Friday, March 18, 2016

My Kiddie TV Reviews, The Rest of the Pack

While the shows I've already covered make up the majority of our viewing time, there are a few others than sneak in from time to time...
Curious George
What I Like: Cute, classic
What I Don't: He's a frustrating little monkey!
General Thoughts: We mostly watch this show on weekend mornings when Carter watches TV in our bed, when nothing else of interest is on either of the other two networks I already covered.  Carter definitely likes it when he watches it.  Like every other kid, I read Curious George books when I was little.  We have a couple now that I got cheap from Kohl's, and with Jacob I used to get some from the library.  Speaking of which, I really need to get in the habit of going there again.  Anyway, the show is generally adorable.  George's little noises are cute, the narration is soothing, and I just think it's a sweet little show.  Of course, like my own children, George's antics can make me a little crazy.  But usually there are happy endings.

Daniel Tiger
What I Like: Mr. Rogers!
What I Don't: The songs can get annoying
General Thoughts: I loved the concept of this show since it's an animated spin-off of one of the best kid shows of all time, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.  The characters relate to the people in the special land where the trolley went off to in the original show, and as a whole, I think it's a nice, pleasant show.  The handful of times I've really sat and watched it some of the music was a little too sweet/repetitive/annoying.  I know kids learn by repetition, but it just bugged me a little.  Still, I will give anything involving Mr. Rogers a free pass.  Again, this is mostly weekend morning viewing when we happen to catch it, which isn't often.

What I Like: Reliving my childhood
What I Don't: Modern takes that don't do it justice, Scrappy-Doo
General Thoughts: Both kids have liked Scooby-Doo for years.  I watched it all the time as a kid, so I was happy when Jacob took a liking to it.  Then, of course, Carter got in on the fun.  The classic episodes bring back so many memories.  I liked the live action movies from a few years back, too.  But lately I've seen more of "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" and the newest take, "Be Cool, Scooby-Doo", and I can't say I love those.  "What's New" sticks to the original feel of the series, but took it to a darker place.  The monsters are creepier, scarier, and more violent than the old monsters.  They seem bigger and more supernatural than before, and as a result they're not so easily explained by a costume, a projector, or some puppeteering like the original series.  I'm just not a fan of a kids' show implying that someone just died (even if it's not shown, as it usually cuts to the opening theme song or a commercial before the gore happens).  In the old series, people just disappeared instead.  I miss that simplicity.  "Be Cool" is pretty new and features more abstract, kid-like animation.  While it does have some funny moments, it's just goofier than the original spirit of the show.  Daphne is a weirdo, Fred is a goof, and I feel like the jokes skew a little more racy than older versions.  I guess I'm just not as comfortable with blindly letting my kids watch the newer incarnations than I am with the old stuff.  Ultimately I'm glad the franchise is still hanging in there because I love having them watch the old long as it's not one of the series where Scrappy shows up!

Tom and Jerry
What I Like: Reliving my childhood
What I Don't: Violence
General Thoughts:  We've been watching Tom and Jerry now and then lately, and it takes me back to watching it often as a kid.  I used to love Tom and Jerry.  I even had a favorite group of episodes--the ones where the opening sequence had a yellow background.  They were a little funkier than the originals, I think!  Of course, now that I watch them, I wonder about the cartoon violence.  I think that's just because the kids are always on the lookout for another way to torture one another, and I wonder what tips they'll pick up.  I never realized how much violence there was when I was a kid, so maybe they're not noticing either.  I could actually say much the same for Looney Tunes, now that I watch those. 

That's the bulk of what we watch.  We've strategically avoided Thomas even though Carter loves trains, mostly because the toys are absurdly expensive.  Terrible reason, I know, but generic trains are fine!  Carter seems to know who Bob the Builder is, even though we've only seen an episode or two, ever.  But luckily he never got really into that either.  I feel a little sad that we haven't gotten into Sesame Street.  Jacob watched it a bit when he was little, but we just haven't done it with Carter.  I was disappointed with the show in Jacob's time, mostly because the format was so different and had gone so far from the elements that I loved as a kid.  I think it may have changed a bit since, but we just haven't taken the time to revisit it.  However, Carter does love the characters.  He often has a giant Elmo in his bed and he loves his Sesame Street books.  The interest is there, so maybe someday.

While I find it interesting that Jacob has actually watched more of these "little kid" shows than I ever expected, I feel like there isn't much besides Scooby-Doo that is solidly within his age range.  He has watched a little "Wabbit", which is the Looney Tunes update, and it makes him laugh.  Luckily we've avoided the Disney and Nick tween shows so far.  I will say that we've accidentally watched 'Teen Titans Go!" more than I'd like, and I just don't get it.  I can't say that I have high hopes for Jacob's TV choices as time goes on, because so many of these big kid shows seem a little too sassy for my taste. 

So, I guess for now we'll be thankful that the kids can mostly agree on shows and that most of them don't drive us too crazy!  It's not my childhood lineup, but it will do!  I hope you enjoyed my little series.  Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...


Unknown said...

Have you tried Space Racers? It is on Netflix and has rockets (which my son loves). And it is science-y! There just aren't a lot of episodes.

AmyRyb said...

I haven't because we don't have Netflix, but if I get it (so I can watch Fuller House!) I will keep an eye out for it!