I have a bad tendency to wax nostalgic over things that I knew in my younger days. I’m really not that old…how did this happen? Cartoons are an especially easy target. The cartoons of the 30’s were drawn more artfully, the cartoons of the 60’s were cooler, etc….on and on, spouting opinions like they were something more than something everybody has.
Now two of our children are almost grown…driving around and going to “big kid’s school”…and every once in a while I’ll hear them talk about things back in the day…like Pokemon or some other “old” cartoon that just was a little better than what’s coming around now. (They’ll say, “Awww…we never liked Pokemon!!!! What are you saying?” and I’ll have to tell them it was just an example.)
One of our children is still pretty little. This fact brings me to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. It’s based on Fred Roger’s Neighborhood and it is a wonderful show. Each episode covers an “issue” that a little guy or girl might be going through…like trying something new…or, especially helpful at our house right now, going to the potty. They sing a little song that we’ve adopted as a reminder:
“When you have to go potty…STOP and go right away! Flush and wash and be on your way!”
It’s a simple, simple, simple thing….but hard for a little one in the middle of building the tallest block tower ever to remember. I’m a big fan of this show. I am a huge Backyardigans fan. Children’s programming right now offers some amazing choices. Daniel Tiger is shown on PBS…and like my wife’s favorite grown up show, “Love it or List it”, we don’t miss it if we don’t have to.
Which brings me to the Flintstones. Oh, back in the day we watched us some Flintstones, Now! But…it really wasn’t all that …all that. It was funny, sure…It was a fresh concept at the time, sure…but good grief…I use Hanna-Barbera as my example of the low water mark for animation. It wasn’t all that great. Kind of like watching a rerun of an old Seinfeld show…leaves you wondering what you thought was so hilarious the first time around. The animation in any of the Hanna-Barbera stuff was flat and workmanlike….it got the job done but didn’t elevate…didn’t bring any new beauty to the table. The humor was sort of accessible for kids, I guess…but… (I just realized that the Flintstones was originally a primetime show…like our modern day Simpsons…so being a “kids show” might not have been an issue at the time…but DANGIT….it’s a kids show now so I’ll stand fast on my opinion).
Fred and Wilma are icons. They are fond memories. My little one likes to watch them on occasion …but they aren’t Daniel Tiger.
I guess when you get down to the root of my displeasure…it’s to be a grown man and realize that there was not a single show on television in my era that helped me learn to go to the potty. It’s a skill that I’ve pretty much mastered by now…so it’s not really an issue…but I’m more aware of my lack of television based training having seen Daniel Tiger’s teachings.
I do know how to run a car off the power of my feet, but the Flintstones taught me exactly ZERO about going to the potty. Thanks for nothing, Fred.