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Alright. We need to have a serious talk about this.

Why do current TV networks think that children are stupid?

I can’t be the only one who’s noticed this and I really hope that I’m not the only one who’s angry about this. Why are so many shows on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel putting out a bunch of colorful nonsense that will keep children occupied? Some of the shows on these lists are alright, some are bad, and some are downright terrible. In my opinion (and it seems like this is backed up by the ratings) there are only two good shows from these two channels: Legend of Korra and Gravity Falls. But we’ll get to those two in a minute.

Again, this isn’t saying that every show these two companies produce is bad. This is to acknowledge that…well…a lot of them are. And in my opinion, it comes down to two things:

  • ·     Either the creators/writers/studios don’t understand children
  • ·     Or…The creators/writers/studios have stopped caring

And I honestly don’t know which bullet it worse. But it seems to be true in a lot of these cases. The creators of many of these shows don’t seem to understand children at all. Which brings me back to my first question: Why do they think that children are stupid?

After all, that’s what they’re putting on the air. Stupid, pointless, nonsense that’s almost insulting. Do they not understand that children are intelligent? Do they not understand that children love being challenged? Do they not understand that children love shows that can make them think, that can make them feel, that treat them like their intelligent, etc.?

Do they not understand that children love shows like Legend of Korra and Gravity Falls?

These two shows are fantastic! Absolutely fantastic! Do they have their flaws? Sure. But man, do they pull through in the end. These two shows know that children aren’t merely dumb sacks of meat that need to be entertained for a few hours. These shows aren’t afraid to take risks and to be mature. Because they know that children can take it. They know that children are brilliant. These shows have amazing messages. Legend of Korra…I have never seen a show with greater themes than Avatar and Legend of Korra. Themes about philosophy, morality, friendship, family, death, life, etc. And Gravity Falls has some pretty amazing themes too. Both shows have their lighter, funnier, moments but when they want to be mature, they don’t hold back. They don’t sugar-coat things. They don’t treat children like they’re idiots. Why do I keep repeating that? Because it’s important! Children are not idiots! Children are brilliant and they deserve to have shows that are just as brilliant as they are! Like Legend of Korra and Gravity Falls.

And the creators/writers/actors/animators behind these two shows put in the effort. They care. They care so much. (In the case of Legend of Korra, they probably care a bit too much which is really disheartening when the studio throws them under the bus but I digress.) They put so much time and effort into their shows. Because they know that their shows stand for something more than just something that you can stick your kid in front of for a few hours.

They stand for so much more…

And I’m really glad to see that out of every single current programming that’s on these two channels, these two shows have the highest ratings. Because they’ve earned them. This is what children want to see, folks. I’ve listed all of the reasons, but honestly it comes down to this:

Children want shows that aren’t going to insult their intelligence.

Now, does every other show on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel insult children’s intelligence? No. (Although I have seen intriguing studies which shows that Spongebob might actually do this literally. Seriously, type Spongebob IQ into Google. Fascinating, isn’t it?) But I think it’s safe to say that these two studios might not be focusing on the right shows. And it might even be safe to say that some studios are focusing on the wrong shows.

Either these studios really don’t understand children. Or they’ve stopped caring.

Or both.

And that’s depressing.

Obit of the Day: Fraggle Rock's Human

Every episode of Fraggle Rock (1983-1987) began with a trip through the window of the slightly befuddled tinkerer, “Doc,” under whose work shed lived a world of Fraggles, Doozers, and Gorgs. Alongside his trusty Muppet dog Sprocket, Doc, played by Gerard Parkes, appeared in all 96 episodes of the Jim Henson production.

Mr. Parkes was born in Dublin and moved to Canada in the 1950s to make his mark in acting. Beginning in radio, eventually Mr. Parkes moved to the stage and screen - and had success in both venues. In 1968 he won the a Canadian Film Award as Best Actor for his work in the film Isabel. More than three decades later he won a Dora for his performance in the play Kilt

For much of his career he played small, but impactful, parts in a variety of television shows and films. He appeared in several episodes of Shining Time Station, and many know him for his other “Doc” role in 1999’s The Boondock Saints.

But he loved that his best-known role was on Fraggle Rock. His agent was quoted as saying, “He had a thrill doing that show….It was one of those roles that hit a chord with kids and adults.”

Gerard Parkes died on October 19, 2014 at the age of 90.

Sources: CBC, Toronto Star, IMDB.com

(Image of Gerard Parkes as “Doc” and Sprocket, played by Steve Whitmire who has played Kermit and Ernie since Jim Henson’s death, circa 1983 is courtesy of the Muppet Wiki)

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