Friday, October 31, 2008

first the cosby sweater, now this

It hit me suddenly at 3am last night (whatever, this morning) why Cal may have suddenly reversed his position on the wearing of Halloween costumes. Earlier last week, I let him watch "Little Bill," which is one of the shows on Noggin that I actually think is kind of cute and has some mild redeeming value. So far this list is short and just includes "Little Bill" and "Blue's Clues" circa The Steve Years. Not that I won't let him watch the other shows too, because lord, how am I supposed to get anything done around here otherwise? It's just that I'm muttering sarcastic commentary under my breath while they're on. For the record, because I know you are keeping one on what I think about sundry children's television programming:

  • "Little Bear": Boring, old-fashioned, and Little Bear is a total weenie. Plus the disproportionately long arms on the animated bears creep me out, as they endow a certain marfanoid quality that I find distracting.
  • "Dora the Explorer": Hate this show. Hate. I don't care if they're teaching Spanish or simian-human relations or any of that. They are always yelling everything. Why must they yell? Why can't they just talk?
  • "Wow Wow Wubsy": Benign enough, I guess, and cute in that little Japanese animated character kind of way--you can practically see them as little erasers and bento boxes--but I am not fooled into thinking that it is anything other than pure brain candy. Cal loves it, though.
  • "Yo Gabba Gabba": Watching this show makes me feel like I have taken a large dose of hallucinogenic drugs. In a bad way. Cal, of course, also loves this show.

But anyway, "Little Bill" I think is adorable. It's like an updated version of the Cosby Kids with no laugh track and less jive, about this multigenerational black family living in what looks to be one of the outer boroughs New York, though I think this is left purposely vague. The family dynamics are nice and the kids acts like actual kids, and they learn cute little lessons about, whatever, making sure your friends feel welcome when they sleep over, taking care of your pets, whatnot.

So. Last week Little Bill had a Halloween episode on, in which Little Bill wanted to dress up as Captain Brainstorm to go trick-or-treating, but the neighborhood store ran out of Captain Brainstorm costumes. "If I can't go as Captain Brainstorm," sulked Little Bill, "I don't want to dress up as anything." Then, a day later, Cal is telling us basically verbatim that he doesn't want to dress up as anything. Related? Coincidence? I don't know how the episode ended (I'm sure there were Compromises and learning about Disappointment, and that Little Bill ended up enjoying Halloween after all), but I don't think that Cal saw the end of the show either, which means NO LESSONS WERE LEARNED AT ALL.

Anyway, thanks, Cos. You and your wholesome family values teachings. Maybe we will just watch more "Yo Gabba Gabba" and go trick-or-treating as a giant red-studded dildo-looking cyclops.