When you become a parent your life changes in ways both big and small. Used to sleep in until 11 on the weekends? Now you’re lucky to make it past 6. Enjoyed making gourmet meals that took hours of preparation and lots of fancy ingredients? Now carrots with a little parsley sprinkled on top are as gourmet as you get. Had all the coolest CDs? Now on the rare occasion that you’re in the car by yourself, it takes 20 minutes of driving before you realize you’ve been jamming out to Raffi. And, of course, there’s TV. Before you had kids, you kept abreast of current events by watching the evening news. Now the television is perpetually set to the Disney Channel in order to avoid awkward questions from your four year old. “Mommy, what does murder/suicide mean?” “Daddy, what’s Cialis and why are those people sitting in tubs on the lawn?”. (Side note: If you know the answer to the tub question, please let me know. My hubby and I have been wondering for years).
Once the kids are old enough to watch TV, parents quickly become familiar with a plethora of shows and characters. Some are cute and funny and some make you want to scream and kick them in the shins. So for all the parents out there who have yet to dive into the wonderful world of children’s television, here’s a rundown of the most annoying characters and/or shows. Avoid them at all costs!
Daisy Duck from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse- Daisy Duck is like the popular girl in high school who all the other girls secretly hate. The designer clothes, the perky ponytail, the flirty voice. She’s the one with a new boyfriend every week and a line of boys waiting their turn. My adult self knows that her popularity will fade and she’ll be sadly pathetic when she’s older, but my teenage self wants to kick her in the shins.
The Wiggles- Okay, I realize they’re not cartoon characters, but ‘Children’s Television Programming Personalities I Want to Kick in the Shins’ seemed a little wordy for the title. Call me sexist if you will, but there’s just something wrong with four grown men who dress in matching outfits, sing annoying kiddie songs, and do weird dances. Plus they have all these random, unrelated characters on the show (the pirate, the dinosaur, etc). Nothing about this show, especially its huge success, makes any sense. They all need a good kick in the shins.
Barney- I think his name says it all. KICK ‘IM IN THE SHINS!!!
Caillou- Everyone over the age of 12 has the same thing to say about Caillou: “He’s so whiny!” Also, does anyone else find it strange that he doesn’t have any hair?? He may only be four years old, but that doesn’t mean I don’t wanna kick him in the shins!
Special Agent Oso- I had mixed feelings about including Oso on this list. When I was first introduced to the show, I found him quite irritating. Then the show redeemed itself a bit by having an episode where a boy named Rudy learned to throw a football. For those of you who don’t know, Oso is voiced by Sean Astin, the guy who starred in the movie Rudy which is about… football. I like a show that throws in a little something for the parents, so Oso was back in my good graces. Until the episode where they called a ‘hula hoop’ a ‘hoopa loop’. It might seem minor to you, but it annoyed me enough to put him back on my ‘Kick ‘Em in the Shins’ list.
The Map from Dora the Explorer- Granted, it’s tricky to kick a map in the shins because it’s, well, a map, but he still deserves it. Actually, the moron who wrote the Map theme song is the one who deserves the kick. If you’ve never heard the song, I can teach it to you in about 5 seconds. Ready? “I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’M THE MAP!” Still don’t have it down? Perhaps hearing it will help cement it in your brain. Forever.
All I can figure is that whoever was given the song assignment over at Nickelodeon woke up the day it was due with a hangover. While realizing that being out partying all night wasn’t the best way to get the creative juices flowing, he also realized that having his bosses out partying with him was a decent way to have his song approved. And so we have the ‘kick him in the shins’-worthy Map.
LazyTown- You may want to grab a snack and find a comfy seat because we’re gonna be here for a while. I had never even heard of this show until recently when we stumbled upon it while looking for Thomas the Tank Engine (don’t even get me started on him!). The purpose of the show is to get children active and healthy; a worthy goal, even if a bit hypocritical since kids sit on their lazy duffs to watch it. I have problems with almost every character in the show except Stephanie who is as cute as a button (despite her unexplained pink hair). Here is my list of kick-worthy Lazy Town characters: Sportacus is the hero of the show. He flips around in a blue, spandex-y union suit, saving the day by keeping laziness at bay. He has a weird mustache (my 3 year old calls it ‘his spikes’ which is an accurate description) and he calls fruit ‘sports candy’. Most kids already like fruit. No need to give it a sparkly new name that fools no one. Bessie, Mayor, Trixie, Pixel, Stingy, and Ziggy are all puppet-like characters, which is odd because the other characters are real people. To further complicate matters, the mayor (a puppet) is the uncle of Stephanie (a real person). How does that work exactly? I don’t really know how to describe these puppet characters except to say that they’re vaguely creepy. The biggest creeper of the bunch is Stingy who looks eerily similar to PeeWee Herman, and let’s face it, he should be on no children’s show ever again. Robbie Rotten is the villian of LazyTown whose one ambition is to make the residents of LazyTown, you guessed it, lazy. He is played by a real man, but his makeup artist has made him puppet-like with seemingly plastic eyebrows and hair. Maybe he’s the answer to my question of what happens after too many puppet/human unions. My biggest question about him though, is why is he so thin and fit if he’s supposed to be the lazy, unmotivated, junk food eating antagonist? Shouldn’t he be grossly overweight and barely able to move? I would think that would be a much better advertisement for healthy living. Regardless, I have one thing to say about the characters of LazyTown (except you, Stephanie!): Let’s kick ’em in the shins!
I could go on, but I better leave it at that. I’m feeling rather aggressive at the moment and would hate to take out my annoyance on some undeserving passerby. Besides, my son was hanging around when I looked up the Map song and now he’s begging to watch Dora. Deep breath in…. “Sure Sweetpea, but only one episode or Mommy will spontaneously combust.”