I'm booting up the new Deadspin Open Mailbag post tomorrow (be a part of it by emailing me here), so I thought I'd use today to give a little sneak preview.
Our first mailbag question comes from Brien, who writes in:
You mentioned Thomas the Tank Engine in the Jamboroo, and I was wondering what your feelings are on the best/worst kids shows today. I have a 2 year old son and I always try to steer him towards Spongebob, but my wife claims it's "inappropriate" or some shit. Here's my take on the best/worst:
-Caillou (he's such a pussy)
-Thomas (it's way too preachy, I don't need to watch him learn a goddamn lesson every week)
-Imagination Movers (have you seen this shit? It's 4 grown men mugging for the camera while playing instruments)
I have not seen that, but I can only imagine that it blows a cop. That's the thing about kids. You never know what shitty TV show they'll end up gravitating to. Sometimes you get lucky and they like shit like Pixar movies. But most of the time, they like unbearable, shrill, annoying dogshit. They should work as programmers for NBC.
I keep trying to get my kid to watch Sesame Street, and Looney Tunes, and all the shit I liked as a kid. But that never works. They never like anything you like, except for that candy bar you're eating. Anyway, I haven't been subjected to every kiddie program out there. I still haven't ever watched an episode of Spongebob. All I can go by is what my kid has forced me to watch. Most of these shows come from Noggin, and while many of them are awful, they still keep my kid from bothering me during the course of my day writing horrible, profane shit online. So they all do serve some purpose. Here is the best and worst of that lot:
Little Einsteins. This show features four kids going around in a rocket solving puzzles. Every week, they feature one piece of fine art and one piece of classical music. Very elegant. Also, one of the kids is June, this little Asian ballerina who clearly going to grow up to be a piece of ass. And she's a dancer, so you know she's gonna be into some freaky shit down the line. She's gonna have a loft in SoHo, and she's going to have lots of lovers from various international locales. Bank on it.
My only issue with Einsteins is that the rocket does EVERYTHING for these little shits. One time, the Rocket was running out of fuel, so they had to make rocket soup for it (you have to go with such plot developments). So, to get the last ingredient for the rocket soup, they make Rocket go to fucking JUPITER. Now really, if the Rocket is almost out of fuel, how the fuck is it supposed to get to Jupiter on just a quarter tank? Easterbrook would break the carbon rod in his ass watching this.
Jack's Big Music Show. They don't air this anymore, which annoys me. It was a music video show hosted by puppet dogs. If one music video sucked, you got another one three minutes later. Not a bad percentage. Sometimes they played Marley. Sometimes, you got Hot Peas And Butter. I don't recommend Hot Peas And Butter.
Blue's Clues. When it's hosted by Steve (and not Joe), Blue's Clues is just about the most tolerable kid's show ever devised. It's quiet, it's well thought out, and Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper talk with a French accent. ADORABLE. But if you don't get Steve…
Blue's Clues with Joe/Blue's Room. Blue used to be an animated dog who couldn't speak. But then they gave her some special room where she turned into a fucking puppet and started talking, and the show suddenly became the evil demon twin of its predecessor. Blue's Room is dumb, annoying, grating, and worse than superAIDS.
Yo Gabba Gabba. I know another mom who uses a nanny, and part of the contract they made the nanny sign included a clause that forbade the nanny from letting the kid watch this show. That's how much people hate Yo Gabba Gabba. I know it's a cult hit with stoned college kids. But those assholes will watch anything. Yo Gabba Gabba will bore into your skull and strangle all your thoughts. It will give your mind a seizure. I watched one episode once, and was unable to hear my own inner monologue for 40 hours afterwards. Play an episode backward and you will hear the phrase HANG YOURSELF WITH WIRE over and over again.
Franklin. A network like Noggin can't fill it's schedule with ALL quality, trademark shows. No, sometimes it has to fill its schedule with slow, tedious dreck like this. Franklin is a turtle. Franklin whines a lot, like a reptilian Kevin Arnold. I fucking hate Franklin. He's a gash. NOGGIN, STOP AIRING THIS DURING THE CRUCIAL 8AM DRESSING HOUR.
Max And Ruby. Simmons is right to bitch about this show. Max and Ruby are two rabbits who live together. I guess they're friends, but Ruby spends the whole time nagging Max not to do shit. "No, Max. You can't eat those cookies! They're for my party!" Ruby is a cunt, and Max should have her taken care of.
Go Diego Go. Looking for something more annoying than Dora the Explorer? Like hearing kiddie songs with no discernible medley? Then check out Dora's non-union Guatemalan equivalent. Diego's family works at an animal shelter, or something. Whatever. They're losers, and I hope INS tracks them down. You're no little Einstein, Diego.