They don’t call it an “idiot box” for nothing…
Ever stop to really check out what your kids are watching?
Of course you have. That’s why you know all of the words to the Wiggles theme song and why you wake up in a cold sweat wondering where you put all of Jake’s gold doubloons.
There’s really something out there for everyone’s little ones.
For the spawn of fomer club kids, there’s Lazy Town (Sprout). It has everything. Girl in Katy Perry wig? Check. Superhero who fights crimes with Cheer Dance? Perfectly-coifed, chisel-chinned villain with high-waisted pants that are, frankly, so fabulous that they deserve three snaps in a “Z” formation? Check and check. Plastic puppet people? Check. Seriously. I can’t tell if the people who invented the show are all on ecstasy, are very, very gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that), or are just European. One look at the credits and their overabundance of “S”s (names like Samuelsson, Karlsson, Joahnsson) tells me that it is door #3.
Speaking of drug-fueled children’s entertainment, ever seen Yo Gabba Gabba (Nick Jr)? If those folks aren’t on acid, then Gordon the Express Engine isn’t the fastest steamie on the island of Sodor. Wait. Oh, preschool entertainment is all becoming a jumble… My mind is mush. Calgon, take me away…
But, there’s more. Want your kids to love James Bond as much as you do? There’s Special Agent Oso (Disney Junior). One part 007, one part Get Smart and one part Teddy Ruxpin, this “unique, stuffed bear” is actually very cute and offers something for the parents and the grandparents with its wink and nod to the bygone spy genre.
When you were a kid, did you love Sesame Street (PBS) and think that that new red monster, Elmo, was kinda cute? Good. Watch Sesame Street now. He’s staged a coup and is pretty much all that is on that show anymore.
Remember how Jem was truly outrageous when you were little? Well, girl power has come along way and now the kids have Dora the Explorer (Nick Jr.). A little girl of unknown Latin origin helps your kids learn Spanish and learn about the world with the help of a moderately annoying monkey. The preschool set (particularly the little girls) find it totally addictive. You’ll find it tolerable, at least.
Want to see what the perfect child is like? Watch a little Caillou (Sprout). While you will find that this theme song will haunt your dreams, the show is kinda cute. Except the title character (what the hell kind of name is that, anyway?) does things like turn down an opportunity to turn on the siren on a fire truck because it’s his friend’s “turn” to do so, and he comforts his little sister while she’s teething. He also, of course, totally understands when he is too sick to attend his beloved preschool and perform his much-anticipated puppet show and he doesn’t whine, stomp, cry or bitch – EVER. Just like my kid.
Want to watch a show where you won’t understand a damn word that anyone says, even though it is all in English? Try Fireman Sam (Sprout). Want to help your kids appreciate They Might Be Giants? Watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (Disney Junior).
Honestly, there is something out there for everyone so that we all can plunk our kids down in front of the boob tube and go do shots of tequilla in the kitchen to numb the pain of ears that are bleeding from hearing “mom — mom — mommy — ma — mom — mom — mommy — MA!! — MOMMMMMMYYY!!” a little too often.
Any thoughts on other totally interesting children’s programming? Feel free to comment here.