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Dora the Explorer and Diego


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#1 coolrock

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:22 AM

If there was ever an animated version of an argument for stronger immigration laws, these two shows are it. My pre-school son, normally possessed of pretty good taste, loves these shows, and if you've got kids under twelve, you have undoubtedly endured them as well. While I have parent friends who like the idea of the kids picking up a little espanol, the only redeeming value I can see is that watching them back-to-back gives me an excellent excuse for taking another Vicodin. Where do I begin? LOUD! LOUD! LOUD! No one in either of these shows speaks in a normal tone of voice, they are constantly yelling at the top of their lungs. The people who do the voices must be spraying Chloraseptic like pesticides on a cornfield. Not content with screaming themselves, Diego and Dora are constantly exhorting your kid to scream also. In Spanish, usually. "Say 'Ayuda'!" "Louder!" "Louder!" Yeah, just what you want when you have kids; more fucking noise. BIZARRE CHARACTERS/PLOT LINES Boots, Dora's sidekick, is a monkey wearing pink boots, looking pretty much like a DT hallucination, the kind of thing that would appear on your ceiling if you were going through some kind of substance withdrawal. They frequently encounter a troll with a long beard and no trousers, his beard tastefully obscuring his revolting troll genitalia. The sole representative of the criminal element, a kleptomaniac (and highly unsuccessful) fox with a bondage mask, Swiper ( I like to call him A.S. Swiper), can be thwarted by your child screaming at the TV screen, saving Boots from being robbed of his worldly monkey possessions, and god only knows what he would do to that poor Dora. Diego, frequently working the rainforest, has his hands full with animals that would obviously kill themselves into extinction if not for human interference. The animals are constantly fucking up---getting trapped, falling into rapids, losing their families----thank god Diego is here to ensure their safety and the arrogance of the human race. At least in (the far superior) Wonder Pets, it's animals saving the other animals. Who are also constantly fucking up. FORCE-FEEDING SPANISH Like a goose being prepared for foix-gras, the hapless audience has Spanish shoved down their throats with funnel and a broomstick. "No! Say it in Spanish!" Diego admonishes the confused toddlers, who are probably still struggling with English. "Now, louder! In Spanish!" These aren't requests, mind you, these are commands. I don't mind kids learning another language, but, hey, how 'bout French once in a while? Or Mandarin? Oh yeah. Because Diego is in the Rainforest , where the dominant language is, of course, PORTUGESE!!!! YOU CONTROL THE ACTION/ ASK A STUPID QUESTION Remember the opening credits for "The Outer Limits"? "WE will control the television, etc..." This is the opposite. The viewer (kid) is in charge of the action. "Tell the bobos, 'No, Bobos!" "Again!" "Louder!" "Tell the lemurs, 'Jump, Lemurs!'" "Louder!" The assumption being, once again, that if your kid doesn't scream at the television screen, the poor lemurs are going to fall to a grisly death. If only Diego, just once, could follow up with some sarcasm: "Great. Now look what you did, you little pendejos. You didn't yell loud enough, and you killed the lemurs. Muy male! Malisimo! Pinche ninos!" The high (headache) moment of the Diego show is when the "Rescue Pack", accompanied by a jacked-up, timbale-pounding, migraine-level salsa soundtrack, shows up to demonstrate that all problems can be solved by a knapsack that can turn into anything, from a roach clip to a helicopter. What follows is a series of questions that are insulting, even to a three year old: "Now, if Diego wants to cross the river, which should he use? a. A can-opener b. A boat. " Seriously, the questions are that stupid. No easy feat, mind you, to insult the intelligence of a pre-schooler. Whew, I guess I'm done now. Adios!
As the psychiatrist said to the man wearing nothing but Saran-Wrap, "I can clearly see you're nuts."

#2 ParticleHustler

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:55 AM



#3 Agrimorfee

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 08:56 AM

Gimme Blue's Clues instead. Or even Super Y.

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#4 ParticleHustler

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 09:26 AM

I've seen more than my fair share of kids' shows, and I'd say without question the best one is Arthur. It hits on multiple age group levels (Arthur for older kids, DW for younger ones), it's not preachy, whiny, stupid, etc., and is fairly intelligent while teaching lessons/making good points that kids can understand and learn from. Too bad it's squirreled away on PBS while my kids watch reruns of Suite Life. Our 4 year old loves Max and Ruby, though. But Dora is pretty big with her, too.

#5 pong

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 10:12 AM

I'd say my kids would probably give both shows a C+, if they were so inclined.

#6 MattW

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 10:23 AM

I don't have kids, I have nieces and nephews that love this show, Backyardigans, and Little Einsteins. The LOUD thing is something you won't get around with kid shows. Over the top perkiness has been a staple in children's TV for decades. I'll side with you on some of the interventionist ideas that are well-meaning but potentially confusing. The interactive element is something I like. Watching kids sit through a Disney movie is a strange and frightening thing. They become zombies. With the interactive element, at least I know their brains are working. It encourages kids to take an initiative. Of course my perspective is a little skewed because as Uncle Matt, I get the privilege of saying 'goodbye' or stepping outside before I lose my mind without causing much trauma.

#7 Rob Gordon

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 10:27 AM

I was going to post that SNL bit. My son and I get such a laugh out of that.
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#8 coolrock

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 02:02 PM

Backyardigans



I'm really beginning to like this show----now, those characters aren't screaming all the time---they are actually talking in rather dulcet tones for most of it.
I just noticed (if you can read the speed-of-sound credits---what's up wid dat?) that the sax player who replaced Steve (los lobos) Berlin in the Coolrock band (circa 1981), Doug Wieselmann, does a lot of the music, which is outstanding, for this show. Some guy named Evan Lurie does the rest. God damn. All these people I used to share stages with in LA; Weiselmann, the Elf-man, Mark Mothersbough (very busy in kid's TV)-----fuck, I coulda been a contender, instead of a one-way ticket to Schmuckville.
Anybody ever says, "I wouldn't change a thing, if I had to do it over again, would you?" ---I gotta fix them a nice knuckle sammich.
As the psychiatrist said to the man wearing nothing but Saran-Wrap, "I can clearly see you're nuts."

#9 elcorazon

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 02:18 PM

Hey vamanos, everybody let's go!!! coolrock, you need to stop watching tv with your kids. let them be on their own for awhile. on a side note, I think cable is really a bad thing for kids because as younguns, there are always shows on designed for little kids. Nick, Disney or occasionally some other networks allow kids to just assume there will ALWAYS be something on designed specifically for their age cohort. When I was a kid, I watched the same network shows my folks watched, much of the time. Kids these days don't even watch The Simpsons because it's not on Disney or Nick. That is some bad news. FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman -7.5/10
Dusty Springfield - Dusty in Memphis 8.5/10
Buddy & Julie Miller - Written in Chalk wow, first listen, but great great record! 9.3/10
Justin Townes Earle - Midnight at the Moviessurprisingly great, never picked up his past releases, but this one's knocking my socks off right away, 8.7/10
M. Ward - Hold Time 8.0/10
Neko Case -Middle Cyclone her best I've heard is my initial impression, but too soon to rate, haven't had a really good listen yet 7.8/10

#10 Complain

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 03:02 PM

My kids went through a Dora/Diego phase too, but now even my 5-year-old won't watch them. They're into Baby Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, and Scooby-Doo now.

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#11 ParticleHustler

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 03:06 PM

My daughter started watching Drake and Josh about a year ago, and then I found out that Drake Bell is actually a talented power pop-ish singer/songwriter, so I bought one of his CDs, and now my 4 and 9 year old daughters and I sing along to his songs when we're in the car. If someone had told me 20 years ago I would have just typed that last sentence, I either would have laughed for 30 minutes straight, or shot myself. Or both.

#12 undo

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 12:28 AM

I've seen more than my fair share of kids' shows, and I'd say without question the best one is Arthur. It hits on multiple age group levels (Arthur for older kids, DW for younger ones), it's not preachy, whiny, stupid, etc., and is fairly intelligent while teaching lessons/making good points that kids can understand and learn from. Too bad it's squirreled away on PBS while my kids watch reruns of Suite Life.


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#13 Slackmo

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 12:51 AM

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#14 Rad Monkey

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 07:06 PM

So when you live on continent surrounded by 19 countries that speak spanish, I say speak spanish. But yeah, speaking to Quebecois is way more important. ;) Although I'm fluent and I can't stand shows like these because I just hear the same thing twice with slightly different nuance and syntax each time. So I can't really say how annoying it is, but I'm sure it is. But thats because it's kid show, Barney was just as bad and in some ways worse. But this show also helps kids learn english, so think about that. It's pretty popular in Latin America and Spain. After studying french and japanese in high school I managed to master neither of them. I should really try again, I have friends who speak Spanish almost as well as me who learned it through HS and college. One friend learned spanish and is on her way of learning Mandarin. My dilettantism strikes again! edit: Although thats not completely true, I could never read or write spanish worth a damn until high school. So there!!! Although I still make up false cognate like a gringo all the time.


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#15 zolacolby

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 11:33 PM

Since Dora was an explorer, I always just assumed that Diego was of 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego' fame in cartoon form. Thanks for setting me straight.
"Maybe I should follow you around and smartify everything you say." "in barlight she looked allright, in daylight she looked desperate." "I'm gonna shower in that shit"

#16 Agrimorfee

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 08:48 AM

I actually really got into Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman over the past year.

"Is everyone on here just an act sometimes?"--Hummingbird

Read all of my stupid song parodies here. Latest song improved/ruined: "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Alice Cooper.

 

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