Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kiddie Kritique

I admit it. The title sucks today. Can't think of anything more clever right now.

So this afternoon while T was at his program, J and I watched some television. The first show we watched was his current favorite, Hi-5. In the beginning, as with most children's shows, I found it kind of annoying, but after a few (hundred) viewings it's grown on me. The songs are catchy and, most important, the content is age appropriate and rather unoffensive. After Hi-5 was a program called Hip Hop Harry.

Hip Hop Harry. Where to begin? As you might gather from the title, the show features a character named Hip Hop Harry, which is actually some person in a bear(?) costume. But not just any bear, oh no. Let's just say that Harry's costume was probably designed by Jack Donaghy - oversized T-shirt with the manufacturer's label on the lower left front, baggy shorts, humongous white sneakers with untied laces spanning the eyelets, and let's not forget the massive "H" chest medallion hanging from what appears to be some sort of gold drapery roping.

The show also features some children and a teenager or childishly dressed adult, all stereotypically attired with oversized pants and shirts for the boys, and cropped jackets for the girls.

I was so dizzy from the camera work - arcing pans, quick zoom in/zoom outs - that it was hard to focus on the dreck these kids were saying. Today's episode was all about how hip hop music contains elements of other genres - classical, country, etc. Naturally, there was the setup dialogue ("I love hip hop music! Is there any other kind?") accompanied by the requisite mugging to the camera, followed by H3 (takes too long to type Hip Hop Harry so many times, so from this point forward, we'll call him "H3") explaining from behind his two turntables and a microphone that yes, Virginia, there are other kinds of music played on ... gasp! ... REAL INSTRUMENTS (demonstrated by the kids with FAKE, SYNTHESIZED EXAMPLES), and if you just give it a chance, doggone it, you just might like all kinds of music.

I think I'd like to meet H3's head writer and the suit who greenlit the show and punch them both. Kids deserve so much better than this crap.

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