Today, there will be ranting. And raving.
I’m not sure what inspired me this chilly Friday (when I wrote this) morning, but when I sat down to blog, I started thinking about Charlie growing up…and how I wish I could convince him that the only things to watch on TV are the good things…the old things, like Fraggle Rock and Curious George and Eureka’s Castle. This, of course, brought my mind to the bad things that live on the TV screen. You’d think I’d be worried about the shoot-em-up shows…the Power Rangers beating the crap out of each other… But, no. When it comes to terrible TV for kids, I have one thing to say:
Shame on you, Disney.
You guys remember Disney, right? The company that brought us Sleeping Beauty andCinderella? Singing mice helping heroines get dressed in the morning? Pretty ladies singing beautifully to woodland creatures in the trees? A 13-year-old girl doing nothing but eating a banana on her trendy new internet show?
Waaaaaiiiiit a minute. What? I’m sorry, I thought we were talking about Disney…the beloved Children’s media company…not MTV….because, where I grew up, when we were 13, people joked about bananas because they resembled penises. Yes. I said it. Penises. Now, granted, I went to school in Elwood, NE, but I’m pretty sure the banana/penis correlation is fairly universal. Now, this wasn’t like Curious George eating a banana for sustenance…this was a girl, dressed far older than her age, looking at the camera, giggling, and eating a banana. You can’t tell me the writers, who have jumped through enough hoops and stepped on enough people to land jobs at Disney, don’t possess the faculties to realize that they are slapping an innuendo for oral sex on their super-popular, tween-oriented TV show.
I realize that this may make me sound like a prude, crabby geezer…but I know what kind of theatre I’ve done in college, and I know that sexuality can have its place in entertainment if it’s done appropriately, and I don’t think it’s ever done appropriately on the Disney Channel. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be honest with our kids about sex, but for cripes sake, 4-year-olds watch that channel. If that makes me a prude, crabby geezer, then so be it.
Now, the sexual innuendo’s a pretty easy target. There isn’t much more I can say about it that wouldn’t be beating a dead (aroused) horse. Let’s talk about disrespect. Have you ever watched The Suite Life On Deck? No, seriously, if you’ve ever watched an episode of that and not been completely horrified…then…well, jeesh.
Those kids treat the adults on deck like idiots. The feeling I get from the kid-to-adult relationship is that of the relationship between between kid-and-emotional bully. The kids verbally push the adults around, and the adults kow-tow to them, praying that they’ll simply leave them alone. The kicker of this (and the difference from a bullying situation), however, is that the adults are asking for it. The writers use the adults as a springboard for the kids’ shenanigans. They are written as nothing more than blind, ignorant buffoons, who are a boring necessity, lest Disney let a bunch of 12-year-olds run around on a cruise ship by themselves.
I could go on about this for days…but then you guys would get sick of me. So I won’t. I’ll just sit here and hope that Charlie never finds out about the Disney Channel…and that the parents of his future friends are reading this blog.
Am I the only one who’s noticed this? Are there other Disney shows I need to watch out for?
UPDATE: I realized, a little too late, I think, that I was offensive in a way I did not intend: The town of Elwood, NE is a great place… I just know what kind of jokes my fellow EHS members made, and that’s what I’m basing my comment on… I’m really sorry if I offended any fabulous Elwood residents. Also, apparently iCarly is a Nickelodeon show… so research fail for me.