Monday, July 11, 2011

Influencing Children's Television Programming, One Passive-Agressive Letter At A Time

To the good people at Nick Jr.:

I am writing to air certain grievances I have with you and your fine television station. 

Now, I do want to state that I appreciate all you have done for my family.  Because of you I can prepare dinner with only one child clinging to my pants leg.  Because of you, I do not need to hire a Spanish language tutor for my Preschooler.  “Arriba, up!  Abajo, down!” pretty much sums up all we’ll need to tick off the “other languages spoken in the home” box on her kindergarten applications. 

But there are certain practices, nay, sins that cannot go on unchecked.

First of all, please stop changing the line-up of your programs.  In my household, we work hard to instill certain routines.  Not only do my children thrive off of the consistency of a good routine, it gives Husband and I a glimmer of hope of what lays beyond the temper-tantrums, crayon-on-the-wall, and cheerios-ground-into-the-carpet; mainly the kids will be asleep meaning WE can have a drink go to sleep.  It took quite a bit of effort, but we were finally able to have all members of our household agree that after “Blue’s Clues,” it’s bedtime.  

But then, but then, you changed your line-up.  And then you changed it again several days later.  Now “Blue’s Clues” airs nowhere near any reasonable bedtime, unless you expect my children to be awake for the five o’clock morning news, which they already are thank you very much.  As it is due to your waffling over program-placement that the entire bedtime routine in my home is upset, I place the responsibility squarely on your shoulders to rectify it.

Second of all, what the HELL did you do to “Fresh Beat Band?”  First there is the new Marina.  Husband and I were so shocked by this change that we immediately consulted Google find out what happened to the OLD Marina, Shayna Rose (turns out she left the show to start a family).   Her character was replaced by another actress bearing no real resemblance to Ms. Rose whatsoever. 

Now this doesn’t come as too much of a shock, given the short lifespan of most daytime TV characters.  For example, Ms. Rose also had a brief stint on Days Of Our Lives, and soap operas are notorious for replacing actors and actresses, or aging a character 20 years in the span of one episode.  But my kid isn’t buying it.  She keeps asking where Marina is, and does not accept the fact that there is a NEW Marina.  At this rate, it would make more sense to just give the new Marina her own character.  Call her anything else, but don’t call her Marina.  You’re not fooling anyone.

Furthermore, what do you mean by having the Fresh Beats graduate from Music School?  What the hell are they going to be doing now?  Music Community College? Music Data Entry?  Singing Waiters?  What?

Finally, why do you continue to air “Go Diego Go?”  That show purports itself to be educational, but it defies all logic of the animal kingdom.   Diego constantly befriends predators.  These predators should do less singing and more eating, particularly of Diego. 

Furthermore, when Diego leads a prey-animal on an adventure, they always encounter one of the animal’s natural predators. This predator not only fails to eat Diego’s companion, but the predator possibly joins the prey-animal in some sort of rain forest concert-band, elementary school, or birthday party.  In addition, please explain your practice of superimposing a human voice over a recording of an animal’s vocalization.  What’s the point of simultaneously have a human say “ROAR!” at the same time that an actual lion roars? Frankly, I’d rather my kiddo just watch a baby jaguar eat a baby capybara, and then playfully tussle with another baby jaguar. Kids love animals.

I expect you will want to take action on these points immediately.




Breann said...

I LOVE this. In the mornings, I try to find a cartoon on that will capture Logan's 7month old attention yet... all that is on is Lil Bill and he doesn't seem to like Lil Bill all that much, in fact he stares at the Today Show more intently. I would love something more colorful and fun than annoying-ass Mickey's Play House where they sing about hot dogs or something like that.
What the hell ever happened to Looney Tunes?

Fox in the City said...

I do love this post!!

It is all about Disney Junior in our household and thank god for the PVR because then shows are on when we want them on.

I found myself curious as to why the writers on Dora one day decided to focus on the fact that something was wrong with a garbage can because it was talking . . . garbage cans don't talk so it must have been Swipper. Okay, so it is ridiculous to think that a garbage can could speak but kids are just suppose to accept that the back-pack, the map, the monkey and many many other animals can speak. Perhaps some level of consistency would be nice . . . just saying.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Brean - we'd watch more disney channel, but it seems like every time I turn it on it's Mickey Mouse clubhouse, and I just find that show to be condescending. Ugghhh!

@Fox in the City - good point about the garbage can. Why can't the poor garbage can talk? That's garbage can discrimination, I tell you!!

Handflapper said...

All of children's TV programming sucks these days. The end.

I want Rugrats, The Wild Thornberries, and Rocko's Modern Life back. NOW. And I don't even have children in my house anymore.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Handflapper - I would pay to see Rocko's Modern Life come back on the air. Also, Pete and Pete. Come on tv execs, wok with me here!

Betty Fokker said...

Thank God I am not the only one totally pissed off about the new Marina. Couldn't they just have her be a "cousin" until the REAL Marina can come back? HONESTLY!

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Betty - I KNOW!!!!

Marianna Annadanna said...

Much of this is over my head, but I like your tone nonetheless. Also, I like that you speak Spanish in your home.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Marianna - should you ever have toddlers, or come into some sort of close contact and interaction with a toddler, you will develop a love-hate relationship with the MOST ANNOYING TV SHOWS EVER. Seriously, were kids tv shows always this bad?

mssharealot said...

Bravo! I have thought the same thing about Diego multiple times! I am delighted that my kids love Phineas and Ferb, it actually makes me laugh on a semi-regular basis!

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@mssharealot - I've heard Phineas and Ferb is actually a really good show. I hope it's still around when my kiddos are old enough for it :)

Lizbeth said...

Yeah, I like this post. And the fact my son almost pooped a brick when they changed the guy on Blues Clues. Thank you very much.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Lizbeth - I actually thought they did the Steve/Joe change in Blues Clues well. At least they're two separate characters, and they introduced Joe slowly over a couple of episodes and had a "Goodbye Steve" episode. By the way we watch a ton of Blues Clues in my home. How did you know?