'Handy Manny' hanky panky? When parents overthink kids' TV
If you have kids, chances are, you watch kids’ TV. After a while, all of that children’s programming will likely raise some questions. Questions like: Where are Max and Ruby’s parents?
A business writer at Forbes, who also happens to be the father of a "Thomas the Train" enthusiast, found himself pondering the Island of Sodor’s economy. Despite regular viewings, he can’t figure out how Sir Topham Hatt turns a profit with his inefficient railway. Why pay for all of those drivers when the trains are clearly capable of driving themselves? Isn’t it inefficient for the useful engines to routinely haul such small loads? Why is Sir Topham Hatt putting forth private capital to build a Search and Rescue station, which should be a government enterprise?
Once you go down the rabbit hole of pondering Sodor’s sketchy economic system, there’s no going back. Shows like Barney and Teletubbies raise questions right away – namely, what kind of hallucinogens were the creators on when they thought of these things? But for most shows, the real questions only come after repeated viewings.
"Dora the Explorer": While Dora repeatedly asks viewers “Where are we going?,” her show makes many of us ask other questions. Questions like – why is that monkey wearing boots? What’s up with the klepto fox? And, aren’t her parents taking this free-range parenting thing a bit far?
"Go, Diego, Go!": Clearly lack of supervision runs in the family. Isn’t 8 years old a bit young to be running an animal rescue center? Yes, he has the help of his sister, but she’s only 11. Most kids that age can’t be trusted to reliably walk the family dog, let alone run an entire operation.
"Dinosaur Train": How did that T-Rex egg ever make its way into a Pteranodon nest to begin with? And, not to be too gruesome, but does Buddy ever have to resist the primal urge to attack his adoptive family? Maybe one day on a very special episode of "Dinosaur Train" …
"Strawberry Shortcake": First things first, let’s just acknowledge that this is one berry, berry annoying show. But, why is it that Custard the cat can talk but Pupcake the dog can’t? Reminiscent of old Goofy/Pluto debate when you think about it.
"Yo Gabba Gabba": Yo whatta whatta? What on earth is DJ Lance Rock on, anyways? Do you think he has the same dealer as the Teletubbies guys?
"Sesame Street": The show’s dealt with homelessness, natural disasters and divorce. Isn’t it time to address Baby Bear’s speech impediment? And, what’s the deal with Mr. Noodle? He seems like just the kind of guy most parents warn their kids about.
"Handy Manny": Soap operas aren’t the only daytime TV shows rife with sexual tension. Who hasn’t wondered if Handy Manny and Wendy will ever hook up? Wendy’s Christmas party promised to be the perfect opportunity, but of course Manny got busy helping everyone around town. Ah, he’s such a good guy, but if he doesn’t watch out, he could wind up missing out on a great romance. What is it with these handy cartoon characters and their leading ladies? You just know something’s going on with Bob the Builder and Wendy after-hours in the yard…
"The Smurfs": Really? One female for that whole village? We don’t even want to think about the implications.
Dana Macario is a Seattle-area mom who has wondered if Lotso from Toy Story 3 is really a Taliban leader, the way he and his henchmen drive around Sunnyside in the back of pick-ups, terrorizing the local toy populace.