Sunday, 17 November 2013

NWR Editorial: 50 'Greatest' Kids TV Shows



On November 8th 2013, channel five, a television station in the UK had aired their list of '50 Greatest Kids TV Shows'. Although there are shows that deserve the top spots such as Thunderbirds, Bagpuss and Blue Peter, but shows like Postman Pat, Sooty and even Thomas the Tank Engine were being overshadowed and they are of course in the same category, long running and successful UK kids shows (Sooty has been around for 65 years and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for 'Longest running kids show' in the UK, Postman Pat has been around for 32 years and Thomas has been around for nearly 30 years, on the television screens, nearly 70 years with the Railway Series books) and they've been snubbed down in lower positions:

Postman Pat: 49th 
Sooty: 42nd
Thomas: 34th 

Yet an overrated show like Peppa Pig received top spot at 6th position. In my opinion, if there are any parents here who have kids who love Peppa Pig please be advised that I'm having my own critical opinion here about the show, the show's writing is atrocious. It is filled with repetition, the voice actors are bland, minus Brain Blessed, and not much moral value in the show (there may as well be some but what is the moral about shopping?) Yet a show like Thomas the Tank Engine, in the classic series as they were focusing upon that in the show, has better morals that both kids and adults can learn from. There are many good morals that kids today can learn from the show:

The Sad Story of Henry:
- Respect your elders (such as the Fat Controller)
- Vanity comes last 

 Thomas and Gordon:
- Teasing doesn't make you useful/What comes around goes around

   Dirty Work:
- Jumping to conclusions before knowing the truth

- Helping someone in need

Oliver Owns Up:
- Pride comes last

These are the moral values that comes to mind and are perfect for children to learn from, despite that 'journalists' and 'experts' bash the first one through the overrated 'communist criticism' over the years. It seems that this 'list' of kids shows only care about marketability of a certain pig instead of long running classical shows and there are some shows, like Fireman Sam, that has been well over looked and so has Wallace and Gromit, they are regarded as something for kids. Fireman Sam should've been on the list for its excellent moral value on fire safety, even today's episodes in CGI have great moral value as well as the classical episodes from the 1980's. Wallace and Gromit have been praised by critics, fans and people alike over the years with its Agatha Christie style story lines too. The BBC's Timeshift programme praise Thomas to bring young children the interest of steam and railway heritage as well as model railways. 

Another thing I don't like from the list were the people who gave their own points and views on TTTE. Even though they have they're allowed to have their opinions, they seem to talk about, for example, why Britt Allcroft hired Ringo Starr. One person giving his point on Ringo talking slowly, which I have to disagree on that cause Ringo had good pacing around the 1st series, but he got better during the second season and one presenter talking about the Fat Controller, 'Are you allowed to say the Fat Controller anymore?' watch the recent series and you'll see, and the woman at the end could've, but to me obviously, been implying that kids aren't smart enough to know what trains (engines) do. When I was a kid I knew what an engine can do; seeing them carrying passengers and freight by going past me and seeing them on video or DVDs. They don't really give their points on the show's writing or moral value and is that what these lists are suppose to be about? But I give credit to milkshake for using the classic intro, if only they aired the classic episodes on their channel as well as ABC here in Australia, last time I saw a classic episode on television is 'Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure' in 2004 during Christmas.

In conclusion, this list is not the best and even though I'm a fan of Thomas, I do see brilliance from a children's show by its writing and teachings for children then something, like Peppa Pig, as a marketable show with its bland story lines and voice acting, I know that S13-16 of TTTE had its share of bad story lines from 2010-2012 that lost its touch, but the list show is more focused on what the classical series had done over the years between 1984-2003 and not the recent series and if those people think of the show like that, then they've missed out on some good ones.