I’m sorry if this is a change of pace from all my professional writing, but it has to be said in public. Maybe there are more CBC-watching parents out there as well.
I love the CBC. So does my son. My son grew up on CBC Kids and has been enjoying for four years. He still enjoys it. The only difference between now and about 2 months ago though, is that my son watches the CBC more for the line-up of shows than he does for the personalities that introduce them.
Patty Stewart, the lovely “Princess Patty” and “P.I. Patty” and a whole slew of other great characters beloved by both myself and my son is now reduced to a “straight” for a bunch of stupid puppets. These puppets represent just about every stereotype you can find in Canada. There is “Captain Claw” — a lobster with what appears to be a Cape Breton accent. There’s a painter-puppet with a ridiculously fake French accent, who is the brunt of stupid French jokes (ie. he asks for “une pomme” and Sid (the other character — more about him later) brings him a “palm” tree. Get it? “Pomme?” “Palm?” — a plum pun groaner if there ever was one!) And then there’s this insane cooking lady puppet.
Gone are the tall geeky Mark, the lanky Kush, the lovely Holly and the jumpy Joyce. Sure, there were some acting deficiencies among this group (especially compared to Patty), but there was enthusiasm, personality and maybe a little love for the education of pre-school children involved.
The new kid on the block, replacing the lot of these folks is Sid. It’s hard to give Sid a fair shake. He’s stuck in a show with horrid writing, bad set design and zero energy. The most he or Patty can do is stand there with a stupid look on their faces while some lame puppet cracks some stupid joke. It’s embarrassing. Honestly. Take a look for yourself.
But if all this really sounds bad to you, it gets worse. They have a pile of green puke to represent Canada. Just look at her. If you don’t believe that this is for real, just click on her. For added reference I have added a *real* Canada so you can compare the two.
Maybe some of my United States readers can advise me on how easily a state-sponsored television program could get away with using green puke to represent your country? Truly, this is an embarrassing outrage.
The problem is, CBC Kids still hosts some great shows, including my favs Pinky Dinky Doo and Poko (the latter is produced by Bowling for Columbine producer, Michael Donovan by the way). Thank god for the private sector film industry — the CBC may survive this year yet. But I’ll have to keep from throwing up in front of my son while this tripe of a bland — much like Treehouse bland — format for my kids daily cartoon insults the intelligence of our four-year-old kids.
Maybe people want bland and the CBC is tired of differentiating itself from other kids formats. I guess that sucks for me. Looks like I’ll be moving my kid to the internet for his learning sooner than I thought.