January 18, 2006

SPD! Please Kill Me!

You know, I've always considered myself pretty good about dealing with children's TV shows. I've never minded Thomas the Tank Engine, even though the newer episodes have been watered down and 'Murican-ified to the point that you want to slap the narrator with a 2 x 4: note to everyone--Sir Topham Hatt's real name, the only name he was given in the original books, in fact, is The Fat Controller. That is his name, because he is a fat man. If that offends the Society for the Advancement of Obesity, well tough. The man can lay off the scones. This Sir Topham Hatt stuff is just annoying.

Also, steam engines getting bricked up in tunnels for being naughty and generally behaving badly (and getting punished for it) is WAY more instructive than the whole "let's all kum-ba-yah our way down the track to happy-ville, shall we?" crud of the 2005 and later episodes.

But these sins are minor, and I can happily go about my business whilst Thomas chugs along in the background.

As for the other shows The Boy prefers, I still dig Sesame Street, actually follow the plotlines of Teen Titans and the Batman (though WHAT is up with adding Batgirl to that show? A 15-year-old gymnast who just randomly starts kicking butt like Batman? Mary Sue, much?), and Hublet loves Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends more than any of us--I think he wants to be Bloo.

And I thought that since we had escaped the scourge of Barney we would be safe from questionable viewing choices at the hands of our 4-year-old.

But I was wrong. So very wrong. We have gotten sucked into the endless vortex of (drumroll of doom, please):

Power Rangers.

Specifically, Power Rangers SPD. And also Power Rangers Generations. And possibly--though we haven't seen it yet--Power Rangers Mystic Force. Because apparently one group of Power Rangers is never enough.

Back in the day, there was only one group of poorly dubbed and partially re-shot teenagers in spandex and helmets who lived in California with a view of Mt. Fuji, could only speak while wildly flailing their limbs around, and fought spark-flinging plastic-headed monsters with zippers while wearing hugely cumbersome fender-like objects on their shoulders.

I remember watching them in horrified fascination, and never really getting over the fact that the Pink Ranger ended up on Felicity.

But now there are--what--18 different iterations of rangers, all in different places fighting different bad guys, and each with his or her own special power/animal totem/vehicle/jet/spaceship/mystical object? It is making my head hurt. And yes, I pay attention to these things, because The Boy is constantly asking questions like, "Which ranger is that? What is his name? What is he doing? Why? What happened?" Perhaps the ranger-viewing is causing a form of brain damage that causes him to miss the salient plot points. Not knowing the answers to these questions and having to go find them so that he will just. stop. asking. is definitely causing some of my neurons to misfire.

Note to Bandai: more is not necessarily always better. And also? When you have an acrobatic hamster in charge of your rangers and you're down to using Mastodons as the special totem animal for one of them, you are scraping the bottom of the barrel, my friends. Seriously.

But alas, all of these details completely escape the notice of The Boy, who only sees a bunch of karate chopping and bad-guy whuppin', and who as a result will now only wear his red power ranger underpants and his power ranger sweatsuit in public (thanks a lot, grandpa!). He refers to this ensemble as getting "all power-rangered up." I refer to it as "laundry hell."

And I am eagerly awaiting the day when this, too, shall pass.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at January 18, 2006 02:28 PM

"Foster's Home ... " rocks.

Posted by: Lex at January 18, 2006 03:03 PM

He needs a Gilbert Chemistry Set.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at January 18, 2006 04:06 PM

Don't worry. Like our Boy, he'll soon be explaining everything to you, while you absently murmer, "Really? Wow!"

Posted by: Michael at January 18, 2006 07:06 PM

Hey, he could be trying to watch Oobi. That's number one on my list of Shows Not Tolerated.

As for answering questions, turn it around. Ask him questions about the show until he tells you to go away and let him watch in peace. Or figures out everything so he can act superior.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at January 18, 2006 08:59 PM

Ah, the nostalgia. Our PR days were about 10 years ago. I have actually been to a live Power Rangers show in Reunion Arena, Dallas, TX. My favorite part, however, was when the church-sponsored pre-K that Precious attended attempted to pooh-pooh the PR menace by pointing out it involved VIOLENCE (butt kicking karate, etc.). This tended to produce snorty fits of laughter from DH and self, as we met through our mutual martial arts instructor. Badly dubbed, lame-o villians, cheesey to the max: Yes. Violent? Insert snorty laugh here.

It will pass. In favor of Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh or The Sims, or all of those. I am saving Precious' perfect generation 1 Pokemon collection for eBay to defer some of the college tuition (only half kidding). Cheers!

Posted by: Sheryl at January 18, 2006 09:45 PM

Fosters is good. And so is Teen Titans.

But I miss the old Merrie Melodies & Road Runner cartoons. As a kid I found the violence & slapstick hilarious, but now that I'm an adult (Mostly) I love them again for the sarcasm, plays on words, and other adult humor written into them. Why can't more cartoons be like that?

BTW, speaking of Power Rangers, that's what many motorcycle riders call the crotch rocket riders in the colored leather gear. They're so similiar you expect a camera crew to be hidden in the bushes. :-D.


Posted by: Tristan Phillips at January 19, 2006 08:31 AM

Hey, annoying old guy, my two year old adores Oobi. I just wish they had more episodes, so I didn't have to recite the scripts from memory. :)

Posted by: Eric Brown at January 19, 2006 01:52 PM

LOL - There are entirely too many versions of PR. My boy lasted through maybe 2 "seasons" before proclaiming that it was for "little kids." Then came Pokemon and YuGiOh (YuGiOh in a BIG way) and now we've moved on to WWE Wrestling. Pity me. Although the wrestling "characters" are way more fun to ogle than the cartoons. Yes, it your pain shall pass - only to be replaced by something equally as stupid. LOL Such is childhood.

Posted by: Christine at January 19, 2006 02:16 PM

Foster's totally rocks. Teen Titans is palatable. My teen and her friends, however, watch something that makes PR look like Tolstoy:
Bo-Bo-Bo Bo-Bo Bo-Bo-Bo-Bo.
Not kidding.
His prowess is being able to speak to, listen to, and control his hair, such as lassoing bad guys with his nose hair or cracking the cat o'nine tails from his armpits.
If there's anything worse than Bo-Bo-Bo, I'll be durned if I've ever found it.

Posted by: Sally at January 21, 2006 09:41 PM