Let’s talk kid shows. My kid’s favorites are Caillou, Kipper, Bubble Guppies…pretty much anything with singing, dancing and bright colors. Thankfully, they are not addicted to The Wiggles, but only because I’ve seriously restricted their exposure to that gem along with anything involving Barney.
Here are some observations:
1) The best kid show creators need to be very friendly with our friend, Mary Jane. Nothing else explains why Caillou laughs for absolutely no reason or how the powers that be decided to name Caillou’s parents “Boris” and “Doris”. No. I’m not kidding.
2) Diego seems like he could be a really great influence on your children. He introduces all sorts of animal facts and devotes all his time to helping animals out of sticky situations with as much artificially inflated drama as possible. But if you pay attention, you realize the information his spouting and the ‘solutions’ he provides to save his beloved jungle friends are completely ridiculous…and made up. For instance, if you speak (in spanish or otherwise) to a bat to find out which direction you should go, you will never, ever find your way. I find myself interrupting the show to make sure my children know to find an authority figure if they get lost and not try to find a bat. In fact, never try to find a bat for any reason. The guano will make you crazy. Maybe that’s what happened to Diego.
3) Olivia is pretty cute. She and her family are adorable-looking pigs with adorable names. And then you pay attention for just a second and you realize Olivia is not just precocious. Olivia is a real brat who’s kind of mean to her friends. I’m pretty sure the Olivia’s parents possess incredibly high levels of tolerance thanks to a regular schedule of prescription drugs. I would put Olivia in time-out at least once in every episode.
4) And then there’s Thomas the Train. My kids LOVE Thomas. They have the little trains and the track and will play with it for several seconds at a stretch. However, the actual show, whether narrated by George Carlin or Alex Baldwin, can melt your brain, it’s so boring. My kids will look for absolutely anything else to do. Things like setting fire to the dishwasher or flushing the dog down the toilet. I made this discovery while trying to make a simple dinner. All I needed was 10 minutes to slap something together and shove it in the oven. Thankfully, I had macaroni on the stove and used the pasta water to put the dishwasher out, but I’m afraid the dog will never stop barking at the sound of a toilet flushing.
There are many more children’s shows out there that deserve my scrutiny. Maybe this should be a series…?