Four kids and their favourite shows – OK, three kids; the youngest is only 1 and is more interested in her big toe than Television. But Amelia (7), Layla (5) and Jackson (3) love a good show and Netflix is our go-to. So here’s a list of their faves – in case you’re looking for your own kids, or yourself (it’s OK, we don’t judge in our house).
P.S. I recuse myself from blame for my children’s taste; indoctrination works only to a point…as it turns out, they have their own brains. So inconvenient.
My Little Pony (Friendship is Magic)
Written by the same crew that created Powerpuff Girls back in the 90s, My Little Pony is full of swashbuckling fantasy and adventure. The story follows the trials and tribulations of six sassy pony pals – Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rarity, Apple Jack and ring leader Twilight Sparkle – who battle delinquents (Discord being a firm favourite, or not so favourite) and fashion an unbreakable friendship in the process. Kids’ll have a favourite pony within the first five minutes and there is so much hilarity oozing from this show that you (dear mom and dad) will find yourself binging after hours – feet up, wine in hand, smile on face.
On a more serious note; if your kid has a penchant for the classics – Empodecles and the like; MLP has spans of mythological referencing and philosophical musing. Check out “Discord in the Doghouse, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” . No really.
How To Train Your Dragon
The books are great, the movies are great and the TV show greater still. What’s not to love about a bunch of Viking kids who defy their parents by training dragons instead of slaying them – and then their parents realise that their kids were right all along. I think I know why my brood like this show…(Plus Astrid’s a badass…hashtag girlpower.)
It’s totes boring. Lame animation, unimaginative – a total snore-fest. But kids love it! They really do – boys, girls; three-year-olds, seven-year-olds…this show does not discriminate. Watch its merry band of marvellous mutts (Marshall, Chase, Rubble, Syke blah-di-blah and more blah) scamper around keeping the world in order. Who knows – perhaps Paw Patrol is on to something?
‘Olden day’ Smurfs – with ‘grainy’ graphics and muffled voices; the best kind, in other words. But honestly – the crew can’t get enough of these little blue critters and their mushroom houses. My only issue; where are all the women (as such)? Huh? A bit ‘meh’ on the feminist front.
So…that indoctrination thing. Jem’s like the Simon Cowell of the 80s – except she’s a woman and has her own band. She’s also nicer, with better hair, ‘magic’ star earrings and a holographic computer (Synergy) that gives her and her gal pals pop star makeovers as and when. OK so not quite Simon Cowell…other than that she’s a record producer. But the show’s cool – and baddy girlband ‘The Misfits’ should probably have a real record deal – just saying.
…is what happens to a single boy growing up with three sisters. That’s all.
Blagh! So uncool. But hey; I’m not 3 or 5…or 7. The Strawberry Shortcake character was a thing in the 80s –and admittedly, she was pretty cute but something of her rag-doll charm has been lost in the CGI recreation of the show. The only redeeming factor about Strawberry Shortcake is that the characters are all named after dessert and are forever forever making cakes – l can dig that.
The Magic School Bus
Is education as well as entertaining. So if you’re having a panic about the ‘screen time’ thing; this show offers reprieve in that your children might actually learn something. ‘Magic School Bus’ was around in the 90s (it even won a couple of Emmys) but has been revamped for a new generation, featuring a modernised Ms Frizzle and high-tech bus with inventions such as robotics, wearables and camera technology – which could make it or break it for you.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
It’s dark, daring and dangerous but the best cinematic interpretation of Lemony Snicket’s excellent books. If your children were hooked on the antics of the Baudelaire children when you read them the stories and you’re one of those parents who believes that age restrictions are there to be broken, you’ll not want to miss out on the Neil Patrick Harris as the devilish Count Olaf.
Sponge Bob Square Pants
Genius. Pure genius. A sponge, with square pants who lives in a submerged pineapple in an underwater town called Bikini Bottom – it’s already funny. He has a pet snail called Gary, who meows. His best friend is a starfish called Patrick who lives under a rock and thinks he is super smart when he is actually super dumb. The show’s antagonists are Mr Krabs and grumpy octopus Squidward Tentacles. Krabs owns the Krusty Krab restaurant where Sponge Bob and Squidward work; money-hungry, Krabs is happy to exploit his workers to make a quick buck, and he and Squidward are the only dampeners on Sponge Bob’s incessant positivity.
There are loads of bonkers characters in the show but special mention must be made of Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel from Texas who lives in an oak tree entrapped in a clear glass dome locked by an airtight, hand-turned seal. Because she cannot breathe under water, Sandy wears a sort of space suit when strolling around Bikini Bottom. ‘Sponge Bob’ is brilliant satire and the best antidote to a bad day. Unmissable!
And a shout out to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. For Skeletor’s sake!