Kids’ TV Will Mess With Your Head

I was going to be the parent that didn’t let their kid watch TV till they were at least two years old, but whatevs. I got pregnant and tired, and though I try to take Little Miss out every morning, there are times I can’t do anything but sit on the couch for a spell and let her run wild. At least the TV kind-of anchors her to my vicinity.

I’ve noticed something about kids’ TV. It seems more addictive to adults. In my family doctor’s surgery, which is usually chockas with small children, a TV is constantly tuned to ABC Kids. The kids play on the floor or generally muck up. The adults’ eyes are all glued to the muted screen. Maybe we’re actually secretly the ones that respond to bright, shiny objects.

I remember being disturbed as a child when I heard Fat Cat was axed because of being “non-educational”. I had long stopped watching it by then, but when Teletubbies took over TV’s and brain cells about five years later, you have to wonder.

I try to limit Little Miss to shows like Sesame Street and Play School, and never turn the telly on after morning, but sometimes other shows have snuck in, depending on when we go out and what time I’m most tired. And I have to say I … am … disturbed. I can’t speak for a lot of the shows as I never get to see them, or don’t pay much attention when they’re on, but …

Why are the Hairy Fairies never punished for making Hairyland so hairy? A huge magic “accident” that affects a whole world and should bring the fashion police down in force, but that’s okay because nobody apparently minds. Not even a slap on the wrist, the fairies get to go on spying and reporting on the very people whose lives they’ve changed forever without permission, without actually helping in any way.

The Bananas teach us that it’s okay to stay in PJ’s all day. Just the lesson you want your kids to learn. And like the Hairy Fairies, Rat’s manipulative, conniving, self-interested, greedy, psychopathically criminal tendencies earn him a laugh and a regular, “Oh, you rat in a hat!” instead of any actual consequences.

Jimmy Giggle should have wildlife protection authorities down on him for keeping nocturnal creatures up past their bedtime. Actually, he could have an Adam’s apple transplant at the same time for the constantly ear-bleedingly high pitch of his voice. Perhaps that’s why Hoot and Hootabelle can’t sleep, and their cheerfulness is actually a disturbing effect of months of sleep deprivation.

Fireman Sam should organise for Norman to be sent to juvy instead of his crew always having to waste valuable time and resources on the little delinquent that could be spent, y’know, rescuing other children from burning buildings or something. Norman gives a bad name to redheads – kudos for perpetuating a stereotype!

The Night Garden is clearly up for false advertising. I’ve only ever seen a few seconds at a time before afraid of the inevitable massive brain fart this show must cause, but it … is never … night! At least not when I’ve seen it. So – what’s with that?

Peg I haven’t seen much of either, but she seems a precocious child who prematurely boasts about solving a problem instead of singing, “Oops, I created an even larger problem. Maybe I should put this ukulele away and go seek some adult supervision.”

Peppa Pig and her family should all have severe concussions or spinal issues from the way they keep falling flat on their backs laughing maniacally. Actually, perhaps that’s why they laugh maniacally – too many knocks to the back of the head induced by laughing at things that aren’t that funny.

And WotWots – c’mon, they are advanced enough to build and fly a spaceship, but can’t speak more than one word over and over?

And how did a Tyrannosaurus Rex get into a pteranodon nest? Buddy asks this, but instead of an answer, or an offer to help him find his mum and dad, who after all weren’t cuckoos and couldn’t have flown up there, Mrs Pteranodon quickly hushes him up by saying she’s his mum. Something foul is afoot. He was clearly eggnapped. And why don’t Mr and Mrs Pteranodon put safety rails up or move to a lower spot so the baby without wings isn’t going to come to some harm? What happens when he gets too big to carry? What happens when he starts to ask questions about his parentage? What happens when the T Rex realises he’s a freakin’ T Rex and that his family is edible?

But the worst saved till last. Dorothy the Dinosaur.

“What on earth can you find offensive about Dorothy?!” you ask. EVERYTHING. I might be some kind of reverse dinosaurist / sexist, but I can’t make her uber-feminine ways gel with what we know of dinosaurs. Everything about her is sooooo oestrogen-fuelled, from the trilling voice, the petite dancing, the ballet fairies everywhere, the rosy tea obsession, the décor inside and out, and even a pirate that just doesn’t convince as a pirate, that I immediately want to dump my daughter in a sandpit full of trucks. Big shiny trucks with tippers and loud sirens. And how is Dorothy able to travel the world or have a new adventure every day, and why does such a lady have a pirate friend? How come a dinosaur and an octopus would travel in a plane to Germany just to purportedly try apple strudel before going home again? SUSS!!! I think the fact that she sees fairies is testament that she’s not just selling whatever it is, but smoking it too (or slipping it into that damn rosy tea, more likely).

Pity that my Little Miss likes the Wiggles. If they were responsible adults, they would have a stern word to Dorothy, and stop allowing her to use them as a front.

Dinosaurs. There’s a reason they went extinct.

Kids’ TV Will Mess With Your Head

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