I see quite a bit of the output of Cbeebies and on the whole most of it is very good. But Bob the Builder is just nonsense.
The talking construction vehicles I can live with. But why the bleeding heck is there an annoyingly-voiced talking scarecrow in the show?
Bob the Farmer would be bound to have a talking scarecrow. But in a show about a construction worker the annoying carrot-faced git is so incongruous and more than a little annoying.
And while I’m at it what the hell’s wrong with the sense of scale among Cbeebies producers. None of the construction vehicles in Bob the Builder are large enough to admit Bob or Wendy, instead they have to hang dangerously on the side like New York Firecrew1. Is this a good example of vehicle safety to teach our children?
Scale is also an issue in In The Night Garden. A fine show this is, especially to parents who have already opened the bar following a stressful day, but the Ninky Nonk and Pinky Ponk spoil it all. Both wifey and I have become increasingly annoyed by the size of these two modes of transport during the show’s often repeated dance section. Normally the Nonk and Ponk are large forms of transport, but at the end of the show when going to sleep and during the dance song both seem like small toys.
This is bound to confuse children greatly. How are we supposed to imbue our children with a sense of scale this kind of nonsense going on. We’ll have to rely on Father Ted instead…[video:youtube:vh5kZ4uIUC0]
On the subject of In The Night Garden have you any idea where Iggle Piggle is going in his little boat? Is the show some sort of allegory for the afterlife? Perhaps Iggle Piggle is dead and his boat journey is his ride to paradise. It’s not a bad vision of heaven really, Makka Pakka is far more charming company than most of the plonkers I met at Lancaster University Christian Union.
The alternative is that Iggle Piggle has made a terrible navigational error on his sailing trip and has now drifted out into the ocean. Starving and delirious from the lack of drinking water he hallucinates a beautiful garden with the girl of his dreams. The failure of this particular trip would certainly account for conjuring up two alternative forms of transport2 and his delirium for the irritating mistakes over their scale.
But anyway. The point I’m trying to make is that we really need to start some kind of combined campaign to get rid of that annoying scarecrow from Bob the Builder and pressure the BBC for a Ninky Nonk and Pinky Ponk that show a more realistic sense of scale.
Unless you think that the two different aims might conflict and weaken the strength of our campaign? I’d welcome your thoughts.
I’m in danger of getting very wound up now, so I shall listen to the magical Cbeebies Springtime Song to relax.
1Who I only mention to get my wife excited.
2Perhaps the Pinky Ponk being more useful than the Ninky Nonk out at sea.