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Friday, July 22, 2011

The Things that Annoy Me about Kids' Shows

Being an expert in educational children's programming, by which I mean I'm a parent who sometimes needs to clean or make dinner in peace, I have some gripes. Most are irrational, some are grudgey, all legitimately bother me.

The first is derived from a very unfair grudge I hold against Martin Short. I just hate him. I've never found him funny, and he was at his unfunniest on his little show there, Glick, or whatever it was. His voice irritates me. Therefore, the voice of the Cat from The Cat and the Hat affects me like the sound of nails on a chalkboard. Gosh, Cat! Shut up with your creepy cackle and stupid sayings. I can't handle it over here in the kitchen.

While we're talking about The Cat in the Hat, why do they bother showing the kids being buckled in every time if the buckles are 1970s-Olsmobile-style seatbelts? I can just see six year olds around the nation putting their chest strap behind their backs right now. If you're going to do safety, do it right.

And why does fish sound exactly like half of the other characters (including the bat) on the show? If you have the same voice artist doing different voices, try to make them different, okay?

Speaking of characters that sound the same, Disney is a prime offender. I didn't think I cared, but apparently I really need to know if the cartoon speaking is Pig from Word World or Smee from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. A line coming from Pete in Mickey's Club House has a completely different connotation than one coming from Tigger. So why is the voice the exact same? You're confusing me over here! Remember, I can't see the TV. Let's use a little creativity, shall we?

Max and Ruby is pretty much the most boring show I've ever seen, but for some reason, it evokes ever-changing emotions in me. At first I really disliked Ruby. She's so precocious. But then I realized that she's just a kid, and she's basically little Max's mom, and Max would certainly annoy any eight year old. I know if my kids didn't listen to me three times in a row, I'd be telling them about themselves. So, really, even though Max seems like a saintly toddler just doing his own thing, it's Ruby who has the patience. And one of my friends brought up a really good point. Why does he insist on speaking in only one word sentences? The point-and-demand is not a method of communication I want to encourage in my house.

And what started this whole rant is my favorite character, The Map. What a smug, egocentric, worthless tool he is. He always sends Dora the absolute longest way with the most obstacles, and his little song just sets me on edge. "What's my name? The map! SAY IT AGAIN!" Ooooh,  yeah. Wait, what? Enough, map, enough. We get it. You're the map.

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