Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Arthur: Greatest Kids Show Ever? (1996-2003)
I say hey! Let's go back to our childhood and to the glory days of Public Television. The days of "Cyberchase", "Between the Lions", "The Bernstein Bears", "Wishbone", "Clifford the Big Red Dog", and I guess there was "Caillou" (but actually f*** Caillou). In all of these though only one had a intro song performed by Ziggy Marley with an original point of view, and only one reigns supreme. That is "Arthur", created in 1996 based on the Marc Brown book series, and it is perhaps the greatest kids show of all time, so open up your eyes, open up your ears and let's get into this.
The genius of Arthur, and the reason why it is still on today, is completely due to storytelling. I think today in kids television shows people can't relate to the source material. They can't relate to the problems the characters face, and even though to kids the content itself is viscerally interesting they don't get sucked into the characters as much as they did (and still do) with a show like Arthur. Take shows today like "Martha Speaks," "Word Girl," and "Dinosaur Train." They all lack one thing, relate-ability. Though the zany adventures of dinosaurs, talking dogs, and a super-girl with monkey sidekick are all interesting within the nature of themselves how could we possibly relate to their problems? Arthur was about kids who had real problems, bullying, being different, making new friends, saying goodbye, the bond of family. The stories were rich and progressed the character development in the series, something educational television severely lacks these days.
Every episode Arthur tackled an issue that mattered and effected the lives of us kids. When we watched it we could relate, and in some cases lived, these exact scenarios. They enriched and educated us, made us into better people, supplemented our education on how the world works and how we need to treat people better and work together.
Arthur was a show not about ratings, or fast paced action, or learning the alphabet, it was about Love; and Love is universal and timeless. That why is Arthur will forever remain the greatest kids show of all time.