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I’m not a hater, I just watch a lot.

In the past four and a half years, I have watched a LOT of children’s programming. A LOT.

In the beginning, I had complete control. When Olivia was a baby I would employ the Baby Einstein DVDS to entertain her for short periods of time, if I needed to use the bathroom, or cook dinner or just have a second to myself. When she got older, she begin to show preferences for certain things. I tried to keep it to Sesame Street or other shows I could tolerate, but unfortunately, if you turn the channel too soon, or too late, they catch glimpses of OTHER shows that pique their interest and they MUST watch. Plus, unless you live in a bubble, children are bombarded with these characters in some form or another, even if they aren’t watching commercials.

My only rule regarding television was that it had to have SOME educational value. I figured if they were going to be watching, they had to learn something. So far, I’ve been pretty good with this rule (not perfect, but I’m human).

Please note, my children do not watch all of these shows on a daily (or even weekly) basis. These are just some of the shows they like (or liked at one time) to watch.

My observations?

  • I like Steve from Blue’s Clues much better than Joe. My girls seem to prefer Steve too. I am sure Joe is a nice guy, but his eyebrows are frightening. Also? He seems a little too enthused to be hanging out with a bunch of animated things. Steve was more laid back and understanding. Calming, almost. Joe is cranked up to 11.
  • Calliou is a whiny bitch. I seriously can’t stand that kid. I hate that PBS decided to play that show before Sesame Street and Olivia ever got wind that it existed. I hate myself for buying Calliou DVDs. I hate how he pronounces Pizza. I hate how Rosie is a bit over 2 years old and can’t talk beyond third person two-word sentences. “Rosie hungry, Rosie want, Rosie sad, Rosie sick”. I know my children are talkers, but shouldn’t we see some sort of language explosion from her 2-3 year old self?
  • Handy Manny gets my sympathy. My utmost sympathy. I actually like Manny. He’s a good guy. But, let’s face it, he takes care of over 8 toddlers on a daily basis (he has 8 “regulars” and others that pop up depending on the episode). Those tools don’t listen to a word he says, they are always asking him questions or WHY something is the way it is or questioning his authority. THEN the little brats figure a way to screw stuff up so Manny has to fix it, and he is so patient. Plus? Him and Kelly need to just get it on. The sexual tension between those two is palpable.
  • Dora and Diego. I’m lumping these two cousins together, because they are both guilty of the same damn things. YELLING. EVERYTHING IS YELLED. THERE IS NO VOLUME CONTROL ON THESE CHILDREN. I have to turn the TV down any time they are on TV.
  • I really think Sid the Science Kid has merit. My girls like watching it, and they learn a lot. But, the voices really get on my nerves. That’s my only complaint. The voices are annoying. If it were only one of the voices, it wouldn’t have made the list, but it is 90% of the characters (I like the mom, she has a soothing voice). But that snot nosed kid in his class that always seems to have a cold? I cringe when he talks. I don’t even remember his name.
  • I hate the Wonder Pets. So much. I think it has a lot to do with MingMing’s lisp and the fact I read the actress actually had a lisp and when she outgrew it, the show’s producers now make her fake it. I may be wrong. If I am, please educate me. But that rubbed me the wrong way. Plus? It’s just annoying.
  • I wonder if the audio tech from the Fresh Beat Band really hates his/her job, because they really need to get the lips and audio to sync up a little better. It’s bad. My 4 year old notices it. “Mama, why did her lips start moving before she started singing?” If a 4 year old is noticing, maybe it is time to fire the audio sync-up person.
  • Where are Max&Ruby’s parents????? WHERE? Okay, I understand the creator wanted to take parents out of the scenario and have the children work out the problems on their own (from what I’ve read), but poor Ruby. She’s barely in school and she has so much responsibility. No wonder she is a bossy brat. And Max? Being cute will get you only so far in life before people realize you are kind of a douche. Ruby has aged well beyond her years and is more like Grandma bunny than sister bunny.
  • Pete from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is a jerk. I mean, I know that’s the point, but dammit if Mickey and Co need to just cut their losses. They have tried and tried again to give that asshole the benefit of the doubt, but he keeps screwing them over. Also? Toodles kind of freaks me out.
  • Special Agent Oso has a soft spot in my heart because it is Samwise Gamgee (AKA Sean Astin) who does his voice, and I get the whole vibe they are going for. This one is actually low on my list of annoying shows, but Paw Pilot is awful. Her singing voice anyway. It grates on my nerves. Other than that, pretty stinking adorable.

Before you write me off as a Children’s TV hater, here are the shows I really enjoy watching with my girls, those shows I try to steer them towards when I ask “What do you want to watch today?” (It doesn’t always work, but I try).

  • WordWorld
  • Olivia
  • Sesame Street (okay, except for Baby Bear and his lisp)
  • The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That (except for the mom who is oblivious to what the kids are doing)
  • Yo Gabba Gabba
  • Bubble Guppies
  • Team Umizoomi

What about you? I want to know your most hated shows (and why!), and those you love. Please leave them in the comments below!

21 comments to I’m not a hater, I just watch a lot.

  • Amy

    I know a lot of kid TV too! It’s nice to see I’m not the only one! The kid shows at my house are limited to PBS and PBS Sprout because we don’t get Nickelodeon (I’m real sad about that too. Really).

    I’m pretty sure that Caillou is universally hated by EVERY parent on the planet. He’s a whiny pain in the butt. Sadly, every kid on the planet seems to love him. Sigh… We can’t win!

    I will second what you said about Sid the Science Kid. It seems to be a great show, but almost all the voices are like fingernails down a chalkboard!

    Not a fan of Angelina Ballerina. Angelina is whiny and annoying. And no one is that perfect at ballet. No one.

    Curious George is just annoying, but Darling Girl loves it so we watch occasionally for fun. Especially since it comes on before Word World.

    This isn’t a TV show exactly, but Shawn on PBS Sprout’s Good Morning Show gives me the creeps. The guy is weird. My husband says he dances like Elaine from Seinfeld too (he’s totally right).

    I love Word World! We get it live streamed on Netflix and I now know all the words to almost every episode. Seriously. My favorite is Elephant and the Bugs. I’m also a big fan of Dog even though he doesn’t talk.

    I love Sesame Street. I totally believe it’s how Darling Girl learned her alphabet. Mr. Noodle and his siblings creep me out.

    I love the old episodes of Berenstain Bears on PBS Sprout. They’re great.

    Martha Speaks is odd, but pretty cute.

    That’s all I can think of right now! I’m sure there are more though!

    [Reply]

    natalie Reply:

    I knew I was forgetting something: Angelina Ballerina. Those little mouse girls are bitchy! They are really snotty and while I get the show is aimed at older kids (probably 6-8?) younger ones watch too and I don’t know if they get the cause/effect of the mice being jerks.
    I’m not a fan of the Good Morning Show’s little puppet thingy that zips. I have no idea what its name is, but it just makes these kazoo noises? Strange.
    Yes, Martha Speaks is cute. She’s sassy.
    I can take or leave Curious George. My girls seem to love him, but I’m very “meh” about him b/c it doesn’t seem as good as the books were as a child. Maybe I have on rose colored glasses?
    Thanks for stopping by!

    [Reply]

  • Traci

    I HATE Yo Gabba Gabba! Ridiculously named characters, DJ Lance creeps me the hell out and I feel like I need to be on acid to appreciate this show!!!

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    natalie Reply:

    I love YGG. I don’t know if it is b/c they have lots of bands I like on the show, or cool guest stars that I like, or that they are kind of goofy, but it’s not so bad. Initially I SWORE they would never watch it, b/c it did look weird. However, once I saw how excited it made Olivia, I had to try it out, and I’m glad I did, b/c they learn a lot of pretty cool stuff, plus? As far as children’s music in the car goes? I don’t mind listening to the cds over and over again. Totally beats some of the others we have.

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  • I don’t really watch the non-nick jr shows, so I can’t confirm their annoyingness. My biggest issue with Nick Jr is that they change the programing order on the weekends. Spencer doesn’t know the difference and I swear he has a Yo Gabba Gabba sixth sense because every Saturday at 10 he asks for YGG and it is not on. Lame.

    [Reply]

    natalie Reply:

    I swear I think we spoil our children with the damn DVR, b/c we do record YGG & a few PBS shows, so they get that on demand. Also? Netflix streaming has tons of NickJr shows and PBS KIDS stuff, so they get a lot that way too. The only stuff they watch when it is on is the Disney Channel stuff, so it is typically what they watch first thing in the morning when we are getting ready for preschool. I typically stay on Nick Jr, PBS or Disney Channel in the AM b/c I hate the commercials on regular Nick, and now even PBS has them.

    We also have two YGG DVDs I bought when we traveled to NC and I wanted to make sure I had SOMETHING to entertain them. It helps when it’s not actually on TV. Though then you run the risk of watching the same four episodes ALL THE TIME.

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  • Morgan

    omg. your post read my mind!!! i HATE calliou. with a passion. robert almost put it on yesterday and i freaked. vincent has never seen it and as long as i have my way he never will.
    totally agree about manny and kelly. just do it already!!! and does mr. lopart really have to be that stupid?? more annoying though is robert watching manny. he gets into his gangster voice and turns the g rated program into nc-17 :)
    vincent LOVES dora and diego. we can’t stand them. but he does say some funny stuff about swiper, so i guess it’s ok ;)
    we also really like the imagination movers. to the point where we listen to it in the car. that’s kind of annoying, but it keeps vincent happy. and they have pretty decent guests (like duff from ace of cakes).
    vincent also really likes dino dan, which is actually a pretty decent show.
    i hate that ming ming has a lisp. especially because i think that it perpetuates incorrect speech in kids (well, my kid anyway.)
    i’m not too crazy about the new disney junior. i thought it was better as playhouse disney. but maybe it’ll get better when it actually moves over to its own channel (next year some time).

    [Reply]

    natalie Reply:

    Sophia loves the Imagination Movers and I really don’t mind them, so we tend to watch that whenever it pops up and they realize it is on. We haven’t seen Dino Dan yet, but they LOVE Dinosaur Train, so I bet they would like it.

    We listen to the Yo Gabba Gabba albums in the car, and I don’t mind them b/c they have popular bands on them (Weezer, The Roots, etc. etc.)

    I was going to say that I thought MingMing’s lisp perpetuates incorrect speech in kids, but I wasn’t sure if I could back it up, since mine haven’t mimicked it, yet, but I’m glad to know I’m not crazy in thinking it is possible.

    Yeah, I don’t quite understand them changing the name, I thought Playhouse Disney was charming. Although they played the damn promo song so much Sophia sings it ALL THE TIME. They are really starting to LOVE Jake & the Neverland Pirates, which I don’t mind, but it’s insane how all the kids at Olivia’s preschool have totally latched on to this show.

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  • Jackie Wheeley

    Cori LOVES FISH HOOKS… but after our conversation today… she wont be watching that aANY MORE!!
    She attendd yr round school, so she was just tracked off for 3 weeks…So this morning, I sent Cori to school…ONLY to received a phone call at work that Cori was in the office… She doesnt go back to school today BUT TOMORROW!.. yeah there goes parent of the year award…So the spouse rushes back to get her and drop her off to our sitter.
    I pick Cori up today and she tell me in the car that she is STILL tracked out and I SENT her to SCHOOL… I told her i was sooo sorry. Mommy looked at the calendar wrong. Her reply~ “You screwed up big time bro!” OK so I admit.. I wanted to BURST with laughter… but We discussed WHERE on EARTH has she heard the word SCREWED… She said FISH HOOKS…We THEN had a 15 min conversation abotu WHY SCREWED is back and a grown up word….and i had to tip toe that its didnt mean screwing in a light bulb! EEEK! for fast thinking on your feet!!!

    [Reply]

    natalie Reply:

    Ha! Quick thinking, mama! I’m really quick to halt viewing of anything that causes them to act or say anything we don’t like. We had to threaten them with NO DORA after Olivia took something from Sophia & said “You’ll never find it now, hahaha!” real meanly.
    Constant vigilance, I guess. :o)

    [Reply]

  • Caillou…he’s like crack. Hate him, but can’t quit him.

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  • I feel like I am really missing out as a lot of the cartoons are dubbed with English voices over here and so I miss out on things that your talking about. I do however have a crush on a lot of cartoon characters that I don’t think I can go into on a family friendly blog…

    [Reply]

    natalie Reply:

    HA! Whoever said anything about family friendly? I’ve been known to drop an expletive now and again ;) Crushes on cartoon characters? I’m intrigued! Thanks for stopping by!

    [Reply]

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  • SERIOUSLY – I love you for writing this post! I think all of us mothers could write a similar post about children’s programming.

    Gotta love Handy Manny – especially once you’ve seen the dude who does the voice of Manny and his little crush on Kelly – yeah, too cute.

    I’m actually one of those few moms that doesn’t hate Caillu – I think because it’s one of the few shows my little guy would watch all the way through.

    I’m with you 100% about the singing in Special Agent Oso. There should be a video game where you get to shoot up Paw Pilot.

    My little man loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates (on disney)and it’s not too bad on the annoy-o-meter. We sit down and watch Bubble Guppies & Ommi-Zoomi (on Nick) pretty regularly – love those shows. I liked the New Cat in the Hat episodes on PBS until they went into reruns – now they’re super annoying. Gotta LOVE Curious George :)

    [Reply]

    natalie Reply:

    You know, I didn’t hate Calliou at first. But I think I’ve seen every single episode about 100 times, so my patience wore too thin ;) He’s mostly harmless.

    We are now Jake & the Neverland Pirate fans around here, I agree, it isn’t too bad, I just get called “matey” a lot and there is more talk of Dabloons and lots of other pirate slang thrown in for good measure.

    I don’t know why Paw Pilot has to have such a weird singing voice, but I would sign up for the shooting-up of it (her?). I also have a sad b/c there are no new Cat in the Hat episodes, but I’m hopeful for next season.

    Thank you for stopping by!

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  • This is genius. I love it.

    Even if I’m a Joe fan rather than Steve. Maybe b/c Steve is so skinny that I don’t think he ever eats.

    Sid the Science Kid- best thing about that is that my boys then sing “I love my mom, my mom is cool!”

    [Reply]

    natalie Reply:

    HA! I didn’t have a preference at first, but it seems like my girls always request the Steve episodes, so he kind of grew on me. And THEN when I saw he was doing stuff outside of kids programming, it was pretty cool. He’s a talented guy.

    I do like Sid’s mom. She’s pretty awesome. And that song is way cute too!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    [Reply]

  • Ryan

    CAT IN THE HAT IS SO ANNOYING. Drives me NUTS!!!!! It Lacks creativity and there are so many damn repeats. Shut the shit down!!

    [Reply]

  • Naomi

    I’m surprised that Barney didn’t make the list. Now that show is truly annoying. The way Barney talks truly gets on my nerves!

    And to be honest I actually think The Wonder Pets is a rather cute show, plus I think Ming Ming happens to be the cutest character on the show. Sure she has a lisp yet she’s also a 3 year old toddler ducking and many 3 year olds have a lisp when they speak.

    [Reply]

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