Monday, August 12, 2013

What is PBS really teaching my kid?

Depending on the viewing audience at any given time, our TV is on one of three channels; BRAVO, History Channel, or PBS.  I'll let you guess who prefers which channel.

I never been compelled to donate to PBS before, but now that it is the primary channel viewed in this house (besides BRAVO), I have a feeling we will be owning a lot of Rick Steves' travel guides very soon. (For those of you not in the know; they are the gifts given during the telethons if you donate.)

Davis has three shows he really loves, and so we DVR them on a daily basis; Curious George, Sid the Science Kid, and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  The more I watch these shows, the more I start to wonder what in the heck they are teaching my kid.

So here we go, here's my two cents:

 Curious George
1.  The man in the yellow hat doesn't really have a job and yet he lives in a nice apartment in NYC steps from central park, and also owns a country house.  How is that possible?  The only thing I have ever seen that slightly resembles "work" are some crappy drawings of a snake staircase and other ridiculous and structurally unsound plans.
What is this teaching my kid?  Don't get a real job, just draw some crap, call it 'building plans', be friends with a scientist at a museum, and money will never be a problem.

2. George's friend, Bill, out in the country is a know-it-all a-hole.  He's always making comments like, "I bet a city kid like you doesn't know how to catch a fish!"  "I bet a city kid like you doesn't know how to identify a mocking bird!"  "I bet a city kid like you doesn't know how to make someone else feel bad about themselves on a daily basis!"  The best part about it though is that once George tries whatever it is that Bill was bragging about, he is always better at it than Bill.
What is this teaching my kid?  I actually like this lesson.  If you are a bragging a-hole, be careful, because there is a good chance that what you are bragging about is so easy that even a monkey could do it...better than you!

3.  George has been to space several times, built a robot costume that earned him a spot as an exhibit in the science museum, has navigated NYC public transportation, built tree houses, and much much more.
What is this teaching my kid?  No matter what you do in life, George will probably already have done it...and probably better than you.

Sid the Science Kid
1.  Let's first address the obvious; Sid's friend Mae is a complete pothead.  She is the hipster character who comes across really dumb.  I think she is just super stoned.
What is this teaching my kid?  It's totally fine to smoke pot in pre-school.  No one will even call you on it.
Mae can be seen around :48.

I really don't have any other complaints about Sid.  I just wish there was more singing because Davis loves it.  Specifically this song:
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
1.  These are the whiniest bunch of kids I have ever seen.  "I wanted to go first!" "But I wanted a slide at the playground!" "You're being too loud!"  Waaah! Waaah! Waaah!  Katerina is the worst one of all!
(For some reason this video didn't work, but here is the link if you want an example of her terrible behavior: )
What is this teaching my kid? If we whine and throw tantrums and yell at our friends (she even took a swing at Miss Elaina), then someone will coddle us and our friend will end up giving us what we want anyway.  Why do the other kids' parents let their children play with her?  I would be keeping Davis far away from this girl so he wouldn't pick up any bad habits.  (Let that be a cautionary tale to you, children, learn to share or I won't share my kid with you!)

2.  They never address the elephant in the room that is Miss Elaina's relationship with her mother.
 Miss Elaina                            Lady Elaine

Does anyone see the problem here?
No, not her racists.  She is clearly bi-racial.  Here's her dad:

What alarms me is the fact that Lady Elaine is supposed to have given birth when she has clearly already gone through "the change."  She just has a great plastic surgeon.  Remember what Lady Elaine looked like before; back when Mr. Rogers ran the show?
I would just love to know who did her work, because she looks fabulous!  Maybe it's one of the same doctors who works on the Real Housewives.  That would make for a good episode, "Lady Elaine gets a Nip and a Tuck."  
What is this teaching my kid? Even old women can have beautiful bi-racial babies.  In fact, Miss Elaina is the best behaved of them all, so maybe the old bag is on to something.

3.  There is an obnoxious song for everything.  See if you can guess what they are for:
"Flush and wash and be on your way."
"Clean up, pick up, put away.  Clean up, everyday."
"Saying I'm sorry is the first part; then how can I help."
"When you feel so mad that you want to roar; take a deep breath and count to four."
What is this teaching my kid?  Nothing bad really, just a bunch of super-annoying songs that get stuck in mommy's head for the rest of the day which makes her so mad she wants to roar!

PBS is great and I will continue to encourage Davis to tune in, I just hope Big Bird (he's the boss of PBS by the way) will take some of my thoughts into consideration and make some changes.
Big Bird is so professional.

Also, Big Bird, please stop killing all of my favorite characters on Downton Abby! 

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