I am a television junkie. I love television. I love my kids. I do not love television for kids. Sure, some of it's okay. And we actually adored Arthur (you know, the ardvark). I once came home to find my husband watching the show after he'd put our then four year old to bed. He needed to know what had happened to Arthur's lost library book. But Arthur is the exception rather than the rule. And while some shows are watchable, there are five that I would love to see end forever. Here is how I envision their totally inappropriate endings.
Our least favorite bald-headed, eternal, four-year-old finally tells his helicopter hover of a mother to back the fuck off. He and Rosie put themselves up for adoption so they can find some nice free-range parents who will let them go to the park (and bathroom) alone. Flash forward a few months, Caillou's voice deepens and his hair grows, which means the producers of the show have finally let a male character portray him, and this poor misguided kid has grown a pair. The benign and annoying narrator is killed off and replaced with Samuel L. Jackson who has adopted Caillou. Samuel L. orders the boy, who is used to getting his way, to "go the fuck to sleep."
Our bilingual explorer goes on an adventure and winds up in NYC on the wrong side of Central Park. She does her best to fight street thugs, but is upset to find her backpack does not carry guns, knives, or mace. Dora, rendered defenseless, seeks a way out of the city with the help of Map. A band of thieves steal him because they know they can sell a talking map to naive tourists in Times Square for a pretty penny. Stuck with little more than a monkey and the clothes on her back, Dora joins the circus and marries the strong man who is quite a bit older. Meanwhile, back in the jungle, Dora's parents put up posters of their missing child, though it takes several months for these free-range parents to realize she's even gone and Swiper is sent to therapy for his continued kleptomania.
This wild and adventurous monkey gets a bit too curious when the local circus comes to town. In one of the greatest cross-over events in children's television history, he falls in love with Boots much to the chagrin of the Man with the Yellow Hat who honestly and truly believed George was a hairy child. He attempts to steal George back by smuggling him under his big hat, but the police catch him and send him off to the big house for kidnapping. He meets up with Swiper who just couldn't give up a life of crime. Together they plan a jail break using the plastic sporks Swiper steals during his prison meals. Their breakout is documented in a new reality television show coming in fall of 2015.
Max and Ruby
When a concerned neighbor witnesses Ruby alone for several nights in a row, she calls child protective services. After a thorough investigation and playing hard ball with the eerily quiet Max the truth is revealed. That bossy bitch bunny, Ruby, went bananas, killed her parents, buried them in the basement and was using the senile grandmother to fund her parentless lifestyle. Max isn't even Ruby's brother. He is just some poor kid she stole at the local park. She wanted someone to keep her company, but after realizing how boring the uncommunicative Max was she asked him to go away. With little in the way of verbal skills he didn't know how to find another home. Max is sent off to live with his real family who teach him how to talk. He becomes an advocate for elderly bunnies everywhere. Ruby becomes the head of a rogue bunny gang in prison, they challenge a rival gang of squirrels to a fight in the prison yard, and Ruby meets an unfortunate and grizzly end.
This show, nothing more than a teen version of Strawberry Shortcake (though the characters don't smell quite as nice) features young girls of an unspecified age working together to fix whatever crisis may come to Heartlake City. In the final episode, they realize there simply aren't any problems left to solve. They have saved all the dolphins, rescued and found homes for every lost or abandoned cat or dog, and committed enough kind acts to make the entire world wish them away. They sing a final song that sounds like every other song they've ever sung ,and then disappear leaving a black screen and the words, "we've bored ourselves to death."
While these shows may make children happy by lulling them into hypnotic states, for parents they are both annoying and boring. Maybe we should start a petition pleading with television companies to end the madness.
This post originally appeared on Sammiches and Psych Meds.