Changing My Tune On Kids’ TV  

November 20, 2017

It wasn’t long ago that I wrote about the horrendous state of children’s television shows. That mostly remains true. In fact, I’d still like to fistfight the creators of “Calliou.”

But thanks to the music of The Beatles, I’ve got to admit it’s getting better.

In a world filled with hacks cranking out endless amounts of unimaginative programming, a virtually unknown writer from Australia named Josh Wakely came up with a brilliant concept. He wanted to license the music of The Beatles and re-imagine it as a clever cartoon, entitled “Beat Bugs,” with each episode loosely based on the lyrics to a song.

Then he spent more than three years navigating the complexities of getting permission to use the music. Once he finally cleared that incredibly high hurdle, he decided to keep aiming higher. And somehow he convinced some of music’s biggest stars to cover songs for the show.

So instead of the silly, squeaky voices associated with a lot of kid’s music, performers like Eddie Vedder, Pink, Sia, The Shins, Jennifer Hudson, Aloe Blacc, James Corden and many more make up the “Beat Bugs” soundtrack.

The Netflix series is aimed at kids 2-5, so I’m not exactly the target demographic. But it is tolerable for adults. And my two-year-old son absolutely loves it. I’d like to think it’s teaching him a few life lessons. Much more importantly, it has turned him on to some of the greatest music ever made.

He’s currently obsessed with The Beatles. We play the old vinyl records together. We listen to The Beatles channel on Sirius in the car. He’s got a playlist on iTunes. He enjoys nothing more than seeing how quickly he can identify each song that comes on. And it’s not just the hits.

It not uncommon for him to be dancing around the house singing “Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite” or “Honey Pie.”

That’s music to my ears.