As my regular readers may know, I am big fan of using television as a parenting assistant, especially CBeebies. Bubs knows that ‘scissors are sharp’ because Mr Maker told him so. He also knows the difference between a stegosaurus and a triceratops, all thanks to Andy and his dinosaur adventures.
I like to take the piss out of In The Night Garden, and make valid/hilarious points about general gender stereotypes, but I hope CBeebies know just how I treasure their existence!
I can pretty much tolerate all of the programmes too. I mean, I’ll take a Hey Dugee or Dip Dap (best thing on TV) over an ep of the Teletubbies any day, but it’s all good, I can cope… I can even abide the occasional saccharine episode of Everything’s Rosie. But there’s one exception to this rule. When I hear the plinkedy-plonkedy music of the Waybuloo theme start I invariably let out an involuntary groan. Sometimes I even do a swear. Dear Reader, I just hate it.
When I first saw that there was a kids show with yoga in it I thought it would be fab. Hubs practices yoga and meditation every day so it’s a big thing in our household. And I did try to like it, I promise. But Waybuloo slowly wore my immunity down and I succumbed to the grumpy grown-up inside me.
Because it’s the actual worst and I’m really hoping I’m not alone in thinking so. But just in case I am, I’ve set out a 7-point Waybuloo hatred manifesto. Enjoy.
1. The third person.
If you’re going to give your characters annoying high-pitched voices and silly names like ‘Yojojo’ and ‘Nok Tok’, please let them at least use pronouns. There’s not a single ‘I’, ‘he’ or ‘she’ in sight in Nara land. It’s all ‘Yojojo make De Li sad’ and ‘Nok tok want to play with Lau Lau’.
Give me strength.
2. Pink is for girls, blue is for boys.
The girl ‘Piplings’ are pink and purple and the boys are orange (with blue pants) and blue. Need I say more? Well, actually, yes, there’s a whole other post on this shit.
Also, does anyone else find it weird that, while the girls are fully clothed (in dresses, obvs), Yojojo wears no top and Nok Tok goes around bare-bottomed? Aren’t they cold?? Or am I over-thinking this?
3. The made up words.
I have nothing against made-up words per se. If it’s good enough for Shakespeare and all that… But ‘plumato’? And ‘cheebies?’ FFS.
And it’s yoga, okay? ‘Yogo’ is not a thing.
4. The dubbing. Oh. The. Dubbing.
Why are the children dubbed?? It’s not in a foreign language. I’m sure they could have just stuck some microphones on them. Couldn’t they?
This is the most widely held bug bear of all, because it’s so totally annoying. And inexplicable. I mean, why? Just why???
Oh the rage.
5. The ‘plots’
I know all kids programmes are formulaic, and I know there’s a reason for that. Repetition is comforting and aides learning. I. Know. But let me just describe, in some detail an episode of Waybuloo (#spoileralert):
The Piplings are hanging out, one of them is playing and a problem crops up. Another Pipling encounters them and tries to help. The wind-chime clock thing dings and dongs. The do some ‘yogo’. Then they try to figure out the problem some more. They hear the Cheebies coming and think ‘maybe Cheebies can help catch plumato’ (or whatever). They play ‘peeka’. They explain their problem to the Cheebies. The wind-chimey thing goes off again. They all do some yogo. The Cheebies sort it all out. The Piplings fly up into the air while the Cheebies cheer.
There, I just described EVERY EPISODE EVER. So no one needs to watch it. Ever again.
6. They. Can’t. Do. Yoga.
If the gods of Waybuloo wanted to create creatures dedicated to the practice of yoga, sorry yogo’, the MAYBE THEY SHOULD HAVE GIVEN THEM KNEES. And elbows while they come to it. And if the gods of CBeebies wanted to create a programme to encourage children to get stretching and bending from an early age maybe they should have given the Piplings working joints? Or arms that can reach above their ridiculously huge heads?
How can you learn yoga postures from a beings whose feet are longer than their legs?
If nothing else it spoils the illusion that the children are actually copying the Piplings – there’s so obviously an adult off camera showing them how it’s really done. (And yes I know that even if they had long limbs this would be the case because the Piplings aren’t really there, but I’d like to be able to suspend my disbelief, okay??)
7. Because, arg, I just hate it, alright?
On paper, all CBeebies shows could be enraging. I could wax lyrical about the fact that Mike the Knight’s mum never disciplines him even though he repeatedly fucks things up for everyone (in short, he’s a self-centred little shit). But still, I can quite get into an episode or two. Or, like, pretty much every Tweenie is annoying in one way or another, but I can bear it. I can even enjoy it if I sort of switch off and stare into the middle distance.
But not Waybuloo. No, this show has its own terrible ‘je ne sais quoi’. Honestly, every time those strange little creatures open their mouths I feel like someone’s taken a cheese grater to my brain. I’m almost certain I’ve let out the odd involuntarily swear during a an episode while Bubs was in earshot. Not cool.
Is it just me? Is my irrational loathing an anomaly or do others out there that share this deep seated rage? If so, then do let me know, maybe we can start a support group or something…
Please do tweet or Facebook me with your toddler-related rants, or leave a comment below. I promise to respond with minimum judgement and maximum mutual rage!