The best (and worst) kids' TV shows
“We’re going on a trip, in our favorite rocket ship; zooming through the sky! Little Einsteins!” It’s a theme song that will forever remain in my head, even years after I watched the show. Although the song may vary, I’m sure we all have a TV series that accompanied us throughout childhood, one that we will never forget. Nothing makes me feel old like reminiscing about nostalgic TV shows, but at the same time, it’s extremely fun to do so. After all, our cherished childhood shows are amazing!... right? Not so. Recently, I began to question the soundness of that claim. Have our opinions been formed based on juvenile, foggy memories? I mean, it’s not like we watch The Little Einsteins now. That’s why I made it my duty to re-watch seven selected programmes and answer the question: are kids TV shows actually any good?
If you’ve ever wondered why babies cry, I guarantee you, it’s because of The Teletubbies. What used to be a cute TV show now seems like a horror movie. The Teletubbies are enormous creatures with TV stomachs and faces made of plastic, and I was only able to get through two episodes before I was scarred for life. First of all, the show makes absolutely no sense. I watched an episode in season one called Making Chocolate, where I spent ten excruciating minutes watching the teletubbies eat “tubbie custard”, whatever that is. In another episode I had to sit through fifteen minutes of the tubbies greeting each other; imagine “Hello, Tinky Winky!” for half an episode. It was agonizingly slow and made me want to punch Tinky Winky in the face. The point of the show is to help toddlers develop emotional and cognitive skills. It may be true for some episodes, but call me crazy, I don’t know why a toddler would need to know how to make chocolate. And did I mention the sun is a literal baby? Granted, very young children might enjoy the playfulness of the series, but while some shows appeal to older audiences, this one does not. You would be bored (not to mention terrified) within minutes.
Do you know who the Kratt brothers are? To quote my sister, “they’re like the Property Brothers who have quit being realtors and became animal nerds.” The show follows Chris and Martin Kratt as they travel to various continents and learn about different creatures. Each episode starts in live-action, with the brothers showing us actual clips of amazing animals. After a few minutes, Chris and Martin turn into animated (and significantly younger looking) versions of themselves. As a kid, The Wild Kratts was basically the only thing I watched, and for good reason; the show has tons of fascinating facts about animals and their habitats. Each episode, they have to defeat chefs, designers, and other villains that want to hunt endangered animals. Somehow, the Kratts are able to track their enemies' precise location from all the way around the world (if you’re ever trying to stalk somebody, you now know who to call). But in the end, Wild Kratts is a great show to teach kids about wildlife conservancy and the importance of protecting animals.
As you already know, the Little Einsteins theme song is one that will forever live rent-free in my head. I’m happy to say that the actual content is just as good as the opening credits. First of all, the show is mixed-media, adding dimension and elevating the animation. Within the plot, you learn how to appreciate music and art in a unique and accessible way. The four main characters are kids, which makes the show relatable and relevant to young viewers. They go on adventures within pieces of art, meaning they actually enter the paintings. I feel like that’s a great way to experience the culture surrounding artists and their work. On another note, I have no idea what sort of universe the show takes place in; from what I’ve gathered, the preschoolers live by themselves, have no parents, and their sole caretaker is a taciturn rocket ship. On a more eerie note, they are also the only humans ever shown throughout all 67 episodes. It appears that their world is run by robots and other artificial intelligence, and their only enemy is a Russian MiG. What happened to everyone? Why are they the only humans alive? Does this show take place in a post-apocalyptic world? I guess we’ll never know.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
“Meeska, Mooska, Mickey Mouse!” If those words make any sense to you, then Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was definitely prominent in your childhood. The show features the classic Mickey Mouse ensemble i