Monthly Archive for July, 2010

Reviewing childrens’ TV from an adult perspective

Like anyone with a toddler at home, our TV is permanently glued to the children’s TV channel.  Treehouse TV.

I watch a lot of these children’s TV series these days.  Enough to form opinions of them.

Big and Small

I like it.  I often wonder why Big doesn’t kick Small’s self-centered ass to the curb.  But it’s funny, with that straight-man/funny-man comic duo thing happening.  And the songs are often surprisingly good.

Thomas the Tank Engine

Somewhat formulaic, but apparently classic.  All the real train lingo appeals to the latent trainspotter in me.  I kinda prefer the earlier ones shot with physical models over the later CGI ones.  They’re primitive, but they have charm.  But even the CGI ones play it pretty realistic, unlike…

Chuggington

An obvious rip-off of Thomas.  I find it very distracting how the CGI trains bounce and flail around all the time.  I just don’t think a 70 ton locomotive should bounce around like a caffeinated chihuahua.

Franklin

This is actually quite watchable.  Not too formulaic.

4 Square

Episodes are very short, just filler really.  Each episode is one of the four different segments.  I will review each of them separately.

I’ve got a rhythm, gonna review it with ya

Moronic.

Review what the doo-wahs review

Moronic.

Poem

Moronic.

Ronaldo, review the segment.  Hup!

Mind-numbingly moronic.  Metito, wipe that ridiculous #$%^%# smile off your face.  Hup!

In the Night Garden

This is apparently the new Teletubbies.  Kinda trippy.  About 15 seconds of story, stretched out to 30 minutes, but can be fun if you’re in the right frame of mind.

The birds… I mean, “tittifers”… are disturbing.  They look like real birds, but they move like they’ve been hollowed out and their innards replaced with jerky robotics.  Way down near the bottom of the uncanny valley.

Waybuloo

WTF is this shit?  Crystals, yoga, chanting, meditation, levitating CGI creatures?  It’s a steaming pile of New Agey spiritual mumbo-jumbo.  It’s downright creepy.  The poor human kids that appear in this thing… I expect they’ll be permanently damaged by the experience.

Roll-Play

Ron shakes his fist at the irritating show.  Shake your fist!

One of the kids reminds me of a bully I knew in public school.  I dislike it for that reason alone.  But it’s also really stupid.

Wonder Pets

Lame-o.  Mega lame-o.  Painful to watch.  Why do they have to keep singing the same damn song over and over?  Why don’t they use some of that teamwork to whip up some new songs?

3rd and Bird

Not very interesting, not very lame.  Just boring.

Backyardigans

Sometimes manages to draw me in, somehow.  I like how the stories explore different parts of the world, different periods in history, different genres.

Manon

Weird-looking animation.  3D CG animation but rendered to look like 2D cel animation.  It doesn’t work for me.  And why does she have those four big thick black hairs, in addition to her regular hair?

Guess with Jess

I think this is supposed to teach kids the scientific method or something.  But they never really answer the question themselves.  The cow always hands them the answer.  In real science, there’s no talking cow to give you the answer.

Toopy and Binoo

Seriously trippy.  The people who make this show are getting some really good shit.

Max and Ruby

Pretty formulaic, but can be funny.  Max has some great toys, like the Screaming Blue Alien Gorilla, and the wind-up clockwork lobster that chases him around.

The Wot Wots

I like this one.  I like their crazy steam-punk spaceship.  Somehow I wasn’t surprised when I noticed that Weta is involved.  Probably the same guys that make this stuff.

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