and dancing around. And having Nina stop by every now and then doesn’t hurt, if you know what I mean dads.
Caillou. This bald kid has to be the second whiniest kid on TV, right behind Franklin. And his parents are another story. We watched an episode the other day where the mommy had to clean off the car and try and start it herself, but she couldn’t get out of the driveway. Where was the dad? And how did he get ouf of the driveway? Way to be there for your family. Caillou is trying too hard to be this generation’s Charlie Brown.
Contrary to how it sounds, we don’t watch a lot of TV; but Noggin lends itself to being on in the background while playing, thanks to the zero commercials. And speaking of Noggin, don’t get me started on that son of a bitch Moose A. Moose and his lackey, Zee…….