I had been meaning to write about the world of CBeebies and children’s television for some time and the @thehorwells inspired me to get on and write after I had seen their thoughts and musings while watching everyone’s favourite children’s programming (you can read their view here: https://thehorwells.wordpress.com/)
There are, for me, three recurrent themes through most of the programming on CBeebies – incompetence, irresponsibility and irrationality which sit alongside the other dark elements that people notice (check out #cbeebiesdarkthoughts on Twitter if you haven’t done so already). The following are my observations:
Show Me, Show Me
Is it just me, or does Poi look a little like she is being held against her will by Chris in some kind of eternal children’s playground hell? When she asks us to “show me, show me” – is it code for “save me, save me”? There’s a sort of sadness in her eyes… something about the scenario just puts me on edge! Perhaps she’s happy there… perhaps because of Stockholm Syndrome?
There is so much that I could write about Bing – I’m not quite sure where to start. What is Flop? Why are the adults smaller than the children? When do the children “turn” into adults – they’re obviously different creatures? There’s a fair bit of hate for Bing on #cbeebiesdarkthoughts so if you too are a Bing hater – I urge you to check it out. Let’s start with how blooming mardy this kid is! He has a whinge about absolutely everything. He wants his own way all the time, has a tantrum if he doesn’t get his own way. Then there’s Flop. The ridiculously, freakishly calm Flop who panders to Bing’s every whim. I often avoid watching Bing as it makes my brain start to melt and I find myself shouting at the telly. Why does no one ever tell Bing off? The other day, for instance, he smashed Flop’s smart phone and then just hid it in the bin and pretended nothing had happened… Flop just calmly got it out of the bin and said that everything was ok! No. No Flop. It is not ok. Also, in a recent episode, Bing just casually shoplifted and ate a lollipop… rather than being told that his behaviour was inappropriate by Flop, Flop just paid for the lollipop and again said it was all ok! No. No Flop. It is not ok! Shoplifting is bad! Finally, not every bloody thing is a Bing thing! Except for being mardy… being mardy most definitely is a Bing thing!
I have found on a personal level, many issues with Peter Rabbit and his whole gang… and also his mother. These “children” are constantly “on the rob” attempting to steal from Mr McGregor and bring home their “stash” to good old mummy bunny back at home… Mummy Bunny never seems to question where the items come from, more often that not she praises the children for bringing home these beautiful wares. I think that Mummy Bunny is actually the proper Matriarch of some elaborate mafia-style criminal organisation who recruits children to steal for her and send messages out to members of the community. She’s wanting everyone to live in fear of her! Then there’s the wanton vandalism that these children perform on a regular basis. They generally terrorize the whole community and clearly take advantage of Squirrel Nutkins who’s obviously suffering from some kind of mental breakdown. If ever there were a group of children worthy of ASBOs it was these bunnies!
Ok – not specifically a programme but a person instead… Andy has his fingers in all of the pies and seems to be able to successfully hold down a multitude of jobs but I honestly don’t understand how he has managed to do so. He is completely incompetent and relies on everyone else (and his bloody gizmos) to save the day. He’s forever losing or breaking historical artifacts and is then the king of overkill as rather than using his time machine to go back 10 minutes to just before he broke/lost something therefore preventing the loss/break, he has to travel back eleventy-billion years instead! Also, I am rather suspicious of the Island he works on run by a Mr Hammond? Clever thinking by the creators of this programme I have to admit… I wonder if one is a Jurassic Park fan?
In The Night Garden
The compulsory mention of In The Night Garden for anyone writing about CBeebies… there are lots of things in this acid-trip programme that really melt my brain. However, I have managed to whittle it down to a few safeguardging/health and safety observations for a slight variation on usual discussions:
- The Pontypines and Wattingers: These people are FOREVER losing their children. It’s not just a one off – these kids get lost on a regular basis. Surely it’s time for Social Services to get involved? Someone do the right things and call them in – these parents need some support!
- Upsy Daisy: there’s always something mildly concerning about a girl who is constantly lifting up her skirt to flash her knickers on a whim… also, she’s quite careless with where she leaves her bed… so entirely “safety first” there Upsy Daisy.
- Makka Pakka: general thief of garden ornaments… guard all of yours stones people! and a washer of other peoples faces, often uninvited, with a sponge/cloth that is of questionable hygiene
- The Tombliboos: another bunch of strippers… constantly taking off their trousers and walking around naked – what’s that all about?!
- Iggle Piggle: this kid just needs to get rid of his grotty blankie and got the $£&$ to sleep
- The Tittifers: does anyone else find these birds more than a little unsettling? I mean they “sing” a rather eerie and slightly painful tune, all the while nodding like a mistreated zoo animal who’s been kept in a cage that’s too small would!
- Why does no one wear a seatbelt on the clearly dangerous methods of transportation that are the Ninky Nonk and Pinky Ponk?
Waffle the Wonder Dog
I don’t know about you, but I’m a little bit concerned that no one is looking after Mrs Hobbs. She’s clearly deranged and is heading into some form of psychotic break. The Brooklyn-Bell blended family really should be taking more care of their elderly neighbour!
Another example of extreme incompetence right here in the form of this clearly struggling Postman who should probably have retired a long time ago! Don’t get me wrong, we have a lot of love for Postman Pat in our house and Jess the Cat especially. However, I do think that Jess the Cat could probably do a better job than Pat. Every episode Pat ends up losing a parcel or getting involved in some kind of village mission-distraction meaning the post is always late!
Theme Tunes and Catchy Songs
Secondary to all of these observations are the wonderful theme tunes and songs that come out of the world of CBeebies.
Raa Raa the Noisy Lion has got, quite possibly, the most versatile theme tune. For my own amusement and entertainment, I often substitute the word “noisy” for some other two-syllable word, often rude in nature to describe Raa Raa (try it yourself, it’s great fun!). When I’m feeling particularly creative, I also substitute “Raa Raa” for another person or item… endless fun!
I often find myself humming the theme tune to the Go Jetters long after the programme has ended and a multitude of other potential ear worms have played out through the TV. I’m not entirely sure why it’s so catchy but it really does stay in my head all day.
The same applies to Swashbuckle… “Hey Ho, Swashbuckle and go, take on the pirates, yo ho ho!”
All of these musical delights really do stick… and speaking of stick (you’re welcome):
What are your #cbeebiesdarkthoughts or general observations? What’s your favourite (or least favourite) theme tune?