Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What's going to work?


If you have a pre-schooler in the house, chances are you knew the answer to that question. If you don't, well...something to look forward to one day. (Wonderpets) Yes, once again, it's Kristen's turn to rant about pre-school TV.

Most of you know that we don't subscribe to cable. We do get CBC Kids and we do rent DVDs. I've decided that really, I just need a child-friendly premise and character...add a pattern and I too could have my own pre-school TV show. The Wonderpets (our latest DVD rental) is a perfect example. It's essentially the same show over and over again. One DVD contains 8 episodes. They all start the same...you hear the Wonderpet's cheer...pan to outside the schoolhouse (show the squirrel running around)...zoom in through the window (the school is usually decorated to match the day's theme)...hear the children leave school for the day. Once the children are gone, the Wonderpets meet up out of their cages...the phone rings...an animal's in trouble...they get on their flying boat, and save the animal in trouble, and return home. There are recurring songs (your songs need to be catchy)...the wonderpets have their cheer song, the phone is ringing song and the teamwork song.
The difficulty in pre-school TV is finding something that kids enjoy and that parents don't find too annoying. Personally, I find Ming-Ming Duckling annoying...Elijah loves her. She's the character with comic relief...unfortunately, she also mispronounces her 'r's too much, this I find annoying (I know it's a common speech problem with kids...but when you are trying to correct your own child's speech, I'd rather not have a TV character encouraging the mispronounciation)
So far, I think that there are only 3 shows that Jonathan and I like without reservation or annoyance:
3. Curious George
2. Blue's Clues (and I mean the original series with Steve, not Joe and not Blue's Room)
1. The Backyardigans
Jonathan does get to see more pre-school programming than me...he's home in the mornings...and I get to see more DVDs. I'm glad of this, it means he gets Doodlebops duty and I don't. Doodlebops is another formula show that I find annoying, but Elijah (and Jonathan) like it. Conversely, I enjoy Diego more than Jonathan. Neither of us are big fans of Dora. Elijah likes her, but I'm determined not to rent any more Dora DVD's. I don't mind if she shows up in a Diego show now and then...that's about as much as I like to see her really.
I have one more pre-school show question/rant for today...where the heck are Max and Ruby's parents?


Jilly said...

Fortunately, I have yet to be tortured with wonderpets. I also love the Backyardigans, and I enjoy the Steve Blues Clues, although Andrew is somewhat over them. We also both like Thomas the Tank Engine and Kipper (I love the jazzy background music). None of them are too repetitive (well, except Blues Clues) and they are all fairly intelligent and funny. If I want a story that is repeated over and over and over, all I have to do is ask Andrew for one.

Michael said...

LOL! I ask the same question about Max and Ruby whenever it's on.

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