Monday, March 25, 2013

The Ins and Outs of Kids Shows

Top 5 Haters

1. Caillou

I don't know anyone that actually likes this stupid little annoying kid, except for my 2 year old. My theory is that the primary colors somehow lull you into some trance that prevents you from changing the channel. Many Dad Bloggers have written about him. He whines, he never uses his manners, and frankly after watching 20 minutes I want to go punch a wall. The worst is when the kids go to bed and I turn on the TV and there he is. It usually has be scrambling for the remote just to get it out of my head. There are people and other kids that like him like The Rock Father who wrote Caillou Rocks, so stop the hate. For more on Caillou's "fans" check out How To Be A Dad's Post called Caillou is French For Shut Up

2. Dora The Explorer

My theory is that her gigantic head is what makes her want to say everything as loud as possible. Would it kill you to teach my kids to say things quieter and less frequently? Like making little kids yell and repeat is a skill that haven't yet acquired. My son, who loved Dora as a three year old and is now seven frequently takes the "interactive" experience of the show to a twisted place. When my younger daughters watch Dora he responds to her questions often leading her down the path with crocodiles and snakes waiting to see if Map sets her on a three step path to the ER.

3. Yo Gabba Gabba

I think that the concept of this show is pretty cool but is one of the characters called FUPA? How about Muno? Is he not a studded dildo or is it just me? What pushed me over the edge was the LOVE episode where they are singing "Be Nice To Everyone and You Will Have More Friends" I really wish that was true but NYC, Philly, and Boston kids be careful! Check out this gem of a photo? Is the BooHoo character not a giant penis? When BooHoo and Muno hugged I just about peed my pants from laughter. I mean seriously, when someone was making this costume weren't they like "Hey, that's a giant penis!" For corroborating evidence visit Banana Hammocks and Tutus Blog called Yo Orga Orga!(sm) from Summer Len Davis. Check out her new blog called Dirty Floor Diaries too.

4. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Huge fan of Mickey Mouse and his gang but lots of people know that Disney movies are perverted. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse's theme song is no different. They Might Be Giants sings the theme and the Hot Dog song....yeah but, I just can't get past the "Come inside it's fun inside" line. Every time I hear that song I giggle to myself in a Beavis and Butt-head sort of way. They said come inside. He he he he.

5. Spongebob Squarepants

This show is just dumb and I think that sometimes it is borderline inappropriate for small children. It kind of harkens back to the old cartoons like Ren and Stimpy. Disgusting is funny if you are a walking, talking sponge who wears underpants and has the most annoying laugh ever. I do like Patrick however because he is so chill and he gets extra points for being a starfish because to eat they actually eject their stomachs out of their bodies to digest something. Now THAT would be cool.

Top 5 Shows My Kids Love

1. Lazytown

This is by far, my 2 year old daughter's favorite show. Maybe because it features a superhero who does gymnastics everywhere he goes. It is featured on Sprout on the Super Sproulet Show. Bean is the host of the show who looks around for little kids (Sproutlets) who are active and doing great things for the world. I wonder what Bean is like in real life. Is she super spunky or emo? Because on the show she is over the top nice and her blue ponytails are mesmerizing. Lazytown is about a girl, Stephanie, who wears nothing but pink including her hair who makes friends with the local kids. All the other kids in the show are puppets except for Stephanie, Sportacus, and the villian, Robbie Rotten who wants to stop all the kids from being active and exercising. While the puppets can be creepy and the plasticity of the supporting characters can be unnerving, at least it teaches kids to get moving. My only real beef is that they refer to fruits and vegetables as "sports candy". Why not call them sports fuel or something like that? At the very end of the show you will be awarded with a techno dance song that sounds like every Aqua song ever made...wait they only had one didn't they? The show is Icelandic and if my hunch is right Bjork just might pop up at any given moment.

2. Timmy Time

I will always be a fan of claymation. Stop motion shows are incredible feats of time and patience and when I first saw Timmy Time it reminded me of The California Raisins when I was a kid. Unfortunately, now with CGI being so prevalent, shows that used to use claymation like Fireman Sam and even Thomas the Train lost some of their appeal to me. Timmy Time is about a cute little sheep that goes off toe pre-school and all the adventures and lessons he learns along the way. By far my favorite part of the show is that all the character's "words" are only the sounds that that animal would make. Check out the Timmy Time site here. What I love about this is that the show is entirely interpretation and not tied to dialogue. I have seen my two year old laugh more at this show than any because she REALLY watches it closely.

3. Team Umizoomi

My five year old daughter likes this show more than any other and I am hoping the early influence and interest in math leads somewhere good. If you are an Umi Friend then you know that the main characters are Millie with the power of patterns, Geo with the power of shapes, and Bot, their all purpose robot friend. The show really teaches problem solving and uses counting and mathematics as its jumping point.

4. Wonder Pets

Once again, maybe it is the way it is animated but I never get tired of the Wonder Pets. They have cool little songs, they talk about teamwork, and let's face it, the characters are cute. Linny, Tuck and Ming-ming too, they are Wonder Pets and they'll hook you. The creator, Josh Selig has made other shows that are just as entertaining like Small Potatoes and 3rd and Bird, using the same technique and funny dialog. My older kids when they were three years old all loved this show. As a stay at home dad, I would try and take things they liked and turn it into playing scenarios. If your house is like mine you have an abundance of stuffed animals. I would hide the stuffed animals in precarious situations around the house and my son and I would don our capes and save the animals in trouble. I still remember him talking like a little baby saying "Theyes an aminal in twumble!"

5. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

Let's face it. There is no replacing Mister Rocger's Neighborhood. Quite possibly, the best children's show ever made. But, PBS does an excellent job capturing what was good about Mr. Rogers in Daniel Tiger. He talks about feelings and they visit cool places. He even dons a red sweatshirt and puts on his shoes on the front bench. While most people might be disappointed with the animation I think that seeing the world that some of us grew up in this way makes it much more interesting to the kids today.And hey, yeah, it's PBS, so it has to be good right?

1 comment:

  1. What's really incredible is that I live in Italy, yet our children get to see the same exact shows. Other than that I would add that Yo Gabba Gabba was clearly written by someone who ate the wrong kind of mushrooms and that Dora's stare when she asks you stuff is slightly unsettling, like she's peering directly into your soul.