Monday, July 30, 2012
Swiper, You Have the Right to Remain Silent
If you are a parent, chances are you have seen kid shows. Even if you’re one of those militant parents who are staunchly opposed to letting kids watch TV, I’d be willing to be that it’s happened. Most of the time I don’t really mind that a kid show is on. Caillou, Lazy Town, Thomas, Super Why, Bob the Builder, The Wiggles, they all make frequent appearances at our house. Yo Gabba Gabba is also a familiar sight. Since I am at work for most of the day I am not exposed to these shows. My husband is, God help him. He has learned how to glaze over and ignore them for the most part, though. One day last week I was home during daylight hours and was subjected to Lazy Town, a kind of weird mix of puppets and human cast. Now I don’t claim to know in any kind of detail these characters descriptions, but I do feel confident when I say that a puppet wearing high-waisted yellow shorts and what I perceive to be saddle oxfords whose name is Stingy, is probably bad news. This was about the time when I realized it is not good for my mental health to watch these shows. Not because they’re kind of goofy, but because of how unrealistic to life they are. Bear with me here. I realize that a show where a ten year old girl with pink hair has a puppet for an uncle is not going to be terribly true to life. I get that. It’s not that characters that bothers me; it’s the outcome of the story. Basically you have a handful of lovable critters, puppet, animated, what have you, and then you have that one or two who is ultimately just a douchebag. And it’s not usually the show’s villain, if there is one at all. It’s one of the regular characters. Maybe to illustrate that there are even good people who just happen to have deplorable personalities. The show will revolve around this character doing something bad or wrong. No one will know about it for a while, but then they’re found out. They hang their cartoon heads in (mock?) shame and say they’re sorry. The proverbial finger is shaken at them, they learned a lesson, and life is good again. Oh, God, no. Just no. How many more episodes does it take for them to do something wrong again? They didn’t learn a lesson! That episode of Lazy Town aggravated me to no end. So Stingy (like the name didn’t give anything away here) finds something that he knows belongs to that that French gymnast superhero guy Sportacus. It’s part of his ability to know when someone needs help. Knowing this but disregarding it, that little bastard keeps it and even alludes to the fact that he may never give it back. He then mounts it on his car like a hood ornament after having driven it over Sportacus’ body which was acting like a bridge over a big pothole. Seriously? Well, that little punk ends up needing help later but because he has the gadget that would tell Sportacus he needed help he was SOL. Luckily the girl with the pink Britney Spears wig heard him yelling. He gets saved, told what he did was bad, and is forgiven when he gives a half-ass apology. You know he’s not sorry and that he’ll turn right around and wipe somebody else’s stuff the next chance he gets!! What’s wrong with you people and/or puppets? Stingy committed some kind of crime, whether it’s theft by taking or petty larceny I just don’t know. Please show some kind of consequences! These shows tell us that if you do something wrong you should feel bad about it and apologize for it. They don’t depict that there could be consequences. Other prime offenders are Rintoo on Kai-Lan, Muno on You Gabba Gabba, and Swiper on Dora the Explorer. Nothing ever happens to these critters! I am just incensed with it all. They even had a jail on the Andy Griffith show, even though the only ones they ever locked up were drunks. I can no longer bring myself to endure watching these shows. At least I know that I teach my kids that sometimes saying sorry is just not enough. You have to pretend to feel bad, too.