Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Top 10 Kids Shows of 2008

As the year begins to turn to 2009, we'll be participating in a tradition as old as the Internets themselves: creating an overabundance of top 10 lists.

Today's list is the top Kids Shows of 2008.

The shows were graded according to parental watchability, an inverse annoyance scale, and lastly, we suppose, educational and entertainment value for children. Bonus points were awarded to shows that run on PBS due to their lack of commercials.

And lastly, we think it's fair to embody the main difference between having one kid and two kids by juxtaposing last year's initial list to this year's.

10. Martha Speaks. Pretty damned pretentious, even for a kids' show. They try to shove impressive vocabulary down kids' throats. Blatant ripoff of Word Girl (see below).
9. Cyberchase. Mrs. Supercomputer wants to shoot us whenever this show comes on. In her defense, when two of the featured voices are Gilbert Godfried and Christopher Lloyd, it's hard to blame her. Still, it's about Math and therefore warrants a spot on the list.
8. Super Why. Annoying, yes. Racist as fucking hell, yes (seriously, the implied "rankings" for the heroes goes thusly: 1. White male. 2. White Female. 3. Black Female. 4. Pig.). But Girl Supercomputer is captivated by it. And we think it's helped with her letters.
7. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Yeah, we've all heard the probably apocryphal story about how he was a sniper in Vietnam or something. Yes, each episode is a ridiculous 30+ years old and it seems like he always goes to the library. Yes, it's boring as all get out. But if it's early in the morning enough to watch Mr. Rogers, that's exactly what you need. There's a reason they only show this program at 5:00 in the morning.
6. Arthur. We're not exactly sure what kind of animal Arthur is supposed to be. Squirrel? Bear? Someone help us out here. Bonus points for being the only kids show we know that employs the daydream-fantasy sequence to underscore motive.
5. Veggie Tales. We can either tell Girl Supercomputer the story of Jesus via church or story-telling or Santa Claus, or we can let talking vegetables do it for us. Game and match, vegetables.
4. Curious George. As opposed to Super Why, this show is not annoying and doesn't celebrate its racists past (in case you don't know the original story of George, the man in the yellow hat captured George in Africa, brought him to America on a boat against his will, and pretty soon after that, George ends up in prison. All of this is 100% true). Also, bonus points for William H. Macy as the narrator. We wonder how old Girl Supercomputer will be when she realizes it's the same voice as the guy in Fargo. Hopefully not for a while.
3. Dragon. We're getting into the dreaded, "watch it even if the kids aren't watching it" territory.
2. My Friend Rabbit. MFR might have taken the number one spot if it weren't for it's awkward start time in Colorado: 11:30 AM. If you're still watching cartoons with your kids at 11:30 on a Saturday in sunny Fort Collins, you have your answer to "why are kids so obese these days?".
1. Word Girl. Girl Supercomputer doesn't really even like this show, but we here at DMS love it. We have and will watch it even if the girl isn't home. Most of the jokes go over her head, but no matter. We love Word Girl.

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