Recently P has discovered the show Yo Gabba Gabba. I tape it for her on our DVR. She has also recently embraced her complete love for all things My Little Pony. At first we scoffed at her desire for the pastel colored ponies and their accompanying accessories, books and DVD’s. We didn’t want to encourage her interest in such corny, low-brow entertainment – especially those with so many merchandising opportunities! Soon after, G came home from work with a surprise for her – her very own Pinkie Pie. He said that he didn’t want to disregard her cultural choices. He felt that we shouldn’t be judging her in that way. I mostly agree with him and can make that leap with this particular set of characters. I’m not willing to do so with Dora however. She owns quite a few Dora related things but most of the little plastic figures found themselves in the garbage can recently when they showed up on the list of toys containing high levels of lead. She hasn’t asked about them and we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
She and I have watched Yo Gabba Gabba together and she clearly enjoys the show. She often wants to play “YoGabbaGabba” and has expressed an interest in being Foofa for halloween. While I do appreciate some of the animation and music on the show I just can’t stand how achingly hip it all is. Does my 4 year old really need to be exposed to a trippy rave esthetic? I find most of the music to be just as repetitive and simplistic as the music on say, Barney. Even P noticed that the children on the show only say, “My name is insert name of child and I like to Dance”. She wondered why they don’t ever like to do anything else? The fact that they are trying so hard to appeal to the parents in the room (and no doubt the stoner college kids watching) just irritates me. There is a certain level sincerity that is lacking there. Everything feels mechanical and orchestrated to be as over-the-top as possible.
She and I have watched some My Little Pony DVD’s together and she clearly enjoys the show. She often wants to play “My Little Pony” and has expressed an interest in going to see a My Little Pony live show. Just like Charlton Heston, you will pry those tickets from my cold, dead hands! While I think the writing on these programs is basically atrocious. It makes me wonder if the writers have contests to see how many times they can insert the words; princess, crystal, rainbow, unicorn, magic wand, butterfly, etc., (you get the idea) into every script. At the same time the stories are always about helping others, teamwork, finding your dreams, etc., and granted the themes on Yo Gabba Gabba are about the same things too and these are positive messages for her to absorb. Somehow I feel a little bit better about her getting these ideas from a My Little Pony program or book. While everything in it may be impossibly girly and over-the-top ridiculous I don’t feel like anyone is winking at me from behind the camera saying, we know that this is soooooooo stupid too but isn’t our special version of stupid just so amazingly hip and cool? Stupid is just plain stupid to me.
I’ve already ordered two My Little Pony sets for her for Christmas and I think I may just “forget” to set the DVR to tape Yo Gabba Gabba soon. Heck, there are only 10 episodes of the show anyway. Call me un-hip, go ahead I dare you.