5 Kids Shows that Parents HATE
If your child hasn't discovered any of these yet, make sure they don't!
Even the best kids show can grow annoying if it becomes your child’s favorite, but parents, siblings, relatives, and babysitters know that while some kids shows are alright, and occasionally even enjoyable, there are some that seem to have been designed specifically with parental torment in mind. Here’s my countdown of five of the worst offenders.
5. Max and Ruby
Max is a virtually nonverbal three year old rabbit, and his sister Ruby is an insufferably controlling seven year old. They have no parents. Ruby is Max’s sole caregiver, an extremely frustrating task for a seven year old, and the strain shows. Max is a brat, who does not listen to his sister, and often wanders off. Ruby is equally obnoxious; condescending and self-centered, she often ignores Max and his attempts to communicate with her. Neither child is an appropriate role model for any child of any age. Far from a loving sibling relationship, as the show advertises, it is in fact a recipe for disaster, which is exactly what the show is.
4. Thomas and Friends
Reverend Wilbert Awdry’s lovable capitalist drones compete to be the most efficient workers for Sir Topham Hatt, receiving nothing in return. Sir Topham Hatt himself is capital personified. He never works, instead only touring his island, looking almost exactly like Uncle Pennybags, encouraging the anthropomorphized trains to compete with one another to be “really, useful engines.” The trains themselves have the capacity to be quite cruel to one another, and every episode is built around at least one of the trains, usually Thomas himself, making bad choices, receiving Sir Topham Hatt’s displeasure, then halfheartedly making amends without ever suffering actual consequences. Often the bad choices are part of a scheme to appear more useful to Topham Hatt than the other trains. Thomas and Friends is either a model of capitalism, or a model of Stockholm Syndrome, or perhaps an ingenious combination of the two.
Caillou fails to meet virtually every criteria for a proper children’s show. The title character is an unexplainedly bald four year old Canadian boy. He is insufferably whiny, and his parents are unrealistically patient with him, leading some to fear a new generation of Canadian psychopaths is on the way. There is rarely a discernible purpose to any of the episodes. The educational value is minimal, and entirely incidental. It’s just a show about the random events in a four year old’s life, and his general incapacity to handle it. And his voice is nauseating.
2. Little Einsteins
Virulently anti-science, Little Einsteins is a show in which four kids use classical music to defy the natural laws of the universe and accomplish random missions. They fly around in a rocket that is controlled by patting one’s thighs to the correct tempo. Every problem they encounter can be solved by singing a song, performing a dance, playing an instrument, or conducting with a baton. The music-themed solution is usually only tenuously linked to its problem. Most of the singing isn’t even in tune. The exposure to the arts that this show provides is more than cancelled out by the complete disregard for science. In the very first episode, Saturn (clearly visible, appearing approximately the size of the moon in the DAYLIGHT) lost a ring, which somehow fell to earth, and was portrayed as a solid yellow ring about the size of a hula hoop. When asked, my three year old was able to point out the flaws. The show’s commitment to classical music is apparently matched by its commitment to classical scientific understanding.
1. Tayo the Little Bus
This South Korean cartoon is only available on YouTube and Netflix, so if your child hasn’t found it in either of those places, for the love of all that is good in this world, make sure they never do. My daughter not only found it, she has decreed that it is her favorite. My suffering is endless. Though it gets the #1 spot on my list, in many ways it’s not all that bad. The episodes often have a plot, and often even have some sort of valuable social lesson associated with them. The show is very strange… The main characters are buses, but they’re kids, being trained by the older buses. Most of the characters are vehicles of one sort or another, but there are human characters too. But it’s the voices that really ruin this potentially decent show. The dialogue is bizarre, the voices are screechingly annoying, and the characters continually make monosyllabic noises, variations of “huh?” that soon achieve nails on chalkboard levels of irritating. I shudder and feel slightly ill just thinking about it…