TV Diary: Week of June 16

Back at the BarnyardThe kids are with me this week during the day for a few hours now that school is over (who invented this by the way? Months and months of forced childcare expenses and lost work time. Next year, I encourage them to fail and go to Summer School.) In the mornings, the TV is on for a while. Only eductional programming of course, Math shows and documentaries on the history of Sweden. And sometimes nick. I want to like Sponge Bob. I really do. But the sounds of the title character’s wailing are uniquely annoying in a piercing way that cuts across your temples through your brain severing that part that makes you not want to kill people. By the way, Back at the Barnyard is full of smart and slightly inappropriate humor that flies over the heads of kids and into the other room where you’re working on your laptop. It’s created by Steve Oedekerk of the Thumb Wars series. This morning there was a Freud character on the farm and I overheard one of his patients, a pig or a cow, having a breakthrough exclaiming with tears “I just realized my mother only loved me as a friend!” I came back in the room at a certain point (is this a clue to how long I “allowed” the TV to be on this morning) and saw a McDonald’s ad. In it a bunch of kids are skipping through a black and white forest carrying Happy Meals and as they swing them about by their handles all the foliage behind them turns to color. My kids exclaimed this was the “Avatar commercial.” With that ad McDonald’s has really captured the essence not just of the spirit of that movie but of environmental consciousness as a whole. I was surprised because I think of Happy Meals turning kids fat and littering the scarred strips of green lining the nation’s highways with flimsy bits of weathered cardboard and greasy wrappers. But I guess I was wrong. I’ve really got to get out more.


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