Saturday, January 30, 2010

My problem with the Disney Channel (and Nickelodeon)

Because I have children of a certain age, I get to watch a disproportionate amount of "thoughtful childrens programming." Most of this high quality entertainment is delivered to us thanks to the good people at the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Now let me first go on record by saying I LOVE PHINEAS AND FERB! I don't want anyone to think that it's about the network's themselves, because I enjoy Spongebob Squarepants as much as the next guy. In fact, I find Plankton downright compelling. The cartoons, I find somewhat entertaining, although I'd like to see Timmy Turner cast off the edge of tall building someday. Where I really struggle is with the "live action" sitcom type shows on these two channels.
The other day, I was subjected to the Suite Life of Zack and Cody Marathon. There's several hours of my life I will never get back. It's pure drech! Put that together with Corey in the House, Zeke & Luther, and that total Teen Nightmare Hannah Montana and you certainly have a Circle of Scavullo Hell that I don't ever want to visit. Even ICARLY gets on my nerves (although I do think Freddy is kinda cute and Spencer is somewhat endearing). But, let's face it, these shows are inane, ingratiating and have no socially redeeming value. The bottom line is they all have the same premises which go against everything I believe in.
1. All adults are apparent morons who can't find their way out of a paper bag.
2. All pre-teen and teenage children are smart, sassy and glib and can outsmart any adult at any time.
3. School and work are merely the downtime between fun times at the beach, at the smoothie shop, making the webshow or performing for millions onstage.
4. People don't work, they just sit around their amazing homes and apartments saying clever things and waiting for new, fabulous things to happen.
5. It's better to mislead people rather than telling the truth. One must hatch elaborate plots and ruse's in order to ensure you get what you want. After all, it worked so well for Jack Tripper on Three's Company, why not for Zach & Cody as they fool Moseby one more time. UGH!

This is a great lesson for our kids. I can't wait til my daughter comes home and says she wants have her own webshow. And I certainly won't supervise her while she's transmitting god knows what to thousands of people around the country. Of course not.
But what' s a parent to do? Ban Hannah and Zach and Cody completely? That would give this gaggle of morons too much credit. If I were to decree that these shows were forbidden at my house that would give them too much weight and make them all the more compelling. Therefore, I am taking a much more subversive and subtle approach. I just criticize the hell out of them when they are on the box. Often, my kids will argue with me, most vehemently, but hopefully I am making a little bit of a point. Jeez, how far we've come. I don't think my dad ever had to comment on the "krofts super show" or "Sigmund the Sea Monster>" I suppose that's mean we've evolved right. I don't know, you decide. In the meantime, you can find me watching Phineas and Ferb, one of the best shows on TV. That Doofenshmirtz just kills me.

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