Tuesday, January 22, 2008

An Open Letter to Bob the Builder

Dear Bob the Builder,

Not that I have, or would, because my children are only ten and a half months old, and we all know that if you so much as flick on the television only once to catch the traffic and weather prior to the day your child turns two that said child will convulse into a fit of seizures, ADD, and delayed linguistic abilities, but not so delayed that the child won't be able to state "It's all your fault!" (while crying) with astonishing clarity despite the broken baby-language-ness of it all,


If I were to tune into your show, all the while explaining to my loving Italian father--who at that moment would be helping me with my children--what a wonderful show this is, I understand that I might be rewarded for my loyalty with the searing into our retinas of the image of a little, white-hatted, mustachioed, dark-haired, pizza-selling character who adds vowels to the end of every word.

Now, I understand that clay is not the most expressive of all media, and that one must occasionally resort to gimmicky devices in order to get one's point across. Hence, your lady character's sex is advertised by the fact that she wears earrings with her hardhat. That said, however, does one really need to resort to EVERY CARTOONISH STEREOTYPE IN THE UNIVERSE ROLLED INTO ONE CHARACTER?

Incidentally, I have rarely encountered an Italian accent (and certainly never such a bad one!) at a casual, by-the-slice pizzeria in the five boroughs of New York City, and I'm fairly certain that in the fictional world you inhabit--which looks a bit to me like the Midwest--such an accent would be even harder to come by.

If you'd like to feature an Italian character--a laudable idea, in my opinion--why not a plainclothes individual with an accent consistent with the fact that his ethnicity's big wave of emigration to the U.S. occurred 3-4 generations ago? If you'd like to feature an Italian character who has recently arrived in the U.S., how about fixing the accent and nixing the mustache and cute little hat? Armani is a far more likely scenario.


P.S. Tell your friends Curious George and Fireman Sam that I'm coming after them next.


Blogger Mignon said...

Yes, there are too many things wrong with BtB, including the cartoony stereotypes. The pumpkin-headed idiot, the really lame "projects" required of Bob and his talking machinery, the piss-poor claymation. Not good. Not good at all. Will they watch Caillou? He's a suck-up, but they all have Canadian accents. And not fake ones.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

I have the same cringe-y feeling when I watch old Looney Tunes with the big, red-faced Irish cops.

I have a feeling we're going to have to be pretty damn selective about which kids' shows we allow our young'uns to watch. Sigh.

9:20 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home