In the last post, I shared my favorite preschool TV shows. Keeping in mind that there’s far more bad kid TV than good, below is the list of shows that make my ears bleed and have me questioning my will to live before the opening song ends.
- Caillou (PBS). Hating Caillou is practically a group sport for parents at this point. There’s even an expletive-laden Facebook group dedicated to his demise. What is it about Caillou that every parent hates so much? How much time do you have? The theme song, the inexplicable baldness at the age of 4, the whining. My God, the whining. It is unceasing, but what’s worse is it WORKS. Caillou’s parents always cave to the whining, which is not something I want reinforced for 22 minutes on a regular basis. After two episodes, I flat-out banned Caillou. Now, whenever my son catches a glimpse of him in passing, he always says, “That’s Caillou, Mom. We don’t watch him.” I consider this my greatest parenting success to date.
- Wonder Pets (Nickelodeon). My son loves these little animals, but I groan every time he asks to watch the show. There’s nothing outright “wrong” with it; it’s just annoying. Ming-Ming is too full of herself; Tuck is always whining about needing a hug. The theme of the show is teamwork, but let’s be honest – there’s no way anything is happening without Linny. She’s clearly the brains of the outfit. Plus, they blew through all the normal animals in the first season, so latter seasons feature the Wonder Pets saving things like stinkbugs. Really, Wonder Pets? I’m pretty sure the world will be okay with one less stinkbug.
- Martha Speaks (PBS). So, the premise of the show is that a family’s dog ate some alphabet soup one day, and instead of it going to her stomach, it went to her brain and now she can talk. That’s it. Seriously. And it comes with the most annoying theme song of all time. Yep, worse than Caillou’s, and I thought nothing could be worse than that.
- Most of what we watched as kids. I’m not anal about it, but I do prefer if whatever kid shows we tune into try to impart some sort of worthwhile lesson. With that in mind, have you ever noticed how murder is an overriding theme in pretty much every old cartoon? Tom trying to kill Jerry, Coyote trying to kill Road Runner, Elmer Fudd trying to kill Bugs Bunny. There’s no way that stuff would fly on a new cartoon these days. Except maybe on Caillou. If they switched the plot so that every episode featured Rosie attempting to off Caillou in increasingly elaborate schemes, THAT would have parents on board. Think on it, PBS.