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11:12 a.m. - May 16, 2006

This is Smed again, wresting control of his corner. (Liz appreciated all of the comments, though, and she’ll be back…whether I like it or not).

I did have one other observation during my few days with Katie.

Katie’s television choices are ever evolving.

Yes, we still limit her to one hour a day, if we can, and yes, we still stop her from watching stuff like Spongebob (though I think it’s hilarious, it’s a bit much for a 4 ½ year old, I think).

She’s getting out of a Diego phase, I think because they’re very slow in making new ones. She still loves Dora, and likes Sesame Street a lot as well. On occasion, when Noggin is on, she’ll watch some of those random shows.

But she has two new favorites that are on Noggin (and Nick Jr.).

The two shows are the Backyardigans and Lazytown.

I really like the Backyardigans. There are five of them. Tasha is a little yellow girl hippo, Tyrone is a little boy moose, Pablo is a little boy penguin, Austin is a little boy cat of some kind (I think) and Uniqua – well, she’s a uniqua.

This show is all about the adventures these friends have in their backyards. They imagine all sorts of things, and use their imagination and also sing and dance during their excursions in their backyard.

It uses CGI animation, and bright vivid colors. The music is varied and alive, and they sing and dance very realistically.

I actually was really entertained by this show. The writing was smart, and funny, but at a good level for Katie, and the characters interacted realistically. Of course, they were always home by snack time, which is key, of course. You never want to miss snack time!

It’s also neat that there is some diversity on the show. Though I can’t imagine a penguin and a moose being able to live in the same climate as a hippo, but of course, you never could think that a coyote would be able to have a credit limit large enough to order all the stuff from ACME, either.

Yes, you can now get their toys and music. And Katie is very proud that she knows all of their names, and what they like to do. Because once, Liz was stumbling over them, and Katie piped right in, all exasperated, like “Geez, EVERYONE knows who they are!”

So, all in all, the Backyardigans is a good show for both kids and parents.

And then…there’s Lazytown.


At times, when Katie was watching it and I was just passing through the room, I thought it was a bit, um, bizarre.

After watching two full episodes last night, it is bizarre. How bizarre.

But it’s right down my child’s alley.

Lazytown stars Stephanie, a little girl (in the flesh) who is staying in the town called Lazytown. She’s a singing, dancing machine that has bright pink hair and is really almost too sweet for her own good. The girl who plays Stephanie is very talented (Juliana Rose Mauriello), but you have to wonder that at age 25 she’ll go, “Man, the only thing people know me for is that bright pink hair!”

The songs she sings are very techno oriented, for the most part. It sounds like a good night at the little kid’s rave party.

Oh, and the pink hair is just the start of the colors of this show. Everything is brightly colored.

Lazytown, before she got there, was a place where kids didn’t do anything, and sat around. Stephanie got them to get out and get going.

The other kids are all puppets, and there is also some CGI involved. There’s Ziggy, who is the youngest and just loves candy. There’s Stingy, who has everything and still wants more. There’s Pixel, who just loves video games. The other one is Trixie, who is a free spirited girl.

There are actually two other humans on the show.

Robbie Rotten is the villain. He wants all of the kids to be lazy in Lazytown, just like he’s Lazy. He wears outlandish clothes that would fit right in the Wonka factory and plastic black hair left over from the Reagan administration.

The actor who plays Robbie Rotten is just over the top. I know it’s on purpose, and Shatner would be proud. (Actually, I think he’s more in the DeForest Kelly / James Doohan mode, really).

Robbie Rotten is always in disguise, trying to get the kids to get back to being lazy and away from the influence of Sportacus.

Yes, Sportacus. Sportacus 10 if you’re nasty.

Sportacus is the hero of Lazytown. He has a zeppelin that flies all over Lazytown, and swoops in to save the day.

One thing about Sportacus is that he’s always active, playing a sport or something. Whenever he goes somewhere, he performs about 12,912 gymnastic moves before getting into action. And when he gets into action, there’s this music that reminds me of the transition music of game shows, like Lingo or Greed. I keep expecting Chuck Woollery to say, “Put 60 seconds on the clock.”

He’s very patient and kind, and encouraging to the kids, which of course makes Robbie Rotten angry. But give him sugar, and he folds like a bad hand of poker.

He’s got a goofy costume (of course) and a skeevy pencil thin moustache.

With his costume, the way the kids look, the hair, and the music, when they sing one of their disco techno songs, I really think I’ve stumbled into an Aqua video, thankfully without the Barbie girl.

But the first thing I noticed about him is the accent.

It’s very odd.

Well, there’s a reason for that.

The show is Icelandic.

Ah, that explains EVERYTHING!

The music, the colors, the general oddness about the whole thing!

The show is very good at teaching some subtle lessons about life, and how to live it, and that you need to be fit and active and make good choices.

It’s just so garish! But Paul Lynde would be proud!

So, after watching two straight episodes of Lazytown (the first one and a brand new one), I went to sleep, and all of my dreams were in bright hues with techno music playing the background.

Hmmmm….I gotta cut out the kids TV before I go to sleep.


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