Ode to children’s programming

Never in my life did I ever think I would watch Dora the Explora or Olivia or Little Bear. These are shows that I knew little about. There is hype on Dora, so I had heard about it, but I’ll be damned if I ever watched it. These shows are now a mainstay in my household, and I’m slightly horrified by it.

There is value in these shows, to my children. I admit that they learn from these shows, and the side affect to these is that when I need a moment, it keeps them busy from time to time. I appreciate these for that reason. It’s the fact that Olivia is a selfish, self proclaimed, self important hack who has no sense of self awareness to the fact that she’s a pig. A pig. I’m confused by the Franklin’s and the Little Bear’s of the world as well. Franklin, while whiney and mildly idiotic, is the only one with a real name. Why is that? Little Bear has the same issue. I don’t understand why these characters don’t have real names. It’s as though the authors put so much into the gripping storyline that they reached only to realize that they were much too tired to name the characters properly. Don’t get my started on Max and Ruby. Besides the condescending tone of Ruby, they have no parents.

This brings me full circle to Yo Gabba Gabba. While I know many parents are horrified by this show for many reasons, I find more value in this show than any other. The messages are simple, the dancing is supreme, the songs are catchy. The value, to me, isn’t in the content, it’s the outcome. More than once, I have found my daughter singing one of these songs, on her own, and with fervor. She picks up all the words and sings them over and over again. I hate to admit that Fresh Beat Band does the same.

While these shows personally don’t do anything for me, I have to admit and even thank Nick Jr. and Sprout for these gems. My daughter taught me about chrysalis the other day. How does she know what this is and I don’t? Oh, right, I didn’t have Miss Spider Sunny Patch Friends. That and I didn’t pay attention in Biology.

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