Why do Kids Shows Have to be so Badly Done?

BS”D

I try to make sure my children don’t watch huge amounts of TV.  Even when the television is on, they’re usually half watching, and half playing with toys.  While the kids are watching tv, it’s usually kids shows, and though some of them are good, most of the kids shows on tv are so badly done, I usually want to shoot myself in the head after a very short period of time.  Aside from the poor plot lines and lack of character development, there’s the fact that most cartoons just have too many unanswered questions.  I don’t know why this should bug me so much, but I’ll spend hours sometimes trying to analyze the shows they watch, picking apart every minute detail, until I’ve driven myself crazy.  The worst part is, the kids don’t get my sarcastic remarks about their shows, and so I’m left suffering on my own.

Sesame Street: I know, it’s a classic.  How could anyone have any issues with such an educational show, especially one that’s been around for fourty years now?  Aside from the fact that the humour geared towards the adults has gone down significantly in the past twenty years(Monsterpiece Theater is a prime example), some of the characters really grind my gears.  First off, there’s Elmo.  Back in the day Elmo played a minor roll within the Sesame Street world, addressing the issues of an average four year old.  Since the advent of “Tickle-Me Elmo” a number of years ago, Elmo has enjoyed much more on-air time.  Not being a big Elmo fan, I don’t really enjoy the fact that a full third, if not more, of each Sesame Street episode is now dedicated to him.  Aside from the fact that he has conversations with his goldfish, he also talks to himself in the third person.

Then you’ve got Snuffleupagus.  Even when I was the target audience of Sesame Street, Snuffy bugged me.  He’s just such a weiner.  He complains more than Oscar and it’s always incredibly whiny when it comes out.  Even when he’s not complaining it comes out whiny and obnoxious.  What kind of lesson is that to teach children?  And what the hell is he supposed to be anyways?  It’s not like he’s a generic muppet like all the rest.  Is he supposed to be a tuskless mammoth?  That could explain the whininess.  He feels that he needs to be a wimp because he has no tusks, and he has mammoth sized whines.

I could be wrong on this one, but are there no white people on Sesame Street?  Sure, there used to be, but I’m just thinking about it, and I don’t believe that of the human cast members there isn’t anyone who isn’t a minority now. I could go on and on about Sesame Street, but perhaps I’ll save that for a later time.

Dora the Explorer: Is “Explorer” supposed to rhyme with “Dora”?  Because it doesn’t, but I think that’s what they’re going for.  This has to be one of my least favourite shows on tv.  For whatever reason, Tevye and Saarah love watching “Dora”, but all I do is groan in agony.  I’m trying to teach my kids to try and talk through their issues and differences, and then Dora comes along and treats Swiper like a second-class citizen.  Perhaps if she would just invite him along on one of her adventures, or even just share some of whatever she has in her obnoxious talking backpack, he would stop trying to steal things from her.  There’s a troll that shows up every time they cross a bridge.  It’s always the same troll, but apparently he lives under so many bridges he could really be renting out space and making some money.  Perhaps he wouldn’t be such a grumpy old troll if he was making money on his investments.

Harry and his Bucket full of Dinosaurs: I don’t actually mind this show nearly as much as most of them, but I do still take issue with certain aspects.  In the show Harry jumps into his bucket with his dinosaurs and goes off to “Dino World”, where Harry can accomplish anything he wants.  There are all sorts of characters that Harry and his dinos run into, but the one thing they don’t ever see are other dinosaurs!  Why the hell is it called “Dino World” if there are no dinosaurs?  I’ve also never been able to determine if the dinosaurs are able to communicate with people other than Harry, his friend, and his Nana.  I’ve been losing sleep trying to figure it out, but no luck so far.  I keep waiting for an episode that will explain all of this to me.

Curious George: Of all the shows Tevye and Saarah watch, this is one of my favourites, but it has some serious faults as well.  Why is the man in the yellow hat spending so much time with the young black kid when the go to their place in the country?  It seems a little strange, and perhaps inappropriate.  Why does the Man in the Yellow hat have a monkey, anyways?  He works at the Museum, but we never find out what his job actually is.  Why isn’t he married?  Apparently he doesn’t like the company of other adults so much.  He’s more content to stay home in the evenings and play with his monkey(yes, that’s right.  I just went there).  What the hell is the Man in the Yellow Hat’s name?  I’ve certainly never heard it.  As enjoyable a show as it is teaching math and science concepts to children, the only behavioural pattern it teaches is that you can go make a huge mess of whatever you’re trying to do and it will magically work out.  George never fails!

I have so many issues with so many more kids shows on tv, but I think I’ll talk about them later.  Saarah is still napping so I think I’ll go and get the dishes done while I can.

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