Nina and the Neurons, Granny Murray, Woolly &Tig, Nurse Morag:
Yes, CBeebies is teaching children that the world is full of friendly Scottish people with entirely comprehensible accents.
Cartoons have come under fire for portraying male role models negatively. But what about female role models? I decided to take a closer look at CBeebies.
Other channels are available.
But not in our house.
Every time adverts appear my daughter starts crying ‘Where has my telly gone Mummy?’
Whilst I can sing all the songs and repeat entire shows worth of dialogue I am totally clueless about what is actually happening on screen because telly time is when I get stuff done. (Dinner tonight brought to you care of Tesco’s and Get Squiggling.)
In fact the only time I have ever watched what’s on the screen I saw the Tweenies playing with Jimmy Savile.
So no cause for concern there then.
En-gin-eer-ing, let’s go en-gin-eer-ing.
Well hello Nina and the Neurons!
I like to think of Nina and the Neurons as the mastermind (mistressmind?) behind the whole Scottish children’s telly mafia.
With a packet of fags tucked in her bunches she hooks up with Woolly the spider and the bizarrely youthful Granny Murray to play poker, drink whisky and plot how to get more Scottish people on tv. (Step one: Kidnap Justin Fletcher and replace him with Rab C. Nesbitt.)
I hope that Nina inspires a generation of new female scientists and when my children are older the shorthand look for a science geek is a young woman in a white coat with bunches, green eye shadow and a massive grin.
From the wonderful Nina to the downright dreadful Grandpa In My Pocket.
Basic plot outline of the show:
Jason lives with his Granddad (James Bolam on his day off from New Tricks).
Each show Jason is visited by a friend or family member who is a massive pain in the arse.
Jason and Grandpa decide to teach guest pain in the arse a lesson.
Oh and when Grandpa puts on his cap he shrinks and has magic powers.
The show claims to teach children about teamwork and the bond between grandparents. So why haven’t Jason and Grandpa let Jason’s sister Jemima in on the big secret?
He is her grandpa too.
The reason Jemima is kept out of the loop is simple. According to the CBeebies website:
She loves singing, dancing and acting and has hopes of being a movie star or a famous pop singer.
She can be a bit of a drama queen, with a tendency to over-react to situations, but she is entirely charming and lovable.
She spends hours choosing her clothes whenever she’s going anywhere and is always monopolising the bathroom and experimenting with her hair.
Oh and one from Wikipedia:
She loves pink and all her birthday presents are pink.
Yes, Jemima is a charming, tantrum throwing, pink obsessed bell end.
At least Daddy Pig and Homer Simpson are enjoyable to watch.
Here’s a crazy suggestion for Jason – If all your friends are annoying and rude why not make some new ones?
If I ever spot Grandpa is his shrunken state it won’t be my pocket he’ll be going in it will be the bin. The one with all the stinky nappies in it.
Time to cheer us all up.
Explore! Rescue! Protect!
I bloody love Octonauts…. almost as much as my daughter does.
Barnacles! Kwazii! Peso! The other five!
Recently Mr Eeh Bah stated how pleased he is about this because Octonauts is a boy’s programme.
This is why I think it is important to be a feminist because even perfectly normal well educated people can occasionally say dumb things about gender stereotyping.
According to the Beeb the show teaches children about the world around them, which is a bit odd as the Octonauts live underwater and travel around in floating aquatic vehicles.
We live in Yorkshire and drive a Golf.
But I have a 2 year old who knows more about sea creatures than I do, who wants to explore, rescue and protect and who cries because she’s not allowed a real dolphin in the bath.
Which I think means that CBeebies is doing a pretty good job.
Just time to pass on an important lesson I have learned from watching too much children’s television:
Never bring CBeebies into the bedroom.