By: Trey Holt| Ranger Reporter
Every day after school, the first thing most kids do when they get home is have a snack and watch TV. Even in today’s age of DVR’s and HDTV’s, some things never change.One thing that has changed however is the educational quality of children’s programming.
I have fond childhood memories of coming home to a fresh bowl of popcorn and a VHS tape of the day’s episode of Shining Time Station, better known as the show that brought Thomas the Tank Engine to North America.
Even today, I still love to watch those old tapes and revisit my childhood. That show had better educational values than most of the kid’s shows of today.
Whether the daily message was sticking up to bullies, helping others, or even the importance of sharing, the moral was massaged into the minds of the viewers rather than being shoved down their throats.
This made it more enjoyable for the parents too, whereas watching today’s kid’s shows just leaves a bad taste in their mouths.
Thomas is still around today, but he has become no more than a CGI‑ridden counterpart of himself, filled with irrelevant morals and no entertainment value. Other shows like Sesame Street are still around as well, but they seem to be lacking something.
Lovable characters like Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch are faded memories waiting for the bus at the corner of Nostalgia Avenue and Memory Lane, while Elmo has become the primary moneymaker.
Children’s shows today have become too knee-deep in commercialism to care about teaching kids moral values.
It has become a contest of who can create the most lovable characters and sell the most items with the character’s logo on it.
This completely defeats the purpose of child TV programming. Dora the Explorer is a prime example of this. You see the characters everywhere these days, on things as simple as backpacks, lunchboxes, T-shirts and shoes.
They are even on diapers now! What’s next, baby formula with Dora’s smiling face on the package?
Although turning a profit is important, it should come after the education of our kids, and the shows children watch shouldn’t give them answers immediately after asking a question.
This leads to lazy kids who aren’t willing to think for themselves and find the moral hidden within the story.
If this is the kind of programming our own kids will have to be subjected to, then I pity the next generation. ‘
As for me, I’ll probably keep those old tapes to pass on to my kids.