And, by the way, Dora is banned in my shift. I can't stand Dora, nor Blues Clues, or any other of these new toddler and preschool shows that pander and talk down to the children. It's all bright colors, flashing images, and oversimplified stories that i really can't see challenging young minds.
Television is an hour in the afternoon only occasion, half of that time being music with soft pictures before naptime. So what do I choose to show? Arthur.
Oh Arthur, somehow you haven't decreased in quality over these years. Know what i love about it? it's stayed the same, while still knowing the new generation. Mixed among the classic episodes like D.W. wanting her ears peirced, and the Scare Your Pants Off books, we have their worlds version of Harry Potter, smartphones, and a lulzy parody of Paris Hilton, all within proper context for small children.
Also, Neil Gaiman in Sue Ellen's Falafel. I kid thee not.
Now, right after Arthur is Word Girl, which, once again, falls into pandering and lame jokes to try and catch small attention spans. Also, it falls into my least favorite trap; genius child, incompetent adults. Her parents are blumbering, clueless dumbasses, a stark contrast to the inperfect but loving parents Arthur has.
I think that's what I like most about Arthur, and why it's still endearing to children. it's realistic, without being stark and over caustic. For example, an episode last week involved Busters mother getting a new boyfriend. His parents are divorced, something a lot of children face, yet it doesn't handle the sticky emotions of abuse, presenting stressing images to children who don't need to see them. But it also doesn't hide the fact that yes, she is a single mother, Busters dad isn't around much, and it's just about all Buster has known.
Or in another, Arthurs grandfather comes to stay with him...because he has effing Alzheimers. Alzheimers. On Arthur. And let's not forget breast cancer, I shit you not. But these are always portrayed in a way that can reach kids, and explain it to them, without feeling overwhwelmed by uindo fear.
Oh Arthur. Will you ever cease being epic?