Monday, October 5, 2009

Harmful Television Watching




I am in the market for a new television show for my children as Dora is getting really old. For me. Oh, the girls could watch Dora til the cows came home (and in one episode they did) but I'm getting really tired of watching the same exact storyline with slightly different characters inserted. The Dora production staffers are comprised of the laziest writers since possibly Three's Company. Although I did like Mrs. Roper... Dora and Boots save (insert baby creature) and bring him back to his (insert Mommy creature) and along the way Swiper tries to steal something from them, making the tragedy of a baby being separated from its mommy even more horrific. Although yesterday we saw one with a slightly different theme where a scary witch casts a spell on Boots rendering him comatose and Dora must become a "True Princess" to save him from eternal slumber.

"Boots Night Night!" "Boots Night Night!" my children screamed throughout the entire FIVE HOUR half hour program. That's it, I said to myself, we need something a little less fear mongering. Enter The Fresh Beat Band.

Talk about scary. They make The Wiggles look like U2. The lead guy is like Ashton Kutcher if Ashton Kutcher sustained a crushing brain injury but Hollywood kept giving him projects and Demi propped him up on the red carpet as though nothing was amiss.

The abomination that is The Fresh Beat Band is beyond my literary talents to describe. Thirty seconds into the show I was speechless, a rare condition. It sent my mind racing: Who are these people? How much are they being paid? What do their friends and families think? Do they date, and if so, what do they say they do for a living? Because you couldn't possibly tell the truth!

The Fresh Beat Band had my children's utmost attention for its entirety. And their mother's. It was riveting in the same way you wonder what idiots are holding up traffic just to try to get a glimpse of a bloodied victim in a car accident but as you approach you crane your neck and hit the brakes too.

Other shows I'm considering introducing:

Caillou: A bald little boy with a hard-to-spell name and slight resemblance to Charlie Brown flits around the neighborhood with his plain mother who could really use a makeover. The narrator is like a female Ben Stein except without a sense of irony.


Kai-Lan: Not to be confused with Caillou, Kai-Lan is the Chinese Dora but without a monkey sidekick, slightly better looking and with a more refined sense of style. We learn lots of Chinese words that we'll never use, because let's face, nobody speaks Chinese except maybe in China.

In the meantime, I've decided CSI: Special Victims Unit would be less damaging than The Fresh Beat Band. So I'm going to go TIVO that right now until I decide for sure on a new show...


17 comments:

  1. You should try Yo-Gabba-Gabba. I'm pretty sure the writers are probably on drugs, but that's what makes it entertaining for children and adults!

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  2. fresh beat band is awesome. the red head was Stephanie on Days of Our Lives for a bit. i recognized her but couldn't place her. my kiddo loves to dance to the opening and closing songs. i have a video and will be posting it soon. yo gabba gabba is a fun one too. they always have celeb cameos, like Elijah Wood and Jack Black. you can find those episodes on You Tube. kai-lan is great. my kiddo speaks some chinese verses and numbers. caillou is just too canadian for me. take care and have fun with your new shows.

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  3. Good Lord, do you mean to tell me Ashton Kutcher hasn't suffered head trauma?!?

    Child performers (because I hear that's what they're calling themselves these days) are a constant topic of conversation between me and my child-rearing friends. Okay, I'm the one who brings it up, granted, but still... I always wonder how much they make because, really, it would have to be a WHOLE hellaofa lot to get me to sacrifice my friends, family and current social standing and wear that much spandex (or any amount of spandex) for the 'sake of the children'. Plus there's so many 'cast' members and the 'episodes' (you can never have too many air quotes!) are so short.. so I would imagine this is part-time work but, really, how do they find other employment after something like this?!?

    Sadly, I know all the words to this song (happy oh, oh, ohly, happy oh oh oh...) and I don't even have kids... that's just not right. Not right at all.

    In all ernestness, I kind of wish I had a fun name like Matito. Or Diablo. Or the female equivalents. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXpHbDHmwfo

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  4. The Backyardigans is a good one...Mickey Mouse clubhouse isn't terrible

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  5. This post made me happy in a way I just cannot describe.

    Even happier--the comment that confirmed my suspicion that the redhead was Stephanie from Days of Our Lives.

    I really need to get out more.

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  6. Nick Jr. is PBS kids on acid. My son just starting watching it and what a trip! We loves Dora too.When Swiper goes after Dora, he shouts at the tv "Leave Dora ALONE"! I gotta admit I think "Ruby& Max" is a super cute.

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  7. For the love of God and all things good, DO NOT let them watch Caillou! It is more irritating than Dora, if that's possible. Try World World on PBS. That's actually cute. SuperWhy is slightly annoying but tolerable. Little Einsteins, the same as SuperWhy.

    I'm turning my kid on to old school...Scooby Doo, Pink Panther, The Jetsons and The Flintstones.

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  8. little einsteins are good. i like that they intro the kids to art and music. good old fashioned sesame street is good.

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  9. oh, and imagination movers are good. i like to think they are a frustrated garage band that went with the big break disney gave them. the music reminds me of weezer for kids.

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  10. Warning!! Stay the hell away from Cailou. He is the biggest whiny, cry baby around. You will want to do something terrible to that kid before the show is over. Dora is a saint compared to where you will head with Cailou. Not to mention his annoying parents. Oh God, make it stop!!

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  11. I meant to say "Word World". But you probably figured that out.

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  12. I wanted to warn you about Cailou but I see others have also pointed out he is super annoying and whiny. I am not a big fan of Kai-lan, they trying to teach what is good and bad behavior but I would rather my kids not see Tigers throw toys and Kolas be bad sports in the first place. TIVO Little Bear it is super sweet. Blue's Clues was a favorite when they were younger.

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  13. Pee-Wee's Playhouse is on DVD now and is just as fabulous as I remember--although there's a lot of flirting between Cowboy Curtis and Miss Yvonne that I missed as a kid. Avoid the Doodlebops at all costs.

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  14. Oh, I nearly cried as I was reading this! I think I have a pretty high tolerance for creepy unnatural kids' shows, but this one just gets me. Maybe it's the fact that way too much trouble has been put into color-coordinating the entire show, including the sidewalks? Maybe it's the fact that two of the band members are named Twist and Shout? And I keep thinking about the meeting where they decided which two were going to have names that aren't actually names. Was there a system, or did they just draw the short straws? I feel the same way about the Doodlebops, only I obsess over who they are under all that makeup and foam hands.

    Mommy on the Spot, you are actually right about the Imagination Movers. I heard an interview with them, and they started as a band, then realized they could make a living with kids' music, pitched their music to the Disney Channel, and ended up with a whole show. It is sort of nice to see a show with actual music, not just the same 5 notes again and again. Along those lines, I do like the Backyardigans. But then again, if I'm going to have to watch what they want for the rest of my life, I may as well ingrain them in CSI now so that what they like will conveniently be what I want to watch.

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  15. You should try "Super Why"..it's great...I don't know if they have it where you live, but you should look it up..they have this little "Hip Hip Hooray" dance at the end that my little guy loves to dance (he just turned 2, but he's been watching for a while--so it should be ok for your girls' age)...the characters are from fairy tales and when one of them has a problem, they look to another story to help them solve it..I'm not describing it that well, but it's really good...it's on PBS kids here in Florida..BTW, I love your posts--keep 'em coming.... :)

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  16. For the love of everything that is good, Do NOT start them on Caillou. The other commenters are totally right, he is the most annoying character ever created. It has been years since we watched that show, and I can still hear his high-pitched whine in my head. With that out of the way, Little Bear, Franklin and Miss Spider are all gentle and quiet options. I also liked Bear in the Big Blue House, but I'm not sure if it is on anymore. There are always Miss Spider videos at the/our library for repeated viewings on rainy, windy days.

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  17. This is ironic that I am reading this today because today at lunch that show came on. All I could do was stare in horror. My husband came down the stairs and said, "What are you doing?! Where is the remote?!" I told him I didn't know and it was like watching a horror show. He finally found the remote and turned the channel while I ran into his arms crying: "I'm scared! Hold me!"

    It was truly traumatic. I may need therapy. Expensive chocolate. . . er. . . therapy.

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