Thursday, 7 October 2010

Do you actually like kids' telly?

When my son was a pre-schooler/toddler/infant*(delete as appropriate) I accepted that television programmes that he might engage with would be shit, or at least I wound find them shit and be irritable watching them.

I wasn't wrong.

With the exception of The Fimbles, there wasn't a show minus a character that I didn't want to cave their head in.

Some that have even survived from my childhood. Like Postman Pat. His incompetence at his job appals me, and is not entertaining at all, he's just a twat. No wonder the Royal Mail is on its arse.

Balamory seemed to be a Scottish haven for the inept, and its replacements, Me Too and In The Night Garden, absolute gash.

There was the occasional programme I could tolerate, I could even stomach Big Cook and Little Cook in the right mood, but I did have to sing my own words for the theme tune to stop myself from smashing the television in.

Then my son's choices 'matured' to cartoons, and eventually to Ben 10.

Ben Tennyson, to me, is tripe. Written to a formula and re-branded every 20 minutes so children worldwide, in stereo, can continually ask for the latest alien, Four Arms, Monkey Butler, Bollock Ache or whatever nonsense name they come up with at the money printers.

Star Wars has always been of common interest, but I can't really take to the cartoon version, although it does mean I ask a lot of questions, to which my son has to articulate answers about Jedi heritage and so on.

Horrid Henry, Tracy Beaker, I ignore with aplomb.

I find Deadly 60, with Steve Backshall, superb. We really enjoy that together. My boy loves wildlife, as do I, well the brutality at least, and both find this gripping, and it will prompt all sorts of discussions between us.

The boy has taken to ChuckleVision of late. You know, to-me, to-you, that sort of stuff. Except they don't seem to do that any more. Paul Chuckle does a rather irritating 'da da da da da da da' stopping-his-brother-in-his-tracks thing, but I do smirk at some of it.

After bath time we tend to sit and watch The Simpsons, which I know is not a children's programme, and I am sure there are many parents that would not judge that as age appropriate for a five-year-old.

But discussing our favourite episodes, and subsequently my son doing impressions of Homer mimic Stephen Hawking are moments I properly treasure.

Total Wipeout has sprung up on CBBC, and we have laughed at daft folks falling off stuff in tandem.

But it really is hit and miss what we both like.

So what kids' shows can you stomach, and which ones have you wanting to liquidise your eyeballs?