This ain’t child’s play

A while ago, I started thinking about the kid’s shows I’d loved when I was growing up. And I startedt thinking about what sorts of things have been passed off as kid’s “entertainment.” And I started wondering about the most appallingly BAD kid’s shows ever made.

My criteria were harsh. The shows in question had to not only be just bad, but in some way bad for the kids. Something about these shows had to make me say aloud “dear god, who in hell thought this would be GOOD for kids?”

I came up with three, which I’m stuffing in the extended section. But I’m inviting others to add their own nominations, with or without looking at mine.

Have at it, folks!

3) Barney & Friends. A marketing ploy disguised as a condescending, treacly load of tripe. I want to hurl whenever I stumble across ANYTHING to do with Barney.

The sole redeeming factor: the tremendous number of violent parodies it has inspired, from “Death To Smoochy” to the Animaniacs’ “Baloney & Friends” to “I hate you/You hate me/Let’s hang Barney from a tree” to countless more.

2) Captain Planet & The Planeteers. It wasn’t just that this was environmentalist/save the earth propaganda aimed at kids, but that it was BAD environmentalist/save the earth propaganda aimed at kids. The bad guys were, more often than not, capitalists who were poisoning the earth simply for the pure satisfaction of being bad. Thank you, Ted Turner.

1) Highlander. I have NO idea what sort of drugs the executive was on when he said “Hey, here’s an idea! We have a successful franchise going that revolves around people cutting off each other’s heads! Let’s make a kid’s cartoon out of it!”, but I want some.

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