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More Naptime Nagging…

This is an excerpt from an entire chapter (from Naptime is the New Happy Hour) devoted to TV. But I just chose to show you guys the snarky part.

As a parent it’s our responsibility to know what our kids are watching and which shows may have adverse affects on our children’s still forming brains. So to help you out and save you a little time I’ve compiled a list of must avoids!

Wonder Pets – And in the category of “Theme Song Most Likely to Drive a Pregnant Woman to Drink” the Academy award goes to Wonder Pets! Oh, if only it were just that the theme song is annoying. The show centers around three friends with major issues who have deluded themselves into thinking that the world’s problems can be solved through teamwork – pretty naïve fellas. First there’s Linny, the bulimic Guinea Pig, who blurts out “This calls for some celery!” no matter how inappropriate the occasion. Then there’s Turtle Tuck, a needy little guy who’s constantly asking for hugs from any random stranger who will oblige him – abandonment issues anyone? And finally, rounding out the dysfunctional trio is Ming Ming Duckling who, despite the disclaimer at the start of each episode that the show is designed to build vocabulary in preschoolers, has an obvious speech impediment. You only need to hear her catchphrase “this is sewious” just the once to want to deep fry her ass.

Doodlebops – If you want your child exposed to their first menage-a-trois, this is the show for you. Three very jauntily-dressed musicians (1 female, 2 male) hang out, play games and wear a lot of make-up. There’s Rooney, the grossly effeminate guitarist; DeeDee, the raunchy little go-go girl with the big voice; and Moe, the “cool” drummer who is always hiding in the Doodlebops Central “closet.” The supporting cast includes Jazz and Bus Driver Bob, two alternates in the on-going tryst between the main characters. Sure the sexual messages may be subliminal but if you freeze frame the episode where DeeDee gets her dancing shoes, you’ll see what looks a little too much like a bondage mask fall out of the prank closet. And I swear Roonie and Moe once made a rhyme about the time they “crossed swords.” Kids may find it endlessly entertaining but, I’m sorry, it’s just too high a price to pay for thirty minutes of peace and quiet.

Wiggles – You’ll know you’ve been home with the kids too long when you start having sexual fantasies about Anthony, the cutest Wiggle, and by far the most charismatic. But he will frequently dash your hopes when he trots out his lovely Italian wife and his kids. Bastard! He doesn’t love her! Who needs that kind of disappointment in an already trying day? Plus the other characters aren’t exactly setting a good example for the kids: Jeff, I think, has a developmental delay. He is always just a little off rhythmically and Captain Feathersword is obviously a failed porn star, most likely still using the name because it’s already monogrammed onto his regular clothes, or initialed onto the side of his Camaro.

Blue’s Clues –Luckily for me, my daughter doesn’t seem to like this half-hour bore-fest anymore than I do. The trouble with this show is all the drama surrounding the original host, Steve Burns. First there were a slew of rumors that the guy died of a heroin overdose – which turned out to false although, if they were true, who could’ve blamed him really? If I was forced to wear a green striped rugby shirt and beige chinos everyday of my life, I’d be snorting a little shmackedy shmack myself. Then, two seasons later, he pulls a David Caruso and leaves the show at the height of its popularity to pursue his dream of playing in a nameless rock band. Now the only publicity this guy’s getting is through his My Space page. Good thinking, Steve! Looks like we figured out who really needs to get a clue. But when Joe, Steve’s replacement, appears in random episodes, and your innocent baby asks “momma, where’s Steve?” you try explaining all the sordid details without causing nightmares. Confusing and disturbing.

Dragon Tales – So there you are minding your own business, eating a piece of toast with peanut butter on it and checking your emails while your little sweetie kicks back for the PBS Kids’ morning line-up when suddenly you sense something’s wrong. You come out of your office to find your heretofore engaged toddler scraping a quarter along your coffee table leaving welts as deep as tire tracks while simultaneously using your cell phone to call Japan. What went so terribly wrong? You glance up at the television only to see a two-headed dragon named Zak and Wheezie (and no, not the Wheezie from The Jeffersons). Dragon Tales is what went wrong. Dragon Tales is the wrench thrown right between Clifford and Big Big World. It mainly involves Max and Emmy, the most earnest kids on the planet, and not a half a personality between them. Every episode these two go off to Dragon Land to have fun and adventures plus learn a lesson which would be well and good if it held a child’s attention longer than an NPR radio show. A program that can’t keep your toddler occupied gets rated a “D” for downright dangerous.

Thomas & Friends – Here’s the run down of this British snooze-a-thon. Thomas the Train (wreck) and a bunch of other tank engines with stuffy names like Percy, James, Edward, Gordon…I’m sorry, I drifted off for a minute while I was typing this… live on the fictional island of Sodor. If your child was literally born yesterday they might not notice how old school this is – but the real problem for me lies with the upper crust British narration. Do you really want your toddler imitating this speech pattern? It can only lead to schoolyard beatings for walking around with a pathetic fake British accent. Just look at Madonna.

Nip/Tuck – At first glance this doesn’t even seem like a kids show at all. Call me old fashioned but I’m not sure gory boob jobs and tummy tucks are appropriate subjects for babies. But even more disturbing, the plot lines are not challenging enough for even the youngest of viewers. My daughter was completely over it by season two.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on August 31, 2008 6:27 pmUncategorized25 comments  

25 Comments

  1. Catwoman said,

    Hilarious! Just as funny as in the book! Two thumbs up!

    That’s my Roger Ebert impression.

    | August 31, 2008 @ 7:50 pm

  2. Surcie said,

    The snarky parts are WHY I read your books! Your summations are dead on. I find most kids’ programming incredibly annoying. But lately, I’ve seen 428 commercials for the Jonas Brothers and Cheetah girls’ movie and they’re just as grating.

    My son never sees adult programming. Well, he didn’t until yesterday. He caught some of Project Runway after which he announced, “You need to TiVo this for me.” Yeah, uh, NO.

    | August 31, 2008 @ 7:52 pm

  3. Missy said,

    I respectfully disagree, Greg was by far the cutest Wiggle!

    LOL Great post!

    | August 31, 2008 @ 9:07 pm

  4. anutha mutha said,

    OMG. I have a crush on Anthony Wiggle…how did you know?! I’m reading your book now (in between the Wiggles) and LOVING it. Thanks for the laughs!

    | September 1, 2008 @ 12:38 am

  5. Aunt Becky said,

    The Backyardagains are equally cloying as the Wonderpets, and the singing has made me often wish I were deaf.

    | September 1, 2008 @ 12:51 am

  6. Cassie said,

    So funny! I just finished reading Sippy Cups and I wanted to tell you it was hilarious. I loved every bit of it. I even read parts of it out loud to my husband (the old exersaucer injury had us both laughing out loud). Loved it!

    | September 1, 2008 @ 1:06 am

  7. MereCat said,

    Dragon Tales is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Thomas is totally lame. I liked the Upside Down show, but it has like only two seasons so they don’t play it very often. Figures. I like the show they cancel. It was sort of corny, but creative and imaginative.

    | September 1, 2008 @ 1:58 am

  8. Lisa said,

    So many things about Naptime that I totally loved, and most of this section was one of them, but I do have to disagree about Wonder Pets and Thomas. Just my opinion.

    As far as DragonTales goes, I think my sister said it best “Something’s wrong with that blue one”

    And tell Elby I’m still hooked on Nip/Tuck, dying to know how Sean gets out of his last predicament alive!!

    Now I want to go back and read Naptime again, but I lent it to my sister!

    | September 1, 2008 @ 3:38 am

  9. Gen said,

    Caillou. I loathe Caillou and find his parents far too patient with his incessant whininess. I agree that Thomas is dull as dirt, but my son loves him.

    I loved this post. I am currently re-reading Sippy Cups and decided to Google you to see if you’ve got anything new. And I find your blog…it’s like finding the motherlode!

    | September 1, 2008 @ 3:52 am

  10. Ms. Bar B: said,

    Let’s not forget about Curious George!!!

    Just one question: why the hell doesn’t “the man with the yellow hat” repeatedly leave George home alone when he knows damn well his little curious ass is gonna do something he shouldn’t?? Lol.

    | September 1, 2008 @ 5:33 am

  11. Jenée said,

    Is Anthony the yellow Wiggle? I’ll admit to some impure thoughts about him, especially when he sings “Tossed salad, yummy, yummy.” At least, those are the words I hear coming from his billion dollar lips.

    | September 1, 2008 @ 10:24 am

  12. WA said,

    Didn't JLo name her twins after the kids in DragonTales? Guess that's better than Pablo & Uniqua.

    | September 1, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

  13. Carolyn...Online said,

    That Nip/Tuck part cracked me up.

    And you haven’t really wanted to drop from the grid until your kid discovers Pokemon.

    | September 1, 2008 @ 8:48 pm

  14. Laural Dawn said,

    I think I’m the only parent in history who likes Wonder Pets – I like the theme song!
    I agree with your others and … I would like to add a complete hatred for Max and Ruby. Grrrr.

    PS I bought your book because I was in Buffalo and I couldn’t find it here. I haven’t gotten too far but only because I’ve been laughing too hard.

    | September 1, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

  15. Marinka said,

    I go for days, saying “this is sewious!” And my kids haven’t watched Wonder Pets in years.

    And did JLo name her twins after the Dragon Tales kids?

    | September 2, 2008 @ 12:50 am

  16. chris said,

    No, you know you’ve been home too long when you start having sexual fantasies about Alec Baldwin when he’s doing the Thomas narration. That, my friend, is sick.

    | September 2, 2008 @ 1:31 am

  17. Mrs. B. Roth said,

    Great post … I’m a Greg fan too though … what does Anthony even do? He doesn’t REALLY play an instrument, I’m not even sure he’s really singing.

    The Doodle Bops are SIBLINGS!!! Aren’t they?? When my boys found out I was having a girl, the oldest was so excited, they would be able to be the Doodle Bops!

    Mickey Mouse Club House, have you seen it? Kill me NOW.

    But Little Einsteins … we have a couple DVD’s and it’s our favorite.

    | September 2, 2008 @ 3:38 pm

  18. Elise said,

    Nip/Tuck! Ha!

    | September 2, 2008 @ 6:38 pm

  19. Sally HP said,

    HA! This is awesome! When I was visiting my sister, she turned on Curious George to keep H occupied and I looked over to her after George did what he does and said “George is an m-o-r-o-n”, but H loves him…and what’s with the voice of the dragon on Dragon Tales?

    | September 3, 2008 @ 12:24 am

  20. dana said,

    My now 12 year old was completely enchanted with Dragon Tales, to the point that we were late EVERYDAY to preschool since school started at 9 and Dragon Tales ended at 9.

    She has graduated to Project Runway and all the other shows her big sisters watch. I will admit, I miss Dragon Tales, or maybe …I miss the 4 year old!

    | September 3, 2008 @ 12:04 pm

  21. incongruousm said,

    Wow! How can you say anything bad about Thomas? He’s a hero here in the UK where the show’s narrated by Ringo Star (yes, the Beatle) and is hardly upper crust at all.

    Be careful or you’ll have a legion of fans desperate to defend their favourite “Tommy Tank”. 😉

    Very funny. :-)

    | September 4, 2008 @ 7:35 am

  22. Rhea said,

    hahaha I love SNARKY! You’re writing is fun. You’re saying what a lot of moms think but are too sissy to say. Love it.

    | September 8, 2008 @ 4:52 am

  23. alperen said,

    thnks

    | December 22, 2008 @ 7:58 am

  24. khokhochanel. said,

    Im always late to the "freakin" party… Yo gabba gabba…any takers? My son loves it but it drives my up the wall!! I just went Britney Spears but if I had hair I would definately pull it out!!!!

    | October 22, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

  25. Anonymous said,

    I thought I had just been stuck at home too long having impure thoughts of Anthony Wiggle – but I've been back at work neigh on 2 years, and I still get a little tingly when the show starts.

    | November 11, 2009 @ 1:16 pm

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