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March 22, 2009

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Russell Arben Fox

This post puts me in mind of the fact that, when we lived in Germany, Teletubbies were all the range. We could never stand them in the U.S., and prevented our oldest (then two; she turned three while we were in Frankfurt) from ever watching them, because they simply annoyed the hell out of us. But we caught them once in Germany, and the whole family was hooked. The German translations were simple enough that we could actually follow everything that was going, and even--or so we though, occasionally--pick up some subtext. I wonder how many other children's tv shows find unplanned new life in translation?

Noel Maurer

Well, of course Americans are brown and have names like Diego and Tico. Although we're leaning towards Lincoln or Robinson, ourselves. Although we don't live near jaguars or in jungles, unless you count certain parts of Broward County. Which you probably should.

The bilingual thing, well, I grew up on Electric Company. So it ain't new to me, more of a flashback to 1975. They had that where you grew up, right, Doug? I honestly don't know how national that was.

Bernard Guerrero

Ah, Electric Company! Morgan Freeman & Rita Moreno. Brings back memories....

I seem to recall a much more colorful show that was actually set in a Mexican village, though.

Peter

For the first time in decades, there now is a permanent jaguar population in the United States, in the southern part of Arizona and possibly also in Texas.

Bernard Guerrero

Nasty member of said population at the Fort Worth Zoo, too. Spends the day trying to figure out how to get at the coyotes next door. You can tell when she looks at you that she's wishing the fence away.....

Dennis Brennan

First of all:
http://www.hulu.com/watch/1610/saturday-night-live-tv-funhouse

I find Dora/Diego unwatchable. There's a continuum of how annoying (more-or-less currently-produced) kids' shows are: from least to most annoying, I'd rank:

Sesame Street (other than Elmo)
Johnny and the Sprites
Bunnytown
Charlie & Lola
Handy Manny
Thomas the Tank Engine
Elmo
Blue's Clues
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Clifford the Big Red Dog
Tigger & Pooh
Higglytown Heroes
Dora the Explorer
Little Einsteins
Imagination Movers
Caillou
Dooley & Pals (secular version)
The Wiggles
Barney
Dooley & Pals (Jesus version)
Teletubbies
Kingdom Adventure
Go Baby (I guess a 1-year old arguably could watch it, but it hurts... it hurts...)

My kids are aged just-under-4 and just-over-2, so I end up seeing rather a lot of this stuff. So many puzzling questions. In Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, for example, what did Professor von Drake do during the war? His interest in rocketry (and his comparative lack of interest in where the rockets land) is played _up_ in the kids version. And the political economy of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse setting is suspect on many levels: the only characters who seem to have any kind of job are Clarabelle and Pete--Pete is the only one who ever demands payment for anything, and he is presented as being something of a heel for doing this. Not exactly the philosophy that the rest of the Disney corporation is known for.

Bernard Guerrero

Dennis, I once had a lady complain to me that she found "Max & Ruby" annoying because of the unrealistic absence of parents in the plots. Max & Ruby are, as you are no doubt aware, talking rabbits.

Colin Alberts

I seem to recall a much more colorful show that was actually set in a Mexican village, though.

"Villa Alegre". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Alegre_(television_program)). I can still hear the la-la-la theme song in my head.

The bilingual thing, well, I grew up on Electric Company. So it ain't new to me, more of a flashback to 1975. They had that where you grew up, right, Doug? I honestly don't know how national that was.

Definitely national (definitely watched it on KQED-TV 9 San Francisco, and probably before that on WDCQ-TV 35 Bad Axe, Michigan). I can still hear at least a dozen songs from that show in my head. How many Gen Xers were first introduced to Spiderman through TEC? The whole world wonders.

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