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.
- 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).
- 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!