The Sad State Of Children’s ShowsJune 20, 2017
By Scott Broberg, SVP Amplification
It’s the golden age of television. We’ve never had more quality programming to enjoy. Entire seasons of Fargo, Billions, The Americans, Homeland and more are sitting in my DVR queue. And yet most of my screen time is spent watching some of the worst drivel ever broadcast.
I always used to say that one of my life’s goals was to ensure my kids never learned there was such a thing as children’s music or TV shows.
Smash cut to me with a two-year-old son and I’ve failed miserably at half that objective. As far as he knows, Motley Crue and Van Halen is children’s music and his preferred album to dance to is The Very Best of the Doobie Brothers. But somewhere along the way, he was exposed to Sprout and other kids’ channels. And that’s when my suffering began.
I don’t mind him watching a little TV. I just wish it was better TV. When a show can’t hold the interest of a toddler, that’s saying something. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Thomas and Friends were all early hits but quickly fell out of favor. Then came Goldie and Bear, Super Wings and Bob the Builder. They were a little more tolerable yet still mind-numbing.
But when it comes to driving parents crazy, the championship belt clearly goes to Caillou. It’s a show out of Canada that’s syndicated on Sprout and seems to be on constantly. Until recently, I thought I was the only one who wasn’t a fan. Then an article in the Huffington Post opened my eyes to fact that parents around the globe hate this show and its main character with a white-hot passion.
YouTube comments and Reddit threads are filled with F-bombs wishing terrible things would happen to this fictional four-year-old. There is video content of moms sharing their hatred for the “bald little asshole.” John Oliver even used a segment on his show to rail against Caillou.
Glad to know I’m not alone. Perhaps rallying to get this thing off the air is the one cause everyone can get behind.
Sprout’s tagline is “Free to Grow.” It might be free, but parents are definitely paying a price for watching.