My son loves TV.
I’m not sure what it is he likes – he can’t understand any of it, the valuable moral stories that have been planned out by high earning writers, such as sharing, safe play, and bedtime, probably fall of deaf ears. I also doubt my son cares about being taught how to count to 12, or ‘the three special steps’ required to safely have a poo in the toilet.
I imagine he likes watching because his programmes are colourful, exciting, and a break from the terrible life decisions he has to deal with every day, such as not knowing which of his million or so toys to chew, the dilemma of whether he should climb the stairs, or just the coffee table, and of course, whether he should terrify his parents by touching the radiator, or by simply trying to fall off the sofa.
Yes, he has a select handful of programmes that he enjoys. As a parent, I obviously hate all of them, for various reasons. For example, I find Mickey patronising in The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (In fact, the only character I find I can warm to is Goofy – who is completely incompetent, but knows this, therefore has earnt my respect – although he needs to update his choice of headwear)
Ned particularly enjoys the opening credits to shows – Clubhouse takes the top spot again with the opening sequence, and the ending song, which is aptly titled ‘The Hotdog Dance’ – even though, to my disappointment, there is not one sausage of questionable meat source present during any section of the song.
‘In The Night Garden’ is a new one to my son, but from the moment he saw it, we knew it was true love. To someone who lived with a brother who was young enough to be taken in by the Teletubbies, it seems that the formula of adults wearing ridiculous costumes, playing creatures of an unknown origin, talking absolute balls still works on babies and children, and I guess if it still works, don’t change it. My son particularly like a character called Makka Pakka, who looks like a squashed Rugby ball surrounded by dog turds.
I think, when I was little, I was a Fireman Sam/Postman Pat type of kid. Looking back on them, there weren’t too many lessons you learned in them, whereas nowadays, you can’t watch 2 minutes of a kids show without Mickey popping up to inform you that Red is different to Purple, or that a fishing rod can be used to catch Fish. I suppose, in a way, this makes current shows much better for a childs development.
Though what Night Garden teaches you, I’m not sure – perhaps that Blue men that have a head like a crushed kidney are fun to hang around, I guess.