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9:32 a.m. - January 06, 2006
The TV Choices of a 4-Year Old
Now, way back in the primordial ooze of this here essay site, I wrote about TiVo being the best thing ever.

Recently, I found out that by the end of 2007, DirecTV may force me to move to their DVR, instead of TiVo, so we shall see.

At any rate, though, I am going to resist switching over to the DirecTV box for as long as humanly possibly. No multi-national corporation will get between me and my Season Passes.

I constantly juggle my season passes on TiVo, as I attempt to maximize my viewing pleasure. Right now, I have season passes for:

• Law & Order – Name Your Permutation
• The West Wing
• The Sopranos
• My Name Is Earl
• Criminal Minds
• Pardon The Interruption
• The Office
• Saturday Night Live (reruns on E! – just to pick off the ones before 1996 or so)
• The Daily Show
• Letterman
• The Colbert Report
• The Iron Chef (Both Japan and US – Fukui-san!)
• Formula One Racing
• Champ Car Racing
• Indy Racing League (notice a theme, there??)
• Survivor (just the new ones – I can’t watch the reruns – blah)
• The Apprentice
• Seinfeld
• Shows For Katie (To be expanded on below)

I am thinking of adding The Book of Daniel to my listing. I’m going to check out the previews and see if it’s worth it or not. Since it’s already being yanked off the air in some backwater affiliates (including one here in good ol’ BFE Indiana), then it may be worth it to watch and make sure NBC knows I’m watching it.

I have a busy weekend – there are two Wabash basketball games and a high school game I have to cover. The first round of the NFL playoffs is Saturday and back in the old days I would have been hosed, and missed the games. Now, I’m going to be able to catch both games in their entirety. (Joy for me – and joy for Liz, since she’ll be in bed by the time I go on my football overdrive).

This February, when the Winter Olympics are on, I plan on making great use of TiVo, as I must watch curling, hockey, bobsled and the skiing (including the biathlon). You can keep your dang figure skating; I must see people who look like ME play shuffleboard on ice. It’s a great sport and gives even slobs like me a chance to be an Olympian. Well, that is if there was some ice around here to do so.

It’s a great sport when you are basically required to drink beer at halftime, and share beers with your opponents after the match.

When Katie was a wee one, the Olympics were on and she just loved watching curling with daddy. Of course, being two months old, she probably just liked watching the blobs of color shoot across the ice.

So what was the point of this essay, in reality, besides gloating over my TV technology? Oh yeah, to talk about Katie’s shows.

We currently have four shows we TiVo for her. Now don’t have a cow, she’s not a total couch potato. In fact, more often than not she loses TV privileges for some indiscretion she has performed, so she’s not totally vegging out. Many times, she’s creating chaos with Pet Doctor Barbie. (“No Katie, Pet Doctor Barbie can’t give Butch and Sundance medicine.”)

So what does the urbane, sophisticated four year old watch?

First off, there’s Sesame Street, the old standby. Sure, Elmo’s voice gives me the hives, but it’s still an educational show that teaches life lessons, whether the kids want to learn or not. And it’s kind of neat that Katie likes Cookie Monster, Grover, the Count, et. al. because I was right there with her when I was a kid.

We have a couple of Sesame Street CDs, and her favorite song is “Mah Na Mah Na” – a girl after my own heart!

Then there’s the old standby, Dora the Explorer. We recently switched from TiVoing the Nick Jr. Dora episodes to the ones on Noggin. She would see commercials on Nick Jr. and start asking about all that stuff, while on Noggin it’s commercial free. We didn’t think it was right to start inundating Katie with the marketing genius of Madison Avenue quite yet.

One of the newer shows is Go Diego Go! That’s a spin-off from Dora, starring Diego, her cousin, who is an animal rescuer. Diego and Alecia, his sister, go off and try to rescue animals in peril with their Adventure Pack (not to be confused with Dora’s Backpack, heavens no!). Basically, it’s the Dora stuff just tilted a bit towards our animal friends.

But Katie cares not that Diego is a mere copy of Dora. She loves the show. In fact, recently she asked if she could invite Diego and Alecia over for dinner. And yesterday, Katie had a something on that looked like a bridal veil. Liz asked her what was going on.

“I’m going to marry Diego!”

Dang, Katie, I don’t have the money to pay for a wedding yet.

Kristin, all six months of her, loves Diego as well. Well, at least she likes the Diego theme song, which is quite catchy I should say.

The last show Katie watches now is Jack’s Big Music Show on Noggin. This is a bunch of puppets that have a band in a clubhouse. The dog plays drums, Jack plays guitar and his friend Mary plays the accordion. But it’s a rockin’ sound, and the music they play, while kid oriented, isn’t white bread kids’ music.

Kristin loves the music on that show as well. Katie loves dancing around to the music quite a bit.

Sesame Street, Dora, Diego and Jack – I’d say it’s not a bad combo for today’s child. Hopefully, Katie (and Kristin) will like shows with humor and wit, like Bullwinkle and the old Warner Brothers cartoons.

However, none of those shows hold a candle to Land of the Lost. None of ‘em. There will never be another show like that. A cryin’ shame, to say the least. Sleeestack! RUN!


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