Dialling Up the Creepy in Kids TV

Cross-posted from: Never Trust a jellyfish
Originally published: 05.02.16

Do you own a TV? Do you have a toddler or two running around the place? Then chances are you’ve been forced to watch some toddler-friendly, heavy on primary colours kids TV channels from time to time.

However, despite it’s annoying manically happy vibes and its tendency to break the fourth wall every 2 mins, in general, kids TV isn’t all that bad, in small doses anyway.

kids-tv

Some shows though, some shows end up inadvertently leaving sanity behind and descending into the realm of the downright creepy. Now I know the obviously questionable shows on ‘kids channels’ and know how to spot them (anyone remember ‘Cow and Chicken’?) but sometimes a show seems tame enough till you really start watching it and realise the implications of what’s happening.

Why am I suddenly dissecting kids shows for their implications you ask? Well, it started out normally enough with turning on the TV and switching to Lilly’s de facto channel of choice: Sprout. Now Sprout is a great preschooler channel and I would completely endorse it for anyone looking for a kids friendly channel. This day in particular though had a show on that I hadn’t really seen (or paid attention to) before: Noodle and Doodle.

noodle-and-doodle

Noodle and Doodle is a typical enough kids show on the surface: A friendly host with a puppet sidekick who travel around the country helping kids with simple crafts projects and cooking easy and healthy snacks. The more I watched it though, the creepier it started to seem.

First off is the host:

comedysportz-roach

I don’t know about you but that slightly crazy-eyed smile he’s got going there really started to creep me out a few minutes into the show.

Next comes the premise: the host Sean and his puppet co-host Noodle drive around in their (seemingly) windowless RV, inviting kids into the said RV with promises of ‘fun times’ and snacks.

Somehow this is starting to sound more like the premise for a late-night PSA on child safety than a fun kids show.

Next, you realise that the kids never see Noodle but only hear about him from Sean who promises them that the friendly puppet is upstairs working on some ‘special treats’ for the kids.

Ok then.

Lastly, the kids never see the ‘snacks’ being made. No, Sean goes upstairs to make the snacks with Noodle before coming back down into the windowless lower story of the RV and offering the ‘special’ snack to the kids.

noodle-and-doodle
pictured: the windowless white van 2.0

I don’t know about you, but this is starting to read like a what-not-to-do guide for kids and the run-up to a cautionary tale about the dangers of entering windowless vehicles owned by smiling strangers offering ‘special treats’.

So yes, I don’t know exactly what the execs at Sprout were thinking when this premise was pitched to them, but it is definitely not a show I would want Lilly to watch or to learn from..

 

Never trust a jellyfish:  I am an Anthropologist by training, a housewife by choice, a voracious reader, a lover of fantasy fiction and Sci-Fi, a new mommy, an observer of human nature, a closet optimist and a cupcake enthusiast. I write about all of the above and anything that might strike my fancy :)

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