Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Guilty Pleasures: Children's TV

“We are slackly farming our children out to the electric babysitter” bellows Harriet Lane in The Observer. I myself am guilty of exceeding the recommended TV viewing limitation for under 2s (the recommendation being none), I have Sky +ed my Amy’s favourite cartoons, I buy the magazines with choking-hazard free gifts attached to the cover and I collect the branded merchandise (Talking AND Dancing Makka Pakka?! WANT!) If you haven’t already guessed from browsing this list, I’m a Cbeebies whore. Here’s my learned account of the best of the channel’s output.

In The Night Garden


With a flatulent airship, and a train that clearly breaks all Health and Safety laws, never mind the laws of physics, In The Night Garden is the crack cocaine of children’s television. You could criticise it for being overly conservative and heteronormative. For instance, Mr and Mrs Pontipine and Mr and Mrs Wottinger are straight couples in wedlock. Furthermore they clearly don’t believe in contraception or have concern for the global population crisis as each couple has eight sprogs. Inconsiderate breeders! But hey, at least Upsy Daisy has a brown face. Furthermore, she and Iggle Piggle like to kiss. You might think this is yet another hetero love fest; after all, one of them wears a skirt and the other is blue so obviously a dude. But look closely and you will discover that aside from being blue, Iggle Piggle has a camel toe. Isn’t that a pip! Who says kiddies TV doesn’t add covert treats for grown-ups?

Teletubbies


Pushing the boundaries of decency for fifteen years, the Teletubbies are the Godfathers of hash-inspired toddler viewing. Tinky-Winky is prepped for a pride march with his fetish for ladies handbags and pink tutus. Dipsy is a phallic-headed pimp in a Jamiroquai hat. Po is the most illiterate of the gang with a speech impediment that would make Joey Deacon sound like Shakespeare. La-La is a female with one massive ball. Moreover, carousels hover down from the sky containing peado teddies that perform half-nude public tap dances. All of this is over watched by a bucked-tooth infant sun god whom babbles and coos in the sky. Notwithstanding these minor discrepancies, the Teletubbies remains a visual feast of vibrant primary colours, whimsical settings and random clips of overly-gracious preschool children: “Hello, hello, hello, hello!”


Small Potatoes


Ahhhh Small Potatoes. I can’t get enough of these bad boys. The BBC calls it an “animated series about a group of potatoes who sing songs in different genres”. I call it genius. Whoever thought of putting a sweet potato, russet potato, King Edward potato and red gold potato together and dubbing them with toddler narration was a legend. From little Chip singing a heartfelt song about being a potato, to the whole potato gang singing a punk rock anthem about how they’re no average spuds, these little fellas melt my heart more than any RSPCA advert. Furthermore, due to the simplistic style in which they are drawn, I can’t help but think they resemble little turds, which adds to their kitsch charm don’t you think?

Show Me, Show Me



Aside from the slightly suspect tagline “You show me and I’ll show you”, this programme is rather good. It earned a place on this list thanks to its sheer randomness. Elephants exercising, cars cart wheeling, jellyfish jiggling; what’s not to like? Consider it the Harry Hill of children’s TV shows. It's basically a remake of Playschool, cabal of toys and all, without the rotating pool of presenters. What sealed the deal for me was “Momo’s Song”. I don’t normally share Youtube videos as no one bothers to view them, but a mere literary description would fail to do this justice. Do not adjust your brain, you haven’t been smoking cannabis, but the people who choreographed this probably were...

7 comments:

MilkChic said...

Tut! I have a soft touch for Teletubbies but the small one turns 2 in a couple of weeks and has barely seen any... she does have a marked preference for my HTC Desire and for Evian dancing babies on Youtube...

chrisscullion said...

It's a shame You & Me with Cosmo and Dibbs isn't still going

whodoesshethinksheisblog.com said...

I always think Momo's Song would go down a storm at G.A.Y. on a Saturday night. Everyone in this house dances/bops in high chair to it when it comes on. In fact, all the music on Show Me Show Me is fab. DP & I used to think Chris was slightly creepy (based on that show where he goes into a house that comes alive, and tells a story ... I don't think it's on any more, but the house's face is spooky and it's generally a big downer) but now we are big fans.

crumbsandpegs said...

Wot no Baby Jake?! Think Small Pots is by the same people who do 3rd and Bird - another super programme.

anunschoolingadventure said...

I love this! I'm exactly like you. My daughter (I) loves Show Me Show Me. But her favourites are Baby Jake and Raa Raa The Noisy Lion. I can't help but feel guilty about how much TV she watches, but she just loves having it on to listen to while she plays, and when music comes on she'll have a little dance.

JoyfulJ said...

I hate telletubbies...they creap me out. We do Johnny Test, Phineas and Ferb, The Fairly Odd Parents. Disney Pixar Movies, LOVE VEGGIE TALES, DS1 loves Jackie Chan Adventures. DS2 9m is facinated by his 4yo brothers shows.

Holly said...

How have you left out "Tinga tinga tales"? In my humble opinion it is far superior to teletubbies!

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