Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Twenty unsolved mysteries of kid's TV

Due to the multiple illnesses mentioned in my last post, Duckling and I have spent an unhealthy amount of time sitting on the sofa watching children's television over the past few weeks. Mostly the channel stays firmly on cBeebies to escape the insufferable tat-peddling breaks of most other channels, but we have made the occasional foray into Nick Jr, where Duckling has also discovered the joy of Peppa Pig.  Normally I try to do other things while Duckling is watching TV, but his refusal to be parted from me while ill has meant I've had to endure enjoy a far wider range of children's televisual delights than usual.
Now I realise that most programmes aimed at kids are designed to engage young imaginations and inspire a sense of wonderment, but frankly, I think this ambition is too often used as an excuse for inauthentic characterisation, hole-riddled plotlines and stories that lack sufficient exposé, all of which leave the viewer with a series of frustratingly unanswered questions. This fatigued. stir-crazy and slightly grumpy viewer anyway. In the hope that someone out there can help resolve these vexing mysteries, I thought I should put them out there for discussion. Here are my top twenty:
  1. Where do Granny and Grandpa Pig fit in the Peppa Pig family tree? Are they Mummy or Daddy Pig's parents? Both Mummy and Daddy Pig refer to them as "Granny" and "Grandpa", so it's wholly unclear...
  2. Why is Mike The Knight such an insufferable git for the majority of every episode? I understand that the moral is to "Be a Knight and Do It Right" when you've been behaving like a bit of a dick, but surely "take 10 seconds to think about things and avoid pissing everyone off" would be a better message?
  3. Where are Sarah's parents in Sarah and Duck? I remain to be convinced that Duck is a sufficiently responsible guardian.
  4. Talking of, in Bing, what IS Flop? Soft toy come to life? An adult rabbit in a world where everyone shrinks and becomes knitted as they get older? A child's cuddly representation of his much loved nanny? I need to understand the symbolism!
  5. Why does Mr Tumble never, ever remember "The Magic", despite this being a fundamental element of every episode?
  6. Why do the residents of Greendale love Postman Pat so much when he is essentially the cause of everything that goes wrong in the village?
  7. A rocket, fuelled by rhymes? Seriously?
  8. Was Iggle Piggle actually modelled on David Cameron, or is the resemblance just a happy coincidence? (Yes, I know I'm not the first person to notice this, but it still tickles me.)
  9. Is Poi from Show Me Show Me pregnant for all the episodes shot in that weird shop / playroom place, or did she just decide to go with a billowy smock look for most of that series? 
  10. How do Kate's parents remain so unfailing upbeat when confronted with the clearly delusional, hallucinatory tales of their daughter's adventures with Mim Mim?
  11. Does Granny Murray get dressed in the dark? My eyyyyeeees!
  12. What is Baby Jake's Mum's secret to looking that slim and cheerful after popping out ten children in such quick succession? (I have my suspicions that she's actually an actress and they're not really her kids - shhh don't tell anyone...)
  13. Have the Cloud Babies writers ever actually studied basic meteorology?
  14. Why are all the 'cheebies' in Waybaloo so appallingly dubbed? Why is Waybaloo so appallingly awful?
  15. Given that Sid and Rebecca are so totally desperate for it to be 'them' that gets to dress up in Let's Play, why do they still grin like loons when they're not chosen? It reminds me of the way actors behave for the cameras when they don't win the Oscar.
  16. Balamory - has everyone had a lobotomy or what?
  17. Is Happy the Crocodile adopted? He appears to have an elephant for a parent, so I can only imagine he must be. (I LOVE Hey Duggie incidentally. Mainly because I am actually in love with Alexander Armstrong.)
  18. Is Mr Bloom's regular statement "Hello my dear, haven't you grown?" to Joan the "lovely" fennel just a touch creepy or is it me?
  19. Where is all the hitting and "Get off it's MINE you big Poo Head!" in Charlie and Lola?
  20. Why doesn't Justin bake a nice battenburg or tray of flapjacks rather than all those custard pies? He'd save Robert the Robot a hell of a lot of washing.
Answers on a postcard / in the comments section...

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