An Open Letter to Children's Television Producers
Post by Jen @ Life on the SONny Side
Dear Children's Television Producers,
I wish that I better understood exactly who you weirdos actually are before drafting this letter. But, I don't. So, let me assume that you're one of the following:
1. Cracked out junkies writing about rainbow-colored, LSD-inspired, talking animals in order to pay for your next eight-ball of crystal-crack...or bath gels...or whatever you're snorting this week. (Can you tell that I'm not a user?)
2. Sadists who hate your parents for not taking you out for enough ice cream when you were little, so now you've made it your life's work to torture other parents the world over with awful musical ear worms that repeat themselves over and over again in our brains during both sleep and waking hours until we start feeling several fries short of a Happy Meal.
3. Actual legitimate crazy people. The kind who eat chalk, wear coffee filters as hats, and have conversations with coat-racks.
4. Lazy jerks who throw darts against a giant wall full of weird things in order to craft a new show....Like: Dinosaurs, Locomotives, & Elvis Presley. If you've seen this episode of Dinosaur Train, you know exactly where I'm coming from. What?
Now that I think I know who you are, let me begin by saying this. I sort of hate you. Sometimes I love you. But, mostly I totally hate you.
I'm a mom who believes in the educational value of certain kinds of television for children. Sesame Street taught me how to tie my shoes and helped me better develop certain language skills when I was little. It can encourage imagination and help teach some critical social skills through modeling.
Don't get me wrong, my munchkin is not glued to the tube all day, but we do let him watch some kid-friendly television when he needs some downtime. I just wish that I didn't have to hate it all so much.
I admire that you want to teach preschoolers about letters and numbers and manners. Really, I do. But do you have to do it using a creature that looks like a bumpy, red, one-eyed dildo? My guess is probably not. So, stop eating that glue for a second and listen up:
Thomas & Friends- This is quite possibly the most boring kids show out there. I will literally never understand why it allegedly gets kids excited about trains. It gets me excited about naps. I bet the Isle of Sodor stinks.
The Wiggles- These guys are getting really old. There's a lot of saggy waggle in their wiggle these days. I wish they'd trade in their spandex for a tasteful cardigan and make that stupid, out-of-place pirate walk the plank once and for all. If Dorothy the Dinosaur ate him, I would want to watch.
Caillou- I don't need to touch this one with a ten-foot pole. It's all been said before. We all hate you. Except for our kids. They love you. We obviously lose this round.
Yo Gabba Gabba- This one feels almost too crazy to touch. Robots and characters that look like giant crying condoms. The songs are more infectious than a case of The Clap. The misfit dancing kids in ugly sweaters make me want to pee my pants. The celebrity cameos and alt rock bands are so unbelievably random that I almost can't hate it. Almost.
Barney- How is this show still on? Do you think that the casting call for the children who perform along side the dinosaurs says, "Help Wanted: Worst Child Actors Ever"? I suspect that it does. I swear I've seen my 20-month-old roll his eyes at the cheese level of this awful show. But, man he loves that horrible song at the end. I'm beginning to think that there are subliminal messages in it telling him to watch more Caillou.
Bob the Builder- I don't get it. This low-res claymation disaster just doesn't hold up alongside its more dynamic and flashy counterparts. Also, Wendy...no one really wears overalls anymore. I'm just sayin'.
Curious George- I actually love you. Maybe it's because you don't talk. I like that. I just decided that I'm going to start putting you on more often...
Sesame Street- I really can't complain about this one. You're smart. You're musical and not in an awful way. You throw in some humor for me. You recycle footage from back in the day, which is always cool to see. The cast, both old and new are fantastic. And while, we're super sad about whatever the Kevin Clash situation actually is/was, Elmo is a character that never fails to make my child smile or giggle. If the rest of you awful children's shows could be a little more like Sesame Street, my television-world would be a better place.
I'm exhausted trying to explain or defend your bad acting and oddball characters to my husband. So, to recap...less whiney, singing personal massagers, more clever muppets with a sense of humor. Got it? Good.
I appreciate your time and consideration. Now go back to whatever weird thing you were probably doing before I interrupted.