Teleri (telerib) wrote,

Review of children's programming

The four series we watch again and again (and again and again and again and...):

Bob the Builder: Dynasty for Kids

Bob's an alright bloke, but Wendy? Look out. Wendy will cut you. You don't think it was accidental that Martha broke her ankle just before the line dancing contest so that Wendy would have to dance with Bob, do you? Also, something seems not quite right between Mr. and Mrs. Sabatini - I think she's having an affair, but he's too besotted with her to notice.

Mighty Machines: Best Unintentionally Porny Dialogue

There's usually a questionable line or two in any given episode, if you have a sufficiently juvenile mind ("Heh, he said 'big load,' heh heh") but the choicest quotes come from the "At the Sawmill" episode

"My scoop is really big. It might not be the biggest in the world, but it's the biggest in the lumber yard, and I'm proud of it."

"My scoop is so big, it just takes a minute to fill you up."

"Maybe they could take a picture of me!"
"Yeah, the calendar boy for Big Scoops."

Pocoyo: Best Nods to the Parents, Best Body-Positive Messages Without Preaching

Pato the Duck in particular has moderately subtle reactions that the kids won't get, but the parents will.

We've counted two "Screw you, Stephen Frye!" moments when the characters seem to be silently telling the narrator to bugger off.

In an episode featuring a hungry caterpillar, Pocoyo feeds it Pato's cake, his table, and his chair. Then he eyes Pato, but shakes his head 'no' and gives the duck a pat.

Also, I like that, without making a big fuss over it, the Pato and Ellie the Elephant characters are disabled and fat, respectively. But Pato's tiny wings don't prevent him from playing blocks or baseball (he balances blocks on his bill and drops them into place, and also uses his bill for a bat), and Ellie is a graceful ballerina and just as active as the others.

Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends: Most Unintentionally Creepy

Sir Topham Hatt is emotionally abusive. "Really useful engines don't argue," he tells James, when the engine protests an assignment. He appears to be the Secret Ruler of the Island of Sodor, doing things like opening the fair. Shouldn't a mayor do that, not the railway controller? And what's up with him and Mrs. Kindly? She's sad because her sister cancels a trip, and he drops everything and assigns a helicopter and a train to chivvy her around to cheer her up?

Never mind the whole "sapient trains who work all day for no apparent recompense" aspect. The only things they seem to want are baths and new paint jobs, both of which they can only get at the say-so of... guess who? Sir Topham Hatt.

And really never mind the "Magic Railroad" movie, the deconstruction of which would be its own post.
Tags: family
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