Contemporary Children’s Programming: WTF?!

Um, so can I just say what most parents should be saying? Caillou is a little fucking pansy, and I want to stab the shit out of Dino Dan every time he opens his stupid, Canadian mouth.

What in the fuck happened to children’s programming in the last ten or fifteen years, for children under the age of around 8 – 10 that is? When I was growing up, TV was awesome. It was Rainbow Bright, Glow Worms, Popples. It was My Little Ponies and the Smurfs. Sure I watched all the girl’s shows, but there were other ones that boys watched too – like Tom and Jerry, Mickie Mouse, and Looney Toons.

Now, it’s as if contemporary children’s programming is so overly concerned about hurting sensitive feewy-weewings, and being politically correct; as well as not allowing any illusion to violence whatsoever on the TV (because God forbid we have to take responsibility for teaching our children not to be violent, rather than depending on the TV to do it…).

I now have a Contemporary Children’s Programming Shit List, and while I’m sure there are some moms out there changing their 10 year old son’s diapers that think Caillou is just the bees knees, I’m sure the majority of you really agree with me.


Caillou is this little, bitchy, bald ass four year old cartoon character, whose every-other-word out of his mouth is “mommy.” I always imagine this show is written by a woman who still breastfeeds her fifteen year old son because it is a tale in pansy, momma’s boy behavior. Ultimately, Caillou would be an awesome show that teaches kids about every day things, if only Caillou and his little sister Rosie weren’t being helicoptered to death.

Peppa Pig

Peppa Pig is (I believe) on the preschool channel – Noggin or Nick Jr. or whatever the hell it’s called now. It started as a short interlude between regular programming, but for some ungodly reason they decided to give it its own thirty minute time slot. Peppa Pig would be more tolerable if only those piggish mother fuckers didn’t snort and belch every couple seconds through the entire show. I get the idea of trying to make it “authentic,” but how authentic can a cartoon about anthropomorphic talking pigs be anyway? If they want it to be authentic, why not go all the way and have the pigs slosh around in their own shit and mud, laying around eating hay all day; rather than what the show really does, which is have these snorting, belching pigs out taking boating trips on their yachts and shit. Pigs on yachts – real values there.

Dino Dan

When Dino Dan comes on the television, I want to get ice picks and stab at my ears until I permanently damage my hearing so that I don’t have to ever hear stupid Dan and his unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs again. And what’s worse is that all the adults in the show enable Dan and his obsession – no matter what situation they are in, what they are doing, what they are learning in school, somehow Dan is always allowed to relate it to dinosaurs and completely derail what is going on into his weird imaginative love of the extinct beasts. Dino Dan teaches kids that it’s okay to have an unhealthy obsession that renders you entirely nonfunctional if not talking about that very obsession. Once I Googled “where’s Dino Dan’s dad” because he never appears on the show; and I found one discussion forum where the first poster said “who knows, probably abandoned Dan and his mom because he was too fucking annoyed by Dan and his stupid dinosaur journal.”

Good Luck Charlie

Yeah, sure – Charlie’s cute, Bridget Mendler is a great actor, and the slapstick comedy is a little more tolerable than the aforementioned shows. But has anyone actually noticed that Charlie has minimal roll in the show at all, not to mention this most recent stunt of the parents having another “accidental” pregnancy? Um, hi! Have we never heard of birth control, Disney channel? What does it say to a generation of little kids, when the world population is completely out of control and there are millions of orphaned children in need of loving homes, that the lovable sitcom Duncan family is on their way to having five kids? That’s +3 population growth – a concept I don’t expect most lovers of this show to understand, but is nonetheless an horrible example.

Ni Hao Kai Lan

The only thing cool about this Dora the Explorer knock off is that we all learn fragments of Mandarin Chinese while watching it. But it’s like the creators of the show sat down and said “okay, we want her to be just like Dora only Chinese, and her voice needs to be even more goddamned annoying than Dora’s, Boots’, and Tiko’s all were combined. In fact, imagine Dora, Boots, Tiko, and the Grumpy Old Troll all screaming at the top of their lungs and let’s make it even more fucking loud and annoying than that. And pointless, too. We know it’ll be hard to make it more pointless than a fucking singing backpack and a map that repeats the same stupid route to rainbow bridge over and over and over again, but we think we can do it with this little annoying Chinese chick.”

I’m sure there’s more. I can actually think of a few more, like Wow Wow Wubbzy (by the way, is Wubbzy a girl or a boy? or a transgender rounded cube that talks and has arms?) But these are really the cream of the crop in terms of annoying and stupid contemporary children’s programming. It’s sad that this is what it has been reduced to. A staple of childhood is watching your Saturday cartoons, or finishing your homework in time to watch that show you love more than the toy in the Cheerio’s box. I feel like mainstream media, bad parenting, and helicoptering of children has destroyed that; has made it this stupid, androgynous whiny and pointless shit that it’s become.


  1. Tamara

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  2. im a little monkey

    i wish i could of been around to watch my little pony rainbow bright and all that stuff.
    im only a eighteen year old child so i wasnt around when they had those shows but i wish i was shows kids my age watch today just SUCKS!! hey what about phiness and ferb thats another show that sucks because its the same thing every episode
    or what about the looney tunes show. (its a new version of looney tunes) and its fucked up!
    and caliou is bitchy i do watch the old episodes but he does get on my nerves but some episodes are funny

  3. J

    Yo Gabba is out there but it isn’t that bad. It’s almost like a bunch of city kids out of work said what odd thing can we to to make money??? The bald headed kid with the beady eyes needs to get unched in his whiny ass little mouth. Dino Dan is great not sure what you are all talking about? Whats the really odd trippy show with the monster egg like creature that runs through the forest all the time?

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Yo Gabba Gabba is done by an indie punk rock group, so I’m not surprised by their weirdness at all. I don’t think the show is that bad, but the repetition does annoy me sometimes. We saw their live show a few years ago and I think it is definitely not for all children. It’s like a rave – glow sticks and all.

      What I dislike about Dino Dan is that the show condones a completely unhealthy level of obsession. I don’t like that at all. Dan’s obsession would be so much more tolerable if we didn’t see scenario after scenario where he is allowed to completely derail normal, healthy living with his obsession haha.

  4. Curly Carly

    When my niece comes over to visit, she gets to watch documentaries with me. I refuse to turn on turn on the crap that is Disney and Nickelodeon. Those shows are ruining children. We need to start a petition to bring back Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers. That crap taught me how to be a respectful, well-behaved mouse… I mean…person.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Disney and Nickelodeon is total crap now. I had completely forgotten about Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers!!

      1. HaLin

        Ah, can I butt in with my favourite cartoon?

        Dexter’s Lab remains a multi-decade favourite of mine. 🙂

      2. Heather Christena Schmidt

        That really was an awesome show. I remember watching it every morning before HIGH SCHOOL, it was that cool.

  5. Gadget Wheels, dinos, mice and banana peels: my Top 4 cartoons of the 80s « The Dissemination of Thought

    […] lazy and overcome with nostalgia, and with Heather’s article on The B(itch)Log earlier this week still fresh in my mind, I decided to take a stand against the […]

  6. Chris Sheridan

    Ugh! Makes me glad that my watching TV with my kids days are long ago over, if this is the crap that’s out there now. I used to watch Sesame Street with my little girl first thing in the morning, and sometimes I’d get so into it, that it would make me forget the time and I’d be late for work.

    Especially when they were doing cool things like showing how Crayola crayons are made at the factory. Or some guys cutting up 50 gallon oil drums and turning them into Marimba drums and then playing them… Now that was cool! Not like the drek you’ve been describing.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Sesame Street unfortunately doesn’t do a lot of that cool stuff as much anymore. It’s all Elmo’s World and a lot of other pre scripted segments. Children’s programming is getting pretty bad now!

  7. disseminatedthought

    Is it just me, or does Caillou bear a striking resemblance to Charlie Brown?

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      WOW! I had not seen that before, but he does! Doesn’t act like Charlie Brown, though … not in the least!

  8. Alexia

    I completely agree. Dino Dan has got to be one of the worst TV shows ever. I do not let my kids watch it BC it’s an unhealthy obsession with extinct dinosaurs that everyone seems to support, and that’s not ok for me. That child should see a psychologist, along with the director of this show.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      THANK YOU, finally someone that agrees with me on the gross level of obsessive and unhealthy behavior Dino Dan exhibits! Every time the show comes on and we are at Grandpa’s house, he always says “oh…let it alone!” and I’m inevitably reminded of how unhealthy Dan is. I don’t have a problem with kids taking an active interest in something like science or dinosaurs, but to go the route of obsession that Dan does is just awful. The whole town enables it too!!

  9. tiffany

    When my son first started watching Caillou it was great, because it wasn’t a Nick Jr show (wubzy, dora, diego, kai lan, blues clues, etc). Then the “mommy” thing got annoying. The kid is 4 and cannot do a single thing himself. Kai Lan doesn’t bother me as much, it seems they are able to teach lessons without being annoying or exaggerating too much. The mornings are fabulous because he loves Mickey and Jake and the Pirates on Disney, both are completely tolerable, and just recently I found that Looney Toons are still on at night right before bedtime. What about Yo Gabba Gabba? I don’t get that show at all. And the Wiggles (I think thats what its called) are creepy too.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Yes, you are right – Yo Gabba Gabba is SO OUT THERE. We went to see them live a little over a year ago and it was by far the strangest experience ever – like a rave only for children. The Wiggles creep me out beyond all belief. And I think that Caillou’s parents are the worst helicopter parents ever conceived…Caillou and Rosie are entirely ill-equipped, which is sad because it sets the example that this is the way kids are supposed to be now.

  10. Allison C.

    We hate Caillou in our house. We call him Whiny Baby. When both of my kids were little, they liked the show for a short while. Then, his whiny stuff got to them too. Caillou’s parents should read the book, “Free Range Kids.” Also, my kids are dying to know, why is he bald at 4?

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Hey Allison! Yes, we are dying to know the answer to that question as well … his bald head is just so odd.

  11. blondgirl008

    Bring back Electric Company! Morgan Freeman is the bomb! I couldn’t stand Caillou and then I learned the first voice that played him (a 19 year old female) got hit by a bus in Montreal and died. And then I just felt sad hating on him. I know, I’m a sap.
    I miss the really twisted shows like Krofft super stars and Land of the Lost.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Land of the Lost was so awesome. I miss all the old shows…I had no idea about the girl with Caillou – that is very sad.

  12. HaLin

    Neatly summed up. 🙂

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Thanks!! Glad you liked it – the shows are really this awful!

  13. Off Duty Mom

    I, too, am irritated, exhausted or just surprised by some of today’s children’s programming. But, seriously, watch Lazy Town on the Sprout channel. My kid LOVES it, and I have yet to figure out why… 🙂

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I think we may have seen Lazy Town once or twice…I’m not sure it’s on often out here though! In any event, we’ll check it out more. Most of what is on is completely intolerable, although I think Curious George is okay (possibly for nostalgia though). Thanks for reading my blog!

      1. Alexia

        You tube, “Lazy Town Remix” and prepare to laugh your butt off. Inappropriate for kids though, so make sure your kids aren’t around. 😉

      2. Heather Christena Schmidt

        Hahaha – I will, thanks!!

  14. becomingcliche

    The only one of these that I have seen is Calliou, and I did like him. In the first 20 episodes, and then the whining got to me.

    Shows I hate: pretty much all of them. Even Sesame Street is not much fun anymore. Did I grow up all of a sudden?

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      It really is Caillou’s whining that is the bad part…save yourself from seeing the others, they are all pointless and (in some cases) worse. I’m sad by the turn that Sesame Street has taken, actually…but maybe it’s that I’ve grown up too! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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