Sunday, October 21, 2007

Not a Music Meme

Bren tagged me for a music meme. This would be a lot easier for me to complete if I ever actually listened to music, or had a knowledge of music released after 1989. (Actually, I do like some music after 1989 – there was that brief spurt in the late ’90s of fun songs like “All Star” and “Tubthumping.” But arguably those were throwbacks to the ’80s.) If I had completed the music meme as given, you would have learned exciting things about me, such as the fact that the last album I purchased was just before the Pie was born (Johnny Cash Greatest Hits, so that I could play “Ring of Fire” while in labour) and that the last concert I went to was the Barenaked Ladies' Christmas show. I kind of got carried away with the opening question, however, so I decided to concentrate on that instead:

What song is in your head?

“Are you ready, are you ready, are you ready to clown around. With Loonette and Molly, a clown and her dolly, at the Big Comfy Couch!” Please, somebody, make it stop. The children have been taking turns being sick every weekend since the beginning of September, which means that we have been watching a LOT of Treehouse. To be fair, the children don’t like Big Comfy Couch any more than I do – they prefer cartoons to the heavily-made-up-adults-playing-with-toys genre of children’s programming. It’s a rare confluence of tastes: in most ways, their enjoyment of a given TV show will be inversely proportional to mine. Children’s television shows tend to fall into one of six categories, ranked below from worst to best, based on the children’s preferences:

6) Heavily Made-Up Adult Plays With Toys. In this one category, the children and I are in perfect agreement: Big Comfy Couch and Mustard Pancakes may try to fill the void left by Mr. Rogers and Mr. Dressup in the “unmarried adult living in a house with puppets” genre, but I find them more creepy than heartwarming.


5) Imaginative Child Engages in Unpredictable Flights of Fancy. Personally, I like this genre: my favourite is Farzzle, a giggly baby whose adventures revolve around random objects like crayons or flowers that come to life and do zany things. My children find it terrifying, though – they’re inclined to shout in horror when Farzzle is at the beach and his pail and shovel suddenly get up and start tap-dancing.


4) Curious and Gregarious Child Goes on Real-World Adventures … and learns about things like baking cookies and ballet dancing. I love Daniel Cook and Emily Yeung; my children, on the other hand, tolerate them only because they know that something better is coming along.


3) Cartoon Characters Have Ordinary Lives. Max and Ruby, Charlie and Lola, Angelina Ballerina … these shows are preoccupied with lost toys, spilled paint, and spoiled tea parties. At best they are British and charming; at worst they are Arthur.


2) Cartoon Characters Engage in Predictable and Formulaic Adventures. What’s going to work? Team work!


1) Fluffy Animals Face Off Against Sinister Cartoon Villains. In these shows, Gargamel lurks around every corner, cackling evilly. The worst offender is The Care Bears, in which the villain (of this morning’s episode, anyway) is a buck-toothed little girl. It makes me cringe – but when it comes on, Pie leaps to her feet, shouting ecstatically, “I love the Care Bears!” while I exit the room in haste, hoping that she’ll follow.

47 comments:

Janet said...

Ring of Fire during delivery.

Snort.

Wish I had thought of that.

Re: Loonette who seems to be the "adult" in charge of her dolly Molly on the Big Comfy Couch: I just can't shake the reality that the actress playing Loonette used to be Alison, one of two hosts on CBC Kids, when my two older kids were home all day. In real life, Alison (aka Loonette) has reddish hair and freckles and is 4 ft nothing.

slouching mom said...

Yep, I'm back at Ring of Fire, too. That's pretty funny, B&P!

Reminds me of a friend of mine who once told me that he lost his virginity to "Rock Lobster" (B-52s, for you younguns).

That made me laugh as well.

flutter said...

Ring of fire made me snort, like out loud. Oh dear....

Julie Pippert said...

Dude. You have described the hell that is song obsession in my head, and wow, the party parry of WonderPets? Especially vicious.

LOL!

I like Kipper. :)

Great answers...enjoyed this. :)

And SM, ROCK LOBSTER?!?! Of all songs LMAO!

Julie
Using My Words

Beck said...

You don't like ARTHUR? But he's so NICE. We love that show, with the big exception of The Boy who finds it creepy for reasons I can't quite fathom.
Big Comfy Couch is quite possibly the second worst show ever made. The worst is that show with the garish toy castle full of hideous dancing toy people. Gah.

Karen said...

Ugh, Arthur, is a no go here. Big Comfy couch was only like for the duration of its first song...whatever happened to Kipper?
I also got tagged for this meme - and I have no idea what to do with it - I have no music bug, no music vocabulary and mostly listen to music by accident. Sad, I know.

Veronica Mitchell said...

I hate Angelina Ballerina. My children, of course, love her.

Suz said...

As kids get older, it doesn't get any better?!? No! Right now, my internal soundtrack is comprised solely of Wiggles songs. It's the only show they watch, but it seems to exercise some sort of hypnotic power over them. Scary!

painted maypole said...

great categories! ;)

bubandpie said...

Slouchy - Clearly I need to pay closer attention to the lyrics to "Rock Lobster." Now "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" - that one I would get.

Beck - I remember Catherine Newman once wrote a post about how traumatized her children were by an episode of Arthur in which some joking reference was made to a "gas chamber." I saw the episode awhile later and the punchline was gone, but the flatulence-related episode remained. I find Arthur to be less innocent and charming than most children's programs - another episode focused on overcoming the shame of having a garbage-collector for a father. Why even put that idea in the head of a three- or four-year-old?

The dancing toy people, on the other hand ... shudder.

Suz - I was hitting myself on the way home from grandma's house tonight for omitting the category of Grown-Ups Getting Lots of Exercise: Wiggles, Hi-5, etc. Probably that one ranks third right now, after the hideous adventure categories.

slouching mom said...

It's less the lyrics than the way it's sung -- see if you can have a listen on YouTube sometime.

Jenifer said...

The first two shows Papoosie Girl fell in love with were Bear in the Big Blue House and Big Comfy Couch. Her love of these shows was in itself scary. We used to have a VCR tape with nothing but these shows and maybe a Max & Ruby thrown in which was our Emergency tape. The tape that made ANYTHING better. Barfing all night? Just pop in the tape.

It was scary just how much she loved these shows.

I'm kind of with you about Arthur. There are parts of it that I really like, but other parts like you I find offensive...there is one line DW says about parents being "slow learners" that gets under my skin.

As for the missed category, Adults Getting Too Much Exercise" my girls cannot get enough of Hi-5.

wordgirl said...

I'm so far out of the loop for children's programming (or music). Just give me Bert and Ernie and I'll go away quietly.

Swistle said...

I'm not very Into music, and so I nearly skipped the post, thinking it was going to be about music. Instead it was about children's television, and such funny categories I read them aloud to Paul.

We like Arthur, but I think of it for older kids--kindergarten at least.

Max and Ruby makes me nervous, because Ruby is too young to be totally in charge of a household and a younger brother. I know it's not really About that, but I keep thinking of it.

We like Cyberchase: good villain, sneaking problem-solving and math.

Aliki2006 said...

I LOVE that you wanted to play Cash during delivery...

Oh, those Care Bears--don't get me started. You know, CBS has launched a new Care Bear series now and I hear those brightly colored creatures are making a big comeback.

Mouse said...

Beck-that show you're thinking of is, I believe, creatively entitled "Toy Castle." My hell is when that is back-to-back with "Big Comfy Couch."

Somehow, even the most annoying shoes can grow on me, such as "Max and Ruby" and "Wonder Pets." Maybe 'grow' is too strong, but I develop a tolerance for them.

The weirdest one that I can actually stand now is "Oobi," but I don't think that's on up here.

Catherine said...

I can still sing the Care Bears theme song from the 80's...is it the same today?

Jill said...

Like Suz, I have to agree that songs like "Yummy Yummy Fruit Salad" spin around in my head endlessly.

Kyla said...

The Big Comfy Couch is banned at my house. I just CANNOT stand it. At all.

I think category 3 is my favorite. Charlie and Lola is our favorite cartoon around here.

Patois said...

Please tell me that the Big Comfy Couch is just in an endless rerun loop. We happened upon it one day more than 10 years ago, and I hated, hated, hated, hated, hated it. I wanted her dead. I wanted her smothered by the couch pillows. Failing that, I pleaded for my own smothering. I would have hoped public opinion would have banished it in all places except, I don't know, Myanmar.

Becky said...

Down in the US, we have the pleasure of *not* having the Big Comfy Couch, but I remember thinking that it seemed overly creepy. Wonder Pets and Pinky Dinky Do (one of my personal favourite kids show EVER - definitely in the whimsical/fanciful category), however, we do get from time to time, when we splurge on the "cheap digital intro package" for 3 months.

Man do those songs ever get in your head, though.

My favourite "cartoon characters have an ordinary life" - Franklin, hands down. And I love that it has been entertaining to our kid for over three years... that's decent longevity, and has made the DVD purchases VERY worthwhile.

The last CDs I purchased were Sarah Harmer's latest CD and the Tragically Hips "greatest hits". Can you tell I'm a Canadian?

Terri said...

A couple of years ago we were visiting a friend in Michigan. She didn't have cable so my girls were watching the local public TV station. A cartoon based on the books "The Littles" came on. I'd never seen it before and haven't since. I'm glad because I hated it. I hate reading the books aloud, too. My reason has nothing to do with the content. Personally, I think there is just something weirdly unnatural and rather creepy about very small human beings with mice tails.

Major Bedhead said...

God, I hate Wonder Pets. The Backyardigans creep me out, too. And while everyone thinks I named my blog after The Big Comfy Couch, I most emphatically did NOT. Don't even get me started on Elmo. Sesame Street has let me down in a big way.


What ever happened to Bugs Bunny? Elmer Fudd? Yosemite Sam? Now that was quality programming.

JCK said...

Ring of Fire, oh my... one of my brother's "show pieces" - no, he's not an exotic dancer, but loves to do karaoke. Unfortunately, he expects us to enjoy listening to it. Again and again. Sorry, that's where Ring of Fire sends me.

Oh, you poor thing. Kids sick every weekend is hard enough, but to be subjected to children's programming. Alas, what's a mother who tries to remain sane to do...thank GOD for short TV snippets I say, but then I watched "H.R. Pufnstuf" as a child ...it dates me, doesn't it?

mamakie said...

Thanks for putting that song in my head all day. I stopped by earlier and have had Big Comfy Couch in my head all day. Can't stand that show....and it always seems to be on when I ready to gift some TV time at the end of the day.

The favorite here these days is Bo on the Go, CBC kids. And of course Curious George. I think Dora has finally seen her last days on our TV. I didn't actually mind her that much.

MamaLee said...

Ring of Fire - OMG, I'm so glad that my hubby didn't think of that during my labor! LOL

Nice to find your blog. Now I need to go back to playing with my puppets - SCARY show is RIGHT!

Chaotic Joy said...

I agree completely that the heavily made up Adults, like the Doodle Bops, really give me the creeps. And Ben and I both love Daniel Cook.

But what about Sesame Street? That's what we watch here every morning. Where does that fall?

bubandpie said...

Joy - Hubby asked me the same thing, and I'm not sure of the answer - I can't really think of a show that falls into the same category except for the old Electric Company (also educational and episodic). Global Grover is a clear example of the Curious and Gregarious Child/Puppet Goes on Real-World Adventures genre, but I'm not sure about the other shows. Does Sesame Street still exist, or has it been supplanted by all the spin-offs (Elmo's World, Play With Me Sesame, etc.)?

radical mama said...

No love for the Backyardigans? We would be lost without their show. Even my husband sings along in the car. I suppose they fall in with the Wonder Pets, which we DON'T watch. :)

Luckily, I have not encountered the majority of children's shows. Just PBS (which is 95% tolerable) and the occasional Backyardigans on demand.

nomotherearth said...

Hey, I just did this meme, and you answered one of my questions...

The Boy can't stand Big Comfy Couch, so I lucked out there. It's pretty bad. However, I would watch it ten times in a row in order to avoid Toy Castle. Or maybe I'd watch paint dry instead.

If you like endearing english characters, you should really check out the Boblins.

The Boy's favourites are either Diego or the Wiggles. He seems to prefer the heavy music shows.

Laural Dawn said...

Hilarious!!!
I hate Big Comfy Couch as well. With a passion. But, I find myself watching Wonder Pets and singing along. I love that show. So does my son. I think it has something to do with the fact that we rarely see it.
And speaking of real life adventures - want to know something awful?
Someone I went to school with and didn't particularly like is now "starring" in a children's adventure show. And my son loves it. And talks about her. Ad nauseum.
Brutal.
And, somehow she became MORE annoying. (and trust me, this is not jealousy speaking).
I go to great lengths to avoid this show.

Laural Dawn said...

PS I'm with Mouse - Toy Castle is the worst ...
And it plays all night long in multiple languages.

bubandpie said...

Rad - I'd say Backyardigans fits into the "imagination" category, except for a few episodes that devolve into formulaic adventure. I'm not crazy about the show, but I do find the theme song haunting. At the park this summer a boy was humming it in perfect tune and suddenly three moms' heads swivelled in his direction as we all placed it at the same time. It was like Name That Tune: Playground Edition.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Sesame Street still exists but they ruined it with too much Elmo. My kids (5 and 3) won't watch it. It's a guarantee that the TV will be off by 10am, when SS comes on.

Max and Ruby must get more play in Canada than it does in Oregon. I've only seen it a handful of times & have never seen any merchandising... I always thought the lessons it teaches were for parents -- Ruby's the most patient parental figure EVER.

Lawyer Mama said...

Ruby annoys the crap out of me. She's so bossy. As does Angelina. And the Wonderpets. Hmmm, I'm seeing a pattern here!

gretchen from lifenut said...

And where does Calliou fit in? I loathe that little monster. Perhaps #3?

Our favorite TV show is "The Upside Down Show" on Noggin. Funny, imaginative, very clever.

The kids like classic Warner Brothers/Looney Toons/Chuck Jones cartoons---WWII-era to late 1950s are the best. I suppose on your list, they'd be #2, but with anvils.

bren j. said...

Oh man, I was OBSESSED with Care Bears when I was little!

We're big fans of Yam Roll and Angela Anaconda around here....but speaking of grown-ups living with puppets and creepiness, remember Under the Umbrella Tree??

bubandpie said...

Gretchen - Really, it's the anvils that make all the difference.

-The Shiny Happy Mama- said...

I also have love for the Backyardigans. The girls are huge fans! Sesame Street lost a lot of charm once they structured it and added Elmo's world, but it's still very good children's tv. We watch occasionally. Always something for the grown-ups in SS, too ;-)

I'm laughing at 2 things:
1. Ring of Fire. Seriously. That is hysterical!
2. Rock Lobster. Did your friend and his partner have matching towels?

Jenn said...

Wait.

There was music released after 1989?

And you saw the Barenaked Ladies? So jealous.

ewe are here said...

Ring of Fire?!

hahahahahaha

Ouch.

Christine said...

i've never heard of the daniel cook one--sounds cool.

Angela said...

If I had read this a year ago I would have not known what most of these shows were but now with a two year old I have no choice. There is only one show I do not allow on at all - Barney
All the other shows are fine

kgirl said...

honestly, i had to skim this post, lest one of those dang theme songs get stuck in my head.

but, solidarity - i love the bnl holiday album. love it. last night was the daniel cook episode where he writes a song with ed.

that was the lamest reference ever. sigh.

kittenpie said...

We're all about WonderPets these days, but we also love Farzzle. Dora is not completely vanquished, but on the wane. Yahoo!

Steve said...

Ring of Fire? Hilarious! I found myself wondering what would have happened if I would played that for my wife. Safe to say, I would have been shot down, down, down...
As for the kids shows, how about category #6 - the psychedelic, trippy live action character shows, long live the Banana Splits!

Susanne said...

I love how analytical you can be even when dealing with children's television. And you make me very glad that we don't watch shows here at all. My son has a couple of DVDs that we all like. And he watches music videos and such. On our way to kindergarten today he told me stories about Jimi Hendrix...