Monday, February 22, 2010

The Truth about Kid's TV

So Mini Militant is obsessed; and I feel like a terrible parent because of it!

Somehow, our little tyke has become wildly captivated by kid's TV show 'Wow Wow Wubbzy,' which features a bouncy little creature called Wubbzy and his two friends; as they get involved in a series of crazy adventures.

Wubbzy, involved in a crazy adventure.

It's got to the point that he'll drag one of us into the sitting room and point at the TV and angrily demand 'Wow Wow!' Here's a kid who can't even say 'Mummy' yet, but he's already got the name of his favorite TV character down pat.

It's upsetting for us because we've never considered ourselves a 'TV' family. Aside from House and Doctor Who, we never usually watch TV and now we're faced with a couch potato son!

It's our own fault, really. We've been going on about canceling DIRECT TV for months now, but never actually got around to it. When I got laid off, we realized we'd need a phone line to send and receive faxes and applications and in doing so, it was cheaper to keep the telly and our DIRECTTV subscription than cancel it.

And the result? Our poor son has become transfixed by 'Wow Wow!'

Of all the TV shows, Wow Wow Wubbzy is perhaps one of the least offensive - although there was a rather alarming episode the other day in which Wubbzy accidentally created an army of flawed clones of himself and his best friend, Widget, solved the problem by conveniently 'vacuuming' them up into a big Hoover (leaving Mummy Militant and I wondering if it was all a metaphor for abortion and human cloning.)

But other shows are slightly less wholesome:

Yo Gabba Gabba! leaves me commonly wondering if it's all fueled by LSD, as the grungy music and wacky colors are nothing short of trippy.

Like a Beatle's song, only better.

Max and Ruby features a brother and sister bunny living in a big house together, with the parents nowhere to be seen. I surmise that it's a council house and Ruby is actually Max's teenage mother. Although perhaps this is just a prejudice I've picked up from living in England.

Little Bear is another show that makes me wonder if the writers are chronic imbibers of marijuana. I also wonder why all the grown up bears wear clothes, yet Little Bear scurries around naked - and if his father is a fisherman, why does he wear a banker's three piece suit?

I don't smoke pot, so therefore I find Little Bear's narrative-free episodes kind of dreary.

Blue's Clues is a perennial favorite. The original star, Steve, was smart and witty, throwing a few comments in for long suffering parents (including lines from The Godfather and Star Wars.)

When he left, though - ostensibly to go to college, despite being in his late twenties - he was replaced by the limp and morose 'Joe' - which made me wonder if Blue the puppy had abandonment issues and chose a new owner who was clinically retarded (and therefore unlikely to run off to university like Joe did.)

Joe, on the left, is a seriously dim bulb, unlike witty and urbane Steve, on the right.

And finally, there's Ni Hao Kai Lin, which ponders the mystery of where Kai Lin and her grandfather live. It's not in China, since they made a special visit to China - but they have a whole bunch of Chinese people and Chinese festivals there.

My first suspicion was Hawaii (which has a large Asian population) and this seems confirmed by the famous 'Hula Ducks' who hula past the screen in their grass skirts. But if Ni Hao Kai Lin is set in Hawaii, why the hell is there a Tiger living there? And, adding more confusion to the mix, a Koala as well! And why is the Koala the only one who wears clothes?

The Koala is obsessed with Pandas, which is just weird whichever way you cut it.

These mysteries and more continue to suggest that we should cancel DIRECTV so I can worry about more significant things and Mini Militant can go on 'cold turkey' from 'Wow Wow Wubbzy.'


Coffee Bean said...

Oh my gosh... this post was hysterical!

Although... I missed that you'd been laid off. I am sorry to hear that!

On TV... we went many years where we did not allow it. We happened upon a benefit quite by accident that you might like to know. We took the kids to Destin, Florida and some really bad weather rolled in. We were stuck in the condo and decided to let the kids watch TV. They were TRANSFIXED! We had a GREAT time hanging out alone in the other room. If they had already seen those shows it would have been a drag listening to them whine about not having anything to do or dealing with all the usual fuss when we tried to play board games with them.

There were many other times I used TV or videos when I really needed them to be occupied. That would not have worked had we let them watch that stuff all the time. Of course, that meant that our usual day to day was more hectic. I was okay with that.

Andy said...

Roland, that was hilarious, as CB said. My children are all grown...only one 13 year-old still at home.

The kids shows they watched were pretty inoffensive. But, we always limited television time. And, it's odd...our 29, 27, and 20 year-old sons really don't watch television.

They rent DVD's for movie watching...but watch nothing on TV regularly. They are not nearly as occupied by it as their parents.

When #3 son was about 2, we moved to a place that there was no television reception. Period. We didn't buy a satellite (they were very expensive then, unlike the services offered now).

We went for almost 4 years without watching a single television program...just VHS tapes for the kids and for Mom & Dad.

The boys never got back "into it." I know that was a long comment, with very little relevance to your post. I'm good at that.

Abby said...

Max & Ruby rocks! Came across for Max and Ruby toys, Max and Ruby DVDs, and Max and Ruby dolls.

Ghouldilocks said...

I usually have these types of shows on when I babysit my youngest brother. He doesn't usually pay attention to them, though, unless he's taking a break from his toys/coloring or has a snack. So, they're really just more kid-friendly background noise than anything else.

I do have a soft spot for shows like Little Bear and Blue's Clues (with Steve), as they have been around since I was my little brother's age. My personal favorite is the show Franklin, though the characters are kind of ridiculous.

Aurthur is also pretty good, even if he is an aardvark with a pet dog.

(I also secretly love the show Peep & The Big Wide World on Discover Kids)

The other shows, however, just grate on my nerves. If I get another song from Lazy Town stuck in my head again, I may shoot myself.