Eli Gabriel Nathan

May 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm

The Writing on the Wall

I have to confess that these children’s TV show makes me want to pull my hair out. Having been a mom for nine years now I have seen many a children’s programming come and go. Most of them have some oddities to them that bug me in strange little ways. I have suffered through bananas in pajamas that are coming down the stairs. Swiper has caused nightmares for one of my children, even though we don’t watch the show and he has outgrown it. Still he has the occasional Swiper night sweats. I, like most parents, cannot stand the freaking singing purple dinosaur. Although I do find his tune for cleaning up often helpful.

Some are more tolerable than others. I find Imagination Movers kind of clever at times, and the least painful of the obligatory lesson set to music. I enjoy the imagination and relative calmness of Little Bill. And as of late, although not of the educational variety, I find Phineas and Ferb amusing and clever.

But there are two that are truly getting on my last nerve. The first being Yo Gabba Gabba. This is the strangest mix of disproportionate characters and horrible attempts at life lessons set to music. For those of you who don’t know, the host of Yo Gabba Gabba is this tall string bean of an african american male clad head to toe entirely in a bright rust colored unitard complete with white racing stripes. He wears goofy black glasses and his lovely ensemble is topped with a sherbet colored fuzzy hat with a starburst on it. This “DJ” then releases these five characters from his boombox into their respective puppet stages and they come to life. They then have these strange life experiences on sharing or road safety set to weird music. Things like a whole song based on “don’t go in the street it’s dangerous” or “keep your hand to yourself”. There is no way to accurately describe the grating effect these non-musical songs have on me.

Last month Jack Black made a guest appearance on this show, complete with his own personal unitard and puff ball hat. I was telling John about it, and he had no idea the atrociousness that is this program. So I TIVO’d it. Unfortunately for me, the TV had been on and switched over to the show while I was getting the laundry from downstairs. I come upstairs to see not only a mesmerized Nathan but a bounding Eli in his Jumparoo. I was stunned. And have been punished with their songs ever since.

This is pet peeve number two as of right now. This is Pinky Dinky Doo. The premise of which I think should have been reconsidered by the powers that be. Most of the show is a pleasant enough venture into imaginative made up stories and does a great job of teaching basic literary foundation. They learn what a character is, what a theme is, stuff like that. But the problem comes when Pinky tells her stories to her brother in the ever present cardboard box in the family apartment. They climb in and Pinky proceeds to draw out her story on the box walls. For those of us who choose not to have an empty ginormous cardboard washer or dryer box in our living room, it leaves our children with one main other option with which to emanate Pinky’s creative nature. We are left with lovely doodles on things like our linen closet door depicting spiky headed comic characters with giant x’s through their face. Get it, X-men’s Wolverine. Ah, lovely decor. Thanks Pinky!

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