I’m starting to wonder a little bit about the genres of children’s music and programming. It actually started with all those videos on Noggin. These bands make my husband crazy because clearly many of these performers are just failed indie pop musicians. I say – hey, good for you for finding a niche and making some mad moniez. Drew gets annoyed because it seems many of the songs are just repackaged goofy songs that might have been played on any college tour. (Drew has several of his own songs that would qualify for this. I think he should send them on and maybe he can perform with The Dirty Sock Funtime Band. Mmm. Preschool ska.) They’re not children’s songs, they’re simple songs that work as kids’ music.
And now I find that this for-kids-but-really-grown-ups-thing is extending into children’s programming. A couple weeks ago I started seeing these short promos for a new show that will be airing on Noggin and Nick Jr. in August. I think all four of us were in the living room together, actually when we saw these super crazy monsters start singing along while a DJ in a fantastic orange get-up spins. I believe I joked that they must be scouting out NYC clubs for new children’s acts now.
At any rate, the show is called Yo Gabba Gabba! It might be what happens if you take the Banana Splits out for the night and get them drunk. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I don’t want to give that impression! (Because how fun would drunk puppets be?) It’s just all a little strange. You should have seen the confused looks on the faces of my children as we watched the monsters shake their groove things. I’m incredibly compelled by these little songs and I think the monsters are super cute. But come on — give a listen to Party In My Tummy (MP3) and tell me you don’t see yourself blasting that in your dorm room as you dance on the desk after sucking down a couple tumblers of vodka and cran (ahem… because that wasn’t just me, right?) I love how cool this looks, but honestly I think it’s out there to appeal to the parents just as much as the kids. (This, from the woman who has Wubbzy listed as one of her MySpace friends.) I don’t know where I’m going with this train of thought, really. I think maybe I’m too tired to be trying to compose.
I guess I just find it all a little strange. I think about the shows I watched as a kid and as far as “educational” TV it was Sesame St., Mr. Rogers, The Electric Company, and 3-2-1 Contact. Electric Company would possibly qualify as entertaining for adults, but not at this level. Man, we were deprived! Or, perhaps it is really our parents who suffered?