For a second there, I really thought I was going to miss this Snippet Wednesday. Usually I have a series of potential Snippets (along with other writing ideas) stored in my Clear app. I have compiled nothing... zilch... zip... zero... NA-DA.
But leave it to Nathan to inspire me. And he did just that tonight watching some of his shows on TV. I thought I'd use this Snippet Wednesday to recap a few of them. I promise to try and make them fun.
Please note I never promised the would actually be fun. I only promised to try.
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
This show is based on the late, great Fred Rogers' Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Yet, by my estimation, it's anything but. Daniel Tiger was one of the puppets on the original show, but now he's the main character and he's a young, animated tiger who has a propensity for singing the same song or reciting the same message over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. I realize that repetition is the best way for young minds to learn. But there is repetition and there is REPETITION. DTN employs the latter and it makes you want to rip your eyes out of their sockets and puncture your eardrums until you never have to hear it again. Of course, all this would happen only after you grab Daniel's tail and strangle him with it and then tear of his leg and beat him with it and then grab a gun and shoot all the other insipid and annoying characters whose memories have been ruined by both this show and the terrible computer animation employed to make it.
It's Curious George! Need I say anything more? The episodes are fun, the monkey is loveable, the animation is great, there are lessons to be learned, and adults can actually have a little fun while their kids watch it.
Plus, Nathan seems to recognize George quite readily from all the Curious George toys around the house. I think he really realizes they are one and the same. Smart kid.
Barney & Friends
I really thought Barney was dead and gone with the 1990s. I was wrong. Dead wrong. The giant purple monstrosity is alive and well and haunting my dreams. I've watched a handful of episodes with Nathan and was horrified to discover that he likes it. Oh dear God, put me out of my misery now! The only bonus is that the old "I love you, you love me" song is no longer the theme. Sure, it has made its way into an episode or two. But it's not the first thing you hear. One thing really bugs me, though... Barney's three dinopals aren't any sort of dinosaur I've ever seen. I think they're made up creatures. And it's creepy to watch them dance and run around. I can't explain why, it's. just. creepy.
Here's an odd one. Whyatt is a denizen of the Storybook Village and his three best friends are Princess Pea (who clearly has a jones for him), Red, and Pig. His friends represent the characters from Princess and the Pea, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Three Little Pigs, respectively. I was curious how Whyatt fit in only to discover in an episode I watched tonight that he is the kid brother of Jack of Beanstalk fame. So that question is answered. Anyway, the four of them use books to investigate problems that they discover in everyday life. Of course, to do so requires going inside the book (think Joey Tribbianni going inside the map of London in Friends), but they must first transform into their superhero alter egos only after Whyatt announces the problem and pages them all to the Book Club using his "super duper... COMPUTER" (a smart phone, really). Their Super Reader alter egos are Super Why (Whyatt), Princess Presto, Wonder Red, and AlphaPig and they each have their super powers that are reading related. To be honest, I don't mind the show. While it does employ repetition, it's not to overkill levels like Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. And I even like some of the songs, particularly Pig's Alphabet Song. This show is very much Nathan's favorite and we have 24 episodes on our TiVo.
My big issue has to do with some of the smaller details in the show. For example, if Whyatt does nothing but spend all day with his friends, why does he have to call them to meet him at the Book Club. Dude, turn around and stop clogging up the network throughput with your wasted calls. It's like texting someone who's sitting right next to you. And my other problem is that if they're supposed to be this crack investigative team that everyone in Storybook Village turns to for help, shouldn't they recuse themselves from the hunt if the problem is one of their own so as to maintain professional decorum and eliminate any investigative bias. Not very professional, my friends. Not professional at all. I sense an ethics investigation in the coming months.