What’s the matter with kids’ television?

So, I’m still looking out for Melanie’s replacement on Sprout (and still wanting bring her back, rowr). But in the spirit of moving on, it’s time someone piped up about the state of children’s television these days. (Well, Joel Stein is doing it. But by someone, I mean me.) First, it’s time someone pointed out that Blue’s Clues has totally lost its mojo. It started with Joe replacing Steve, but it got much worse when they introduced Blue’s Room, an end-of-show segment where Blue talked—talked!—to the audience. (As I recall, Blue could speak because she was a unique dog who would rather read than play sports. What, exactly, is wrong with playing sports?) Rumor is they’re creating whole episodes of this annoying talking mutt for broadcast next year. For a chronicle of the show’s slow descent, check out this article. Now, it seems the granddaddy of all kids’ shows is in grave danger of jumping the shark. I’m talking about the introduction of Abby Cadabby on Sesame Street, the first new girl character in 15 years. Cadabby, it seems, is the daughter of some fairy godmother, and at first blush doesn’t seem that pleasant or enjoyable. She just kind of uses her magic wand and wants to impress Elmo (who can be annoying but has his cute moments, too. Check out his pairing with Julia Roberts). Quite frankly, I fail to see the appeal (and so did my kids), and I can find anything Sesame Street does appealing. (Their spoof of 24 last year shows they haven’t lost a step in staying on top of pop culture.)  I thought it was bad when adults began to see Snuffleupagus (what’s wrong with imaginary friends?) back in the ’80s, but this is far, far worse. And don’t even get me started on Zooboomafoo.

—Posted by Aaron Baar

Image © 2006 Sesame Workshop