Friday, January 21, 2011

Hmm...Kid Show Drag Queens or the Showbiz Judiciary?

Being stuck at home sick isn't all fun and games by a long shot. 

In my youth, a raging fever or a scorching case of the Chicken Pox still beat going to my first grade class at Forest Hills Elementary School (the old cow teacher dealt spankings with the ease of handing out crayons).  Now that I'm old(ish), the joy is pretty much absent from any sick day. 

Of course, I'm older(ish) and only the resilient youth can go from throwing up one day to jumping on a trampoline while simultaneously eating a slice of pizza the next.  There is also the issue of work and knowing that files and chores are piling up on my desk at a height to rival the Himalayas.  There is also one particularly unpleasant issue in the matter of:  Daytime TV.

Sweet baby Jesus.

Mind you, I'm stuck in the house with a six year-old and the first order of business is to relieve her boredom because, when Baby Belle 1 is unhappy, we're all unhappy.  The only television she's allowed to watch is Disney TV and Nick, Jr. and--believe me--it's hurts me more than it hurts her. 

I realize that I didn't exactly grow up in an age known for edgy and well crafted child entertainment.  I'm not going to sit here and tell you that the "Smurfs," "Snorks," "Care Bears" and "Masters of the Universe" were the Golden Age of Saturday morning cartoons.  Heaven forfend that I actually sit here and even mention "Saved by the Bell"...I just threw up a little bit in my mouth at the very thought.

There is, of course, an exception for the Muppets because their fantasticness transcends time periods.

Maybe it's because I'm an older(ish) person watching these kid shows with my daughter that makes me want to either interject logic into the illogical and/or stick my head in a gas oven to just make it go away. 

Bless Dora the Explorer's heart, but she is so damn slow.  If I was a little baby chinchilla counting on Dora and her monky to get me home to my chinchilla family, I would be completely screwed.  Curses, foiled by yellow, red and blue paths!  I often find myself wanting to scream at the TV, "It's the blue path, dammit!  Can you not see the crocodiles on the red path and the Great Scary Canyon on the yellow path?  They're right the hell in front of you!"  The the little baby whatevers that she "rescues" every show would do better to check with when trying to return home.

In my book, "Yo Gabba Gabba" actually trumps the "Teletubbies" when it comes to freaky-assed kid shows that have to be transmitting subliminal messages to children.  For starters, it's great to encourage kids to try new foods,  but to actually show the food in the stomach and swimming around in bile while singing "There's a party in my tummy, yummy, yummy!" is a total appetite killer.  Also, if RuPaul wants to do a kids' show, great, but I hoped that she would have better fashion sense than to run around in an orange track suit with what I can only compare to a Ronald McDonald reject wig for a hat.

While we're on the subject of unappetizing, I don't care if the rat in "Ratatoille" is a benign Disney character and I don't care that he can cook better Emeril.  What it boils down to is that there's a rat in the kitchen and that is nasty.  Period.

I can cast aspersions at kiddie shows well into the middle of next week, but I have to admit that daytime TV for grown-ups is just as bad, if not worse.  One bright spot is that the tacky kissing cousins and who's my daddy talk shows have ridden off into the sunset, but the bad news is that they have been replaced by court shows with judges picked more for their ability to snap their fingers in a Z formation and swivel their heads like a chicken when cutting down both the plaintiff and defendant.  If I have one more client come to me with chock full with dubious wisdom of Judge Judy, I simply cannot be held responsible for my actions.

Of course, there are always the soaps.  My paralegal inadverntently dug her own grave a couple of months ago when she sagely stated that reality tv was for her generation what soap operas were for my generation.  I felt like I needed to apply to the Gray Panthers or something.  Regardless, it's really quite frightening to turn on a soap opera after about fifteen or sixteen years only to see the show diva looking exactly the same, yet strangely unable to move her mouth or express emotion.  I can almost visualize the crew loading her back up into refrigerated storage when filming wraps for the day.

Yeah...I think I'm gonna go snuggle back up in the bed, crack open a good book and wait for these cooties to vacate the premises.

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