Wednesday, January 08, 2014

What Parent Isn't a Kids Show Expert?

In my house, it's impossible for me not to be intimately familiar with tons of kids shows. And that's even given that I'm away at work for most of the day.

This is because when the TV's on, the kids are watching it 90% of the time. Consequently, I have a highly detailed knowledge of their favorite shows. Not because I watch it, but because I'm around it. It's similar to my detailed knowledge of 80s era Days Of Our Lives, which I absorbed while as I played while my mom got her fix.

Anyway, here's a list of the TV shows I know best right now:

Phineas and Ferb: Okay, I admit I sometimes watch this on my own. It's hilarious and brilliantly written.

Wild Kratts: This is a somewhat interesting cartoon featuring brothers Martin and Chris Kratt (real people) who go on missions in animal suits which mimic the animals they are learning about. It sounds weird, but kinda makes sense when you watch it. At least it's a good way to impart some knowledge that might otherwise appear dry to the easily bored kid.

Caillou: I've probably seen more hours of Caillou reruns than just about any other show I've ever seen. That's no exaggeration. When it's not on TV at home, it's playing in the car. Something about that little cartoon kid's whiny voice really appeals to the little ones. It's pretty benign, though, so I don't mind it terribly. Caillou's parents are the quintessential "yes" parents who can never say no to their kid. I hope the other parents watching it aren't taking cues.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: I have a soft spot for Mr. Rogers, so this animated spin-off featuring the characters in Trolley's land of make-believe is palatable, though not even close to stimulating for anyone over five.

Brady Bunch: My older kids love this show. And, surprisingly, I enjoy it a lot more now than I did as a kid. I find it much funnier--maybe that's because I see it from the parent's perspective. Or maybe it's just the nostalgia I feel as I watch. Either way, it gets a thumbs-up from me.

Bob the Builder: This is the one that I'm best at ignoring. There's nothing remotely funny or interesting about this. Bob always fixes things. Spud the scarecrow always messes things up. And all the machines are so ADHD that it's amazing they ever get anything done. Unfortunately there seem to be hundreds of hours of this show, and my smaller kids want to see every single one.

Adult shows? Usually whatever my wife has on after the kids go to bed. Nothing terribly interesting, though I've been known to sit down for Downton Abbey now and then.

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