I blame them for everything.
And I mean everything.
No, not Bank of America and raiders fans. Kids’ TV shows.
One of my kids acting up?
Probably took cues from “Pair of Kings.”
Another kid copping an attitude?
Dang “Shake It Up” episodes on Netflix.
Did my daughter really just say that?
No doubt, she learned it from “I-Carly.”
Most kids shows irk the hell out of me.
My skin crawls when I hear that guitar rift that opens most “Good Luck, Charlie” scenes.
My lip snarls when I hear Sprouse brothers’ voices crackle on “Suite Life On Deck.”
My stomach turns, I break out in hives and sometimes even dry heave when I hear Selena Gomez blabber in that sassy tone of the theme song to “Wizards of Waverly Place.”
Why can’t the kids just watch “Leave It To Beaver”? “Bonanza?”
“Monday Night Football?”
I do remember articles bemoaning the child antics of such shows as “Silver Spoons” and “Diff’rent Strokes” when I was a kid. But hey, we turned out fine, didn’t we?
It’s just a different world.
Controversy and trouble are good publicity for music acts, quite often.
A first down or tackle for a gain of 4 or fewer yards is reason to celebrate like you’ve just scored in today’s NFL.
And the meaner the better with the comeback/quip/talk-back for kids in 2012, thanks to the laugh-tracks that accompany the smart-ass responses of kid TV brothers everywhere.
I’m not a total curmudgeon.
I thought Emily Osment’s character in “Hanna Montana” was the most. I absolutely love me some “A.N.T Farm,” particularly Olive and Paisley, and “Phineas and Ferb” is a show my kids know that they should save me a spot on the couch when they queue it up.
Here, though, are the five I’d like to wrap in tin foil, drop in a bucket of horseradish and turpentine, and shove off the business end of a fast-moving lettuce truck on a remote two-lane coastal Mississippi highway with lots of potholes. At night. During a hurricane.
I should note that the aforementioned “Good Luck Charlie” teetered dangerously in the range of this list, mainly because of Gabe’s turdish ways, but also because it’s a show based in Denver that has never, ever even included a glimpse of a Rockies cap.
Or Broncos pennant. Or Avalanche hoodie. Or Nuggets jersey. Not even a Rapids scarf or a Colorado Buffs window decal or Colorado State jacket or Air Force beanie or …
OK, OK. The list. They’re in alphabetical order, but if you’re willing to off them one by one, I won’t be a bit sad that “I-Carly” tops the list.
1. I-Carly (Nickelodeon)
So, this show takes the idea of kids living pretty much independently of any parental or competent grownup presence, and makes it cool. Carly (Miranda Cosgrove) is an adolescent girl who lives in an apartment with her guardian, 26-year-old brother Spencer (Jerry Trainor), and produces content for her website, through which she’s become something of an international superstar.
Carly and her friends Sam (Jennette McCurdy) and Freddie (Nathan Kress) basically live as animals, tossing cupcakes against a door to see if they’ll stick in some sick competition (sick, because of the wasted food, mostly), rushing into adult themes before they’re ready, and belittling whomever’s in the way of any petty urge they succumb to.
This show is an unofficial primer for those hoping to spend copious time in their adolescence and early adulthood watching daytime dramas and M-TV.
2. Kickin’ It (Disney)
Clue No. 1 that it’s going to be a show I’ll hate – I spy one of those rotten kids from the “Hanna Montana” cast (not you Emily Osment!) in a scene. In this case, it’s obnoxious Sensei Rudy (Jason Earles), who has a strange relationship with a goat. (Seriously, do these shows – and Disney movies – draw from the same stinkin’ pool of a dozen kid actors?) His posse is tastefully rounded out by a skateboarder who is scared of clowns in Jack (Leo Howard), Milton (Dyland Riley Snyder), who could inspire Ghandi to become a bully with that voice, and, oh, a token Chicano (Mateo Arias) who likes to land in jail and a token girl (Olivia Holt).
If I was forced, or if there was good pizza in the room, I could probably tolerate almost a full episode of this show, if the sound were turned off.
3. Pair of Kings (Disney)
Just.Can’t.Escape.The.Hanna.Montana.Crew. (Not you, Emily!) This time, it’s a double-dose, with Mitchell Musso as Brady and Doc Shaw as Boomer. They’re twins – yes, one’s black, one’s white – who inherited rulership of a Polynesian island called Kinkow. There’s a lot of screaming in this show. A lot. And a ton of cowardice and selfishness. And grown-ups looking like fools. I can’t fault this trait too much. I like when grown-up look like fools, too.
When I do watch this show, my brain begins to numb, starting just above my left eye. I wonder if this is how life is like with a brain injury. Or as a dodgers fan.
OMG – Adam Hicks has replaced Mitchell Musso for season three!
Still gonna hate it.
4. Shake It Up (Disney)
Oy. If ever my kids have one of these girls as their BFF … I mean, I like the theme of the girl buddies for once, but these two … It’s really not easy for me to rip people, especially kids. But, you know that feeling you get when broccoli repeats on you? Or your shoes get soggy and have no dry socks to change into? Or when you get the fat-free ranch by mistake? That’s just how I feel when I watch this show. It has that intangible irritant quality.
5. Wizards of Waverly Place (Disney)
Five seasons. Five long seasons. If I were ever elected president, I’d make it so grown-ups could lock out shows after the kids have seen them once on Netflix. Except for “A.N.T. Farm” and “Phineus and Ferb,” of course. Not even the fact that the kids are half Mexican saves this one. Every time I hear a snotty retort from one of my kids, and I’m facing the other direction, I see an image of Selena Gomez smiling mockingly at me.
I haven’t even gotten into the strange and disturbing element of wizards and werewolves trying to date, and the disastrous fights that ensue (in the family’s sub shop, no less! There’s potential for more wasted food – and brain cells.)
Just to prove that heaven is punishing me for something I did as a kid, there’s also movies of Wizards. In at least one, there’s an ultimate duel to see which kid gets to remain a wizard. There’s also an episode of the TV show in which this occurs. There are different results, so even when I try to feign interest, the kids get mad that I can’t remember which kid actually retained their wizardly powers.
Not since the Washington Wizards under Michael Jordan has a crew of overpaid blowhards been this annoying.
Geez, I feel evil about all this.
All this complaining.
I need to finish with something … positive.
How about Olive, from “A.N.T. Farm,” trying out as a cheerleader?
You’re right. I do watch too much TV.