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Friday, November 09, 2007

baby shows

Apparently my last post wasn't as "clever" or as "funny" as I "thought" it would be. Apparently I'm the only one who didn't receive that very message as an email last week. Apparently I should be moving on...

I like to watch tv. And on occassion, I get to choose which shows I'd like to watch. During the day, though, and for the last eight or so years . . . forget it. I don't allow shows that are blatant dumbing down (TellyTubbies, or whatever they're called), but even the shows that we do watch, when I've stopped and thought about it . . . what are we thinking?!? I say "we" because you know some of these shows, too. In fact, here in my brief and not-at-all-complete review, I'll link some reviews that my friends have given which perfectly depict how I feel.

For instance, you know Dora? Of course you do. It started out that "Dora" was short for "computadora", hence the blue arrow representing a mouse click so that you can answer the questions she yells at you. In the song, she's a "super cool exploradora." Kerri puts it quite aptly here. And should we even get started with the Dora/Diego debacle? Tori makes an excellent point here, as does cc here. Don't forget this gem.

Have you seen Yo Gabba Gabba? Jeez o man. I don't know what the heck this is, other than kid crack. It stars an overzealous wannabe drum major for Syracuse University, and features these . . . things. I think they're the animated version of the stuffed "animal" toys you find at IKEA. And, on occasion, Frodo. Or Biz Markie.

Moving on to The Educational Program Station. (Does your sound on this station cut out every minute and a half or so? Or is that just mine?) I once heard a theory that the reason my generation is, in general, so ADD is because of Sesame Street -- because we never had to pay attention to anything for more than 45 seconds at a time before we were entertained by a new -- hey! What's that?

Have you ever watched Caillou? *Sigh* Who lives in that kind of colored world? No, seriously? Again, Kerri nailed it.

When we watch Cyberchase, I keep wanting The Hacker to yell out, "ONE POINT TWENTY ONE JIGGOWATTS!" And I think Ruff Ruffman is one clever dogg.

Steve over Joe. HANDS DOWN. No, seriously, Joe, put your hands down. To quote suzie petunia in the comments to this brilliant post, "points to his toes when he runs".

I miss Bear in the Big Blue House. And I wish my kids still liked The Wiggles. Although . . . are The Wiggles even the same anymore? Didn't Greg have to go away to the Tired Hospital or something? Is there a new Yellow Wiggle? Did I ever tell you how much I love Captain Feathersword? I also miss Little Bill, but mainly the freckly-faced kid who sang the "Little Bill" song right before the show started.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is Disney's answer to Dora -- the Gang has to use Tools to Solve Problems. (Don't think I didn't catch on, Playhouse Disney, just because your "Mousekatools" aren't kept in una mochila!)

Charlie and Lola is (are) hysterical. I like watching this way more than my kids do.

Our favoritefavoritefavorite right now is Little Einsteins. Baby Einstein? Not so much. But LITTLE Einsteins? "Use your hands for turningturningturningturning Clapping Clapping Up Down!" Between that song and "Yoooooou are mmmyyyyyyyyy best frieeeeennnd! A-and I-I Loooovve Yooooou!", I have songs stuck in my head for days. But I don't mind.

What I do mind? Feelin' good with JoJo.

Don't get me started on Doodlebops. But Jazzmin rocks dat house.

Do the racial-awarness-bordering-on-racism tones on Handy Manny bother anyone else?

Go Baby is great -- I like hearing Richard Kind's voice, but I think 5 minutes is my limit, so, you know, perfect. But here's a question: why is the baby's name Baby? I don't think it's a nickname; if it is, then why doesn't Sophie also have a nickname?

The Backyardigans get an all-access backstage pass to anything. They rule.

What am I forgetting?


QueenScarlett said...

We love the Einsteins in this house... I am singing their songs all the time...but don't mind either. Kalea's been singing "we are here to trick or treat, trick or treat, trick or treat, yummy, yummy trick or treat oh happy halloweeeeeeeeen!" I love it.

She also likes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse... my fav part is when they all dance on their little spots at the end... Kalea likes to do the daisy dance... she does it when we're out too... finds little circles in the concrete, stops and has to do the dance - hehehe

And... I'm glad you mentioned teh weird racial thing on Handy Manny... I would catch that show and wonder - is anyone seeing how they're getting away with this? ;-)

Have you seen the Happy Monster Band? They are the reason I wish tivo had a way to just set up your recorded shows in a row... and just play 'em without having to select evey 5 min. Kalea loves them. They are strange...but... ah well.

This is me said...

YES! to Charlie and Lola. My kids like it, but I am definitely way more into it than they are. It is fantastic.

Little Bill is on Noggin now. My kids love it.

My kids don't watch anything that doesn't teach them something or anything that annoys the heck out of me. Therefore, no Teletubbies, no Yo Gabba Gabba, no Doodlebops, etc.

We love Arthur. Do you watch that one? And, yes, the PBS sound cuts out here, too.

~j. said...

Queen - I've seen Happy Monster band at the beginning or end of certain shows. Is it just one of those 5-minute shows? I do like it, but haven't figured out when exactly it's on. We sing the trick-or-treat song here, too.

this is me - Yes, we like Arthur. The older ones do, anyway. Do you know something though? Yo Gabba Gabba, though very silly, has taught LOTS of things to my kids, and I'm not joking. They did an episode about food, and they sang a song with the lyrics, "I tried it, and now I like it!" repeated six hundred times. This song is now sung at most meals, and has even taken effect, as my kids have tried new foods to find that they like it. Weird, huh? Also, they did an episode around halloween with a song about, "If I eat too much candy, I'm gonna get sick!" (also repeated six hundred times). The message got through.

C. Jane Kendrick said...

All like a foreign language to me.

I predict this post gets lots of Mommy comments.

QueenScarlett said...

Yes the happy monster band is a filler show. What do you think of... "I was just Johnny when I walked through that door, now I'm not Johnny anymore..." ;-)

And forgot...I love charlie and lola too - how wonderful to have an older brother like him. Plus... I love british accents.

QueenScarlett said...

sorry... my life revolves around shows... have you seen Jakers! on Sprout? They're Irish, a pig, a cow, a duck... they are adorable.

Mary Beth said...

I totally shelter my kids when it comes to kids' TV shows. My kids have only seen MAYBE 3 Disney movies. We LOVE Little Einsteins, though.

Have you ever seen "Signing Time"? I think it's great. My kids love it, and have learned a bit of sign language. We have some of the DVD's but I've seem them on PBS occasionally too.

Also I agree. Baby needs a name if Sophie has one.

Carina said...

Celine Dion's spoiled brat loves Caillou so much they rented "Caillou" to come to the brat's birthday party at a cost of thousands. And that's all there is to say about Caillou: Celine Dion.

I love Curious George.

You can't go wrong with William H. Macy as a narrator. I kind of feel like I'm watching a Coen Brother's movie when I watch Curious George.

OK, that's stretching it, but C.G. I like. Plus, I do a mean C.G. impression.

Anonymous said...

As much as I'm happy to be over the mind-numbing telelvision stage, I kind of miss stuff like Bill Nye the Science Guy and Arthur.

Now my kids want to watch House and The Office. Sometimes they get good TV. Other times they get stuff wholly inappropriate.

I wonder why there really isn't anything interesting in between?

It gets even harder when the kids get older. How do you find entertainment that is interesting to your 16 and 18 year old--and you for that matter--yet not completely inappropriate for the 8 and 12-year old?

sue-donym said...


wendysue said...

Seriously, can the advertising/marketing people give it A REST with Dora?? She is freakin' everywhere! I mean, my oldest (almost 9) was about 1 when that show first came out! Why the huge explosion now?

And we LOVE little einsteins around here. It's one that I actually don't mind having on in the background while I around the house. . .and the cutest was when we hit the beach in L.A. and Whitney did a perfect "booray, booray", over the sand just like June with the blue footed boobie birds!

Let's give a big cheer for the author of the day JJJJJJJJ, JJJJJJJ!

swampbaby said...

I guess I am so out of it because honestly I have never even heard of most of the shows you listed. I do know Backyardigans, however. And they rock. We actually have their CD.

Emily said...

Teletubbies bugs because I think their sexual orientation is indicated in their antennae* and Yo Gabba Gabba bugs because the orange/red costumed fellow looks awfully phallic to me (with some sort of red, bumpy STD)?

*Tinky WInky -- gay
Dipsy -- straight male
Lala -- staight female
Po -- androgynous or bi

Sorry. Is this a family friendly blog?

waldo said...

OK, I have a terrible hatred of pandering TV shows, and so here is a list of the ones I like:
Little Einsteins (although Gigi is kinda over it sometimes, we still watch it like twice a week together)
Charlie and Lola. Awesome.
Yo Gabba Gabba. I know, he's a spaz, and the animals are bizzare, but the kid needs it like oxygen and she learns stuff. Also, I like Biz Markie.

What I have to say about Dora will not go in a family blog. Suffice to say, I HATE her. One, I agree with cc when he talks about her inflections. Two, her spanish is not only irritating, it is sometimes incorrect. Three, and I firmly believe this though I have no evidence to support it, kids who watch Dora end up stupid. I know I feel stupid after seeing it. And the same goes for that bastard Diego, only double. He can't even be bothered to use a good spanish accent. As for Manny, I am biased towards Wilmer Valderrama because he is Venezuelan. Although his show is close to being racist.

Thanks for listening - after all, I'm only a part-time parent.

Tori :) said...

I had forgotten about that Dora post. Yeah- did we ever solve the mystery of Daisy???

You description of the guy on Yo Gabba Gabba had me literally crying LOL!! And I thought that was Biz Markie the other day...

Handy Manny bugs the crap out of me- not to mention that's a weird name for a kids show. Maybe my mind is in the gutter.

Livie watched Signing Time constantly - or at least has to have it playing in the background- so I am constantly singing songs from that. I had one stuck in my head for days!

Great post!! And I loved your last one too.

Amber said...

Hi, I'm Zach's wife....
As a "domestic goddess" to two adorable kids myself, I feel somewhat qualified to leave a comment. Granted my oldest is 2 so maybe I'm not really qualified yet, however, I'm sharing my opinoin anyway. Until my oldest was 19 months she only watched TV when her daddy was "watching" her, so now that I do let her watch it I'm REALLY picky about what she can watch. Our favorite is Jack's Big Music Show, it's on cable -Noggin I think, we loved it. I'm big on music and what toddler doesn't love music as well, it was a fun show that had lots of cute songs about things that are important to the wee ones, like what to do when your best friend makes friends with someone else too (yeah for more friends for everyone!), how to help your dog not be scared of a bath, silly things like that. You should check it out if you can, if only for a change of scenery and new songs to be stuck in your head!

~j. said...

cjane - You'll learn.

queen - oh, Johnny. I'm sure you're talented. Go back to Broadway and find yourself a nice Sprite to settle down with. And I will look into Jakers.

mary - I've never seen Signing Time, but I've only heard wonderful things about it.

shuge - I also like CG, mainly due to Bill Macey (I call him Bill). And you'd better pull out that impression and show it off sooner than later.

cw - is it bad that my kids already know The Office? That upon seeing ads for Dan In Real Life (or whatever it's called) they say, "Hey! It's Michael!"?

sue - Hannah Montana will be in the next chapter.

wendy - I would have loved to see the "Booray" in action. I heard an ad on NPR for a report on the blue footed boobie bird and felt smart for kind of knowing what they might be talking about.

swampbaby - There are a lot of families who listen to the Backyardigans CDs as a family because they're actually good music. I love it.

emily - very interesting theory! If I knew more about the telletubbies I'd say you are correct. I'll just trust you on it. And any and all comments are always welcome.

waldo - you're a great american.

tori - Izzy as Dora will always be better than Actual Dora. If I'm remembering correctly...wasn't she Dora for halloween years ago?

~j. said...

amber - welcome! Any friend of my brother and sister-in-law is a friend of mine. We don't get Noggin, but I have a few friends who have a firm and unshakable testimony of Jack's Big Music Show, so I applaud your choice. Don't be a stranger.

Carina said...

I wanted to hate Zaboomafoo, but we actually love it. The other day they fed some sort of animal a stalk of celery. I asked El Guille if he wanted one too, he said YES and he ate THREE.

So, thanks Zaboomafoo, I owe you three.

If you like my CG impression, you should hear my Elmo.

Cari said...

One of our favorites is Wonder Pets. The little duck's voice is hilarious!

waldo said...

I am a huge fan of Jack's Big Music Show. Here's how six-degrees it is: The first host of Blue's Clues has a kids band now that was featured on an episode of Jack. Cool, huh? Although he loses points for having what I refer to as "college hair." You know, the androgynous haircut? What La Yen calls "Hairbag?" Anyway, I have a burning in my bosom about Jack's Big Music Show

wendysue said...

Azu--I totally forgot about Zaboomafoo. . .I love that Zaboo, although the "brothers" or whatever are a little odd. I didn't realize it was still on. I think I remember Oh Judy telling me she used Zaboo to get Miles to eat some kind of veggie too. "Hey, Zaboo LOVES this stuff!"

TheOneTrueSue said...

The Doodlebops fill me with inexpressable rage. I don't know why. I have banned it. The kids turn it on and I'm like, "Nope - banned." Irreversable.

It's like the beginning of the Electric Company when I was a kid. It used to make me CRAZY. I have no idea why. "Heeeeeey Yoooooooooou Guuuuuuuuuys." That makes me NUTS.

Bek said...

We love the basics, Elmo, Wiggles, etc. My oldest is obsessed with Fairly Odd Parents (which I hate and have banned, unless I am tired and pregant) and I Carly.. the total tweener stuff. That is when it gets REALLY irritating. It makes Dora look like heaven...

I love watching the Yo Gabba Gabba bit on The Soup every week. Good stuff.

pflower10 said...

I think MAX and RUBY is the cutest show. I'm trying to get my 2 yr old to love it too but she seem's to be hooked on HI-5.

Sister Pottymouth said...

Have you ever seen Boobah? Teletubbies on LSD, I'm tellin' ya. Nasty. It makes Teletubbies look almost watchable. I must admit, however, to liking the talking flowers on Teletubbies, but only because they made snarky comments about Lala's guitar playing on one episode. ("Oh! It's awful! Terrible! She needs lessons!" All in this British accent.)

I LOVE Charlie and Lola, but my 4-year-old suddenly refuses to watch it. (sigh)

I also like Between the Lions because there's enough sarcasm in there to keep me entertained. But, again, T-- won't watch it for some reason.

Little Einsteins gets a thumbs up from everyone at our house. Wonder Pets, however, bugs the crap out of me. I make sure we have the channel changed when it comes on because it is so annoying.

SpongeBob is banned at our house. I get enough lip from my kids without their needing lessons. I also detest Fairly Odd Parents for the same reason.

Okay, enough of my rant. I could go on, but I have to take A-- to guitar.

~j. said...

cari - the wonder pets where they sing: "Wee-wee, Pee-pee, Tinkle!" in perfect major triad harmony makes me laugh and laugh. Also, Superstar is often saying that things are "Heavy Like a Hippo."

sue - Yes, rage is the word my sister-in-law would use to describe the doodlebops, I'm pretty sure of it. And it strikes me as funny that only one of them is called Moe...

bek - I can't stand Fairly Oddparents because of three voices: timmy, green fairy, and pink fairy. Grates my nerves. And I could do without the 'tween stuff,, what is with those boys living in a hotel with Sharpay or whatever? I don't get it.

peef - I love Max & Ruby, too, and I'm glad my kids like it. For some reason, it's very relaxing for me.

julie - I've only ever seen a boobah toy in the store, as well as online. Too weird. I like when I've seen Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Steve Carell on Between the Lions. And here at our house...we LOVE SpongeBob. Love it. We actually haven't watched it in quite a while, but it's an old standby. I recommend the bubble-blowing episode, as well as The Campfire Song song.

Lisa said...

I don't let MY kids watch tv, mostly because I'm too busy reading to them. . .

uh hem.

I have to say here that my cousin, Christian Jacobs, founding member of "The Aquabats," created "Yo Gabba Gabba," and I love it because it's so weird and it got Hugh to eat ("try it and you'll like it" chanted by his brothers and sister over and over at dinnertime--annoying, yet affective and kind of funny).

~j. said...

lvc - exactly the song sung at my own table. Your kids are so fortunate that they have an awesome mom like you who hates television.

Lisa said...

THANK YOU! I was waiting for someone to acknowledge my awesomeness!

waldo said...


I stand in awe of your awesomeness. I also think that the game should be "six degrees of Lisa V. Clark," not "six degrees of Kevin Bacon."


A Fine American

David said...

Boohbah creeps me out. It reminds me of the first time I petted a dogs tummy.

They're like uncircumcised teletubbies.

Geo said...

Boy, am I in the dark. I'm still reminiscing about PeeWee Herman and Bill Nye.

smileynann said...

Hey, ~j, this is your old neighbor from the hood -- I lived next to the Griswolds in back of you, on the corner. I'm glad to find you! If you e-mail me, I'll e-mail you back with a little update on how we are & what we're up to.

My philosophy is, if it isn't entertaining to me, I won't let my kids watch it. Also, it has to be mildly educational -- I count Backyardigans because I love ALMOST every episode (hey, music education is still education!), and Clifford rocks because they try to teach things like being kind to others, etc. We only watch one or MAYBE two 30-minute shows each day, and sometimes a movie on weekends (although, usually our weekends are so jam-packed that we skip out on those), and the kids really look forward to it -- and so do I. So, I don't know many shows, but I agree with most of what you say, (especially Handy Manny, which we've only watched once) although... can I vent here about the newest Winnie the Pooh one? Yikes. We've only watched one. And, unfortunately, I'm not a fan of Go Baby.

That being said, my kids just discovered Scooby Doo via some playing cards we have, which they love to use to play Go Fish, and we just found out they're on TOON at 9:30 or 10:00 (if you live around here) -- I can't remember exactly when. The only problem with that? The ads for the other shows are way too rude, and there are a million ka-jillion ads for toys at this time of year.

Okay, this has gone on for long enough. Talk to you soon!