Children’s television programming may be aimed at children, but come on. They know that the parents are watching a lot of this stuff too. And yet most of them don’t seem to care. We poor adults are suffering through hours of this garbage, just because kids don’t know the difference between quality programming and a series of flashing lights set to a catchy tune. Sure, there are shows that we can all enjoy. I am quite happy to sit through Sesame Street any time my kids want to watch it. And Phineas & Ferb I would watch even if I didn’t have children. But so many shows seem so terrible to me, that I am baffled that the children keep requesting them. We must be watching two different shows…
What the kids see: A heartwarming tale of a young boy, who is four years old, which is my age +/- three years, and his struggles through daily life and the lessons he learns. His problems are my own, and he deals with them in a realistic way. His parents, though less realistic, are an idealized version of how I wish my parents would deal with me as I make mistakes, learn, and grow.
What the parents see: OMFG why will that kid not stop whining?! I get enough of that at home from my own kids, and now we have to watch a show about it? Seriously?! His high-pitched voice isn’t helping, and I can’t believe his parents have not thrown him through a window yet. If I have to watch one more episode of this, I am going to burn down Canada.
SPECIAL AGENT OSO
What the kids see: The exciting adventures of a teddy bear who helps kids learn to do things on their own. He has nice friends and a lot of fun toys. Also, he is really funny because of how he is always getting into trouble on his missions. Luckily he always gets it right in the end, but it is a nail-biter every time.
What the parents see: How the hell did this bear ever become a special agent?! They give him advanced equipment and vehicles, and yet he seems unable to tie his own shoe or locate an object if it has rolled under his desk, even if the object and desk are the only two things in the room. I want to kill that bear. He’s special all right. His special talent is making me want to hurl my television off the balcony. And those ridiculous James Bond puns they use for mission assignments? Not cute or funny after the first two or three. Ugh. Worst show ever.
What the kids see: Ooh, trains! I love trains! I will watch anything with trains in it. They have so many cool trains! A flying train, an ice cream train, a popcorn train, a little kid train, a grown-up train, a…
What the parents see: You know what the worst part of this show is? Those obnoxious trains never learn their lesson. The three main trains are always being total jerks, and then instead of paying for it later, as might happen in a good story, they somehow get off the hook and are rewarded instead. Sometimes they apologize, but there are never real consequences for their snotty, selfish actions. No wonder this country is full of self-important jerks, if these are the lessons we are teaching them. Broke every rule in the book and ruined something important to someone? It’s okay! They like it better that way! Screw over your friends because you are jealous of them? Don’t worry! Character growth is for grown-up shows. Just apologize and do it again tomorrow! Honking Horns! It’s ridiculous!
Yo Gabba Gabba
What the kids see: This show is fun! It is full of happy songs and silly looking creatures that dance around. There are a lot of lights and colors, which stimulate my tiny brain, and it teaches me not to bite my friends. I especially like red one, because of he is tall.
What the parents see: Wait, this is a popular show? Why? It is flat out horrible. It is like a hipster acid trip dream that accidentally got recorded and then broadcast. The songs are repetitive and annoying, the garish palette makes my eyes bleed, and it is super creepy and weird. Who is that random DJ that keeps showing up? I feel like he is always about to either ask me to come into his van, or turn into a caffeine rainbow and then explode. Not sure which would be worse. Who actually comes up with this stuff? It seems so lazy and poorly done. We are never watching this show again.