Saturday, November 08, 2008

... Whut?

I'm not sure exactly when society went insane.

When I was a kid, TV shows were normal. We had Astroboy (the good one), Transformers (the good one), and GI Joe (the good one).

Oh, and Centurions. I friggin' loved Centurions.

Even kids shows were pretty good. Remember Teddy Ruxpin? That show was awesome.

Then, when I had my own child, I had to start watching what passes for children's television today.




See, I had prepared myself. I was ready for the Barney videos and the Teletubbies.

Most of the people I knew with kids started warning me about how stupid these shows were. I was ready to ban the damned shows all together until they told me how they can calm kids down.

Grudgingly, I decided to give them a chance.

We had our alliance... For as long as such a thing can last.

Honestly, after watching the shows, I wasn't that upset.

Sure, the shows were apparently designed by people with severe brain damage, but I could understand why they would be interesting for a kid.

Or a guy on acid.

So, I felt I was adequately prepared for children's programming.

I was... Wrong.

My daughter's current favorite show is an abomination called In The Night Garden.

I can only assume that the creation of this show involved several pentagrams drawn in human blood.

I know, I know. It's unfair of me to assume like that.

It could have been goat's blood.

This show... This show is pure evil.

Just watching it makes me want to stick my finger in through my eye and swirl my brain around.

You probably think I'm exaggerating.

Trust me. I am not.

The main characters are possibly the most frightening things you will see on television.

Because I believe in educating you (and because I'm a cruel, cruel man)...

This is Iggle Piggle.
Hey, do you know the only thing worse than a Teletubby?

A teletubby with a brain tumor.

Look at his friggin' head. I'm just waiting for the episode where House shows up and tries to figure out what the hell is wrong with this guy.

Just looking at him freaks me the hell out.

This is Upsy Daisy.
Boss, we have to create another character for this show.

How about Little Nancy the Burn Victim?

... I'll figure it out.

I'm sure the character has a sort of Raggedy Ann quality, but I don't remember Raggedy Ann requiring several skin grafts.

How could this show get any worse? They'd have to create a character composed entirely out of human feces.

This is Makka Pakka.
No, your eyes are not mistaken.

He looks like a pile of shit.

What else do I really have to say?

So, we have a guy with elephantitis, the poster child for fire safety, and something that could only be enjoyed by two girls and a cup.

Yeah... That sounds like good programming.

Hey, maybe we should throw in a bunch of inbred, children of the corn, mutant kids in the mix.

I'm not even making this up.

You'd think there was no way on the planet any child could possibly enjoy this freaking show.

Oh hell no.

This shit is like baby crack. As soon as it comes on, she just stops whatever she's doing and sits there staring.

I've actually stopped a few times to make sure she's breathing.

I'd turn it off, but it makes her so happy.

And quiet. Did I mention the quiet?

As much as I hate this freakin' show, after enough hours of sleep deprivation, you'll take any quiet you can get.

Plus, this is a lot easier than slipping her Nyquil.


At 7:22 PM, Blogger Drekal said...

I apparently learned to read by watching Thomas the Tank Engine, with the book appropriate to the episode in front of me. I'd follow along with the words as they were spoken on screen, and figured it out from there.

That's what a children's show should do. Not just keep them distracted, but stimulate them intellectually. Get them learning at a young age!

Alas, inanity is so much more effective at keeping them quiet.

At 8:04 PM, Blogger Greenjade said...

TV is a life saver when they're that young. It gives you at least half an hour of quiet time to do some quick cleaning or checking your chocobo. Mine 3 year old is obsessed with Caillou and Curious George. >->

At 8:41 PM, Blogger Tyler said...

Better Caillou than Dora the illegal immigrant. I'm not entirely sure why there's now two different shows (maybe more, I've only ever seen commercials for two, though) that have Mexican main characters. It's hard enough trying to teach your kid Engrish.

If I ever had kids, I'd refuse to let them watch shows like Dora or Teletubbies. Sesame Street or Barney onry.

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Alex said...

I made a g-mail to leave this comment.

My neice LOVES that show!


Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy keep kissing like every few minutes,like srsly, childrens programming?

And their mothership... I'm not even gonna start a rant >.>

At 9:06 PM, Blogger Hala said...

And the beautiful, wonderful, marvelous Derek Jacobi is the narrator!? Oh my...That's upsetting.

At 10:08 PM, Blogger Kenny said...

Seriously, can't you get Sesame Street or Fraggle Rock on DVD now? Now that was quality children's programming!

At 10:51 PM, Blogger Dorian Mode said...

Makes me wonder what sort of a children's show [GM]Dave would create?

At 12:07 AM, Blogger Bufuman said...

I'm told I was into Winnie the Pooh when I was little. It would explain the warm fuzzies I feel every time I get to those areas in the Kingdom Hearts games (after all, it can't be the minigames, because every last one of them suck ass). That kind of show is what kids should be watching.

Now, my 3-year old nephew loves Dora, Blue's Clues, and... Spongebob Squarepants. I still think that show is written by people on crack. If it wasn't for the occasional adult references (such as when Spongebob tells his pet snail not to drop some soap), as well as the fact that he'll do NOTHING else but watch the TV while the sponge is on-screen (leaving me free to do whatever), I'd ban it at my house.

At 3:24 AM, Blogger Fireball said...

Oh my god ! It's a shame shows like that exist ... And those puppets..... *brain hurts* At least with Iggle Piggle they have some kind of handsome boy (compared to all the other scary pieces of fabric...) to let the eye rest somewhere. Though my eye would rest on the turn off button of my TV...

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Kenny said...


How can you not like flinging Pooh on a swing! YOu heathen!

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Aen said...

"Look at his friggin' head. I'm just waiting for the episode where House shows up and tries to figure out what the hell is wrong with this guy."

Well, that was my first neighbor-waking laugh of the day.

But some of the people here address a serious point, one with which I'm beginning to agree. A lot of the children's television I watched growing up really educated me from a young age, and I owe my active intellect to it.

Now, when I babysit my nieces, all I see is inanity on TV. It seems parents just prefer something that distracts rather then something that educates.

So sad.

At 6:12 PM, Blogger Ricardo said...

Once the day arrives that I get a kid I'm gonna torrent all the good old shows.

At 7:42 PM, Blogger J. Scarper said...

And again, I'm reminded of the question I ask myself every time I watch Playhouse Disney: "WTF happened to CardCaptor and Astro Boy?!"

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Cimorene said...

Childrens programs are FREAKY! Teletubbies are scarry enough, but things like The Wiggles disturb the hell out of me... why would i want my kid to watch 4 40+ men in spandex sing and dance?
Thankfully my kid isn't into most shows. Dora and Barney make him scream. He like the old Sesame street, but his favorite shows are "grown up". Nothing makes the kid laugh harder then watchign Jamie and Adam blow something up on Mythbusters or Mike making a mess on Dirty Jobs.
Its not kids programing but its educational, right?

At 11:29 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Yeah, it's bad but I really think Teletubbies is worse.
Seriously, a purple doll with a handbag, a screen in it's stomac, an IQ around 15 and a triangle on it's head must be an abomination from Hell.

I just wish Pooh would get that damn dorn shut in it's face someday! Enough opening/shutting already.

I've dreamt of buring all those damn dolls with a flame thrower. Calvin & Hobbes style, mind you.

At 12:08 AM, Blogger Jake said...

I had to look it up, I had to. Why? Why did you make me do it [GM]Dave?!

for the punishment of those too lazy to find out for themselves:

At 2:49 AM, Blogger Glen said...

I'm with you, my daughter is 2 yrs old and loves that show. What was wrong with the 80's Transformer, M.A.S.K., Centurions and Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, oh and He Man ! At least they had a story and a moral at the end. Children's tv today makes me want to cry, but like you said, it's keeps them quiet. Pity by the time she reaches 18 she will be utterly brain dead!

At 6:59 AM, Blogger RamblingDreamer said...

Luckily, I'd never even heard of that show until today. The last picture of the 'kids' scares me the most.

99% of the time, the TV in our house is tuned to Noggin. Lots of educational stuff on that channel, and most of it is bearable. Yo Gabba Gabba, though, makes me feel... Well, just about everything you said in your post. Someone on acid designed that show. I'm convinced. It might've been "DJ Lance". (If you've ever seen it, you know who I mean).

But yeah - that's a pretty good channel. "It's like preschool on TV" is its motto, and it's just about spot on. There are no commercials - instead, it has puzzles and games and music and whatnot between each show. My daughter is ENTRANCED every time we turn it on. The only shows I really hate on it are Dora and Go Diego Go. My daughter tries to say the Spanish words along with them (she's 2). That's fine, but she tries them more than she tries the English ones. We'd like her to learn the English versions first, given that that's the language we (my family) speak. :P

But yeah - most of the shows on there are actually pretty cute. And being that they're all educational in some way or another (teaching colors and shapes and letters and whatnot, as well as concepts such as sharing and being nice), I can't really fault it.

Might be a good change from what your little one is watching now. :)

At 8:01 AM, Blogger GreatMno said...

I remember Centurions. That show was sweet. I would watch that and Pirates of Dark Water almost religiously.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Kyle said...

Recommendations for today's options:

Big Big World
Super Why

and my personal favorite, (I mean, my daughter refers to it as "Daddy's Show" is

Jane and The Dragon

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Absolutezero said...

Pirates if Dark Water was awesome! Too bad it never finished.

As for some of the children's programming. It isn't all bad, that Mickey's Clubhouse or whatever the heck its called is at least engaging and educational to kids. My niece watched those, Baby Einstein or Dora the Explorer. Not bad in comparison. Oh. And she loves the old Peanuts movies.

tyler: Rant all you want but we live in a hispanic community so know Spanish as a second language is very important here. Nothing wrong with having a few shows on t.v. with minorities as main characters. Lord knows white people have several billion already. So no complaining yeah? Take your white hood somewhere else.

At 3:26 PM, Blogger RurouniZanza said...

*nods to everyone*

No-one remembers He-man and Thundercats? T_T

Oh and spongebob is retarded... but it's a funny kind of retarded.

At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I owed it to Sesame Street for my English skills. If it weren't for them, I'd have zero interest on learning the basics of English language.

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Jakk Frost said...

I'm too afraid to even comment on today's children's programming such as that described by Dave. I lose enough brain cells as it is whenever I just walk past a TV airing more "mature" programming. (ie "reality TV").

My younger days were filled with He-man, GI Joe, Transformers, and others that I'm hard pressed to recall now because I just woke up.

And we can go even further back to the days I watched Rocket Robin Hood, Captain Nemo, Godzilla (the one with Godzuki), Tarzan, and on the more educational side Mister Rogers, Captan Kangaroo, and other such shows.

And let us not forget classics such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Tom & Jerry, and Scooby-Doo.

Ahhhh, Hanna Barbera, where are you when we need you most T.T

By the way, considering the trend of these responses, and maybe even Dave would find this interesting, check out, you can find a lot of the themes from these old shows. I went there a while back and the nostalgia hit me like a wave.

At 7:13 AM, Blogger Ali said...

I'm also of a generation that grew up on The Electric Company, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, Kaptain Kangaroo and that era of childrens' programming. The new stuff they expect to sit my kids in front of often twists my stomach.

My kids are now 13 and 15, and sadly, I'm not so sure the crap they watch now is any better. Spongebob just turns my stomach. Ed, Ed, and Eddie... how much stupidity are we supposed to hand kids in developmental stages where you're 'trying' to teach them to be smart.

What I wouldn't give to get back to before they decided Bert and Ernie had to be homosexual, and childrens entertainment was an excercise in which show can outstupid the next show.

Heaven forbid what our grandchildren will be watching...

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Hatsumi said...


At 11:26 AM, Blogger Shayde said...

I would suggest trying her on The Backyardigans. It's a very cute show -- lots of singing & dancing. Oh -- and it's generally rather clever rather than insipid.

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Akamar said...

My nieces watch Discovery with me whenever they come over. :P Or movies.

Youngest doesn't seem to care what she's watching, as long as it involves bright colors, and lots of pleasant noise. She'll giggle to Wii Music.

Veggie Tales, apparently is her most favorite.


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