TV for Tots: Not What You Remember
Even the cartoon characters are stand-ins for adult socio-political obsessions.
APRIL 22, 2010
By JONATHAN V. LAST
These days the personal is the political, even on children's television. Not content to simply teach lessons about the alphabet or sharing, nearly every show has a worldview or a message to push.
In recent years, for instance, children's entertainment has struggled with the idea of manliness.
To some extent, TV is just reflecting changes in the outside world, which over the past 40 years has been, to a large degree, feminized. This has been partly for good and partly for ill. To take just one example, it is undeniably good that bullying has become (at least officially) forbidden. Bullying is a very bad thing.
But as bullying was put away, so were ideas about physical courage and manliness. Not knowing how to handle such subjects in this new era, the creators of children's television choose to present strange visions of men. the rest image
The men on kids' shows tend to be either aged, and hence harmless, or young, and vaguely effete.