I’m very prepared to admit right now that, as a single mum of two young children, I rely on the television a lot. It helps to appease a lot of situations, especially when I’m trying to Get Shit Done. We tend to spend quite a lot of time out of the house, but it provides a comfortable level of background noise for when we’re in.
A couple of months ago, I lost the remote for the TV. I scoured high and low for it, and the general conclusion was that it had been placed in the bin by a small boy who had obviously been fed past midnight and was going through one of his utter gremlin episodes. I didn’t intercept it before it made the journey to the outside bin, never to be seen again, and so we couldn’t watch the big black box anymore (no matter how much I pressed all the buttons on the side in some vain attempt to get it to work). So I tried streaming CBeebies through – before realising that I could get anything I wanted up to show them. Which means that 90s me was screaming on the inside to let rip with my childhood favourites. Obviously, I happily obliged this inner voice and eagerly studied my children’s faces to see if I could spot any signs of inherited glee. Here were my findings:
First up, boating classic Rosie and Jim. I’m never quite sure of the person who’s steering the boat; I had vivid recollections of a guy with a beard (maybe John?) and a woman they called Loopy Ears. There may have been others, but I wasn’t interested in them at all – I just wanted these snogging, glorified sexdolls to tell me a story. They’re so dead behind the eyes. What happens when the cameras aren’t rolling? (or when they are…)
Flo’s verdict: Really boring, wanted to know why the duck didn’t move, thought Jim was a girl.
Next was this work of brilliance. I have the Moomins on DVD, so they were easy enough to find. I always forget just how dark this cartoon actually is, and how horrifying that tiny shit Little My appears to kids. Only when Flo started asking me “why is the ginger one so angry and scary?” did I regress and feel her terror.
Flo’s verdict: Watched for quite a bit, didn’t stop asking what animals Moomins were (wasn’t satisfied with Moomin, wanted to know what country they lived in – told her Finland as I thought this would be correctish?), was a bit overwhelmed by it all. Roo was enchanted and watched the whole thing. Good boy.
Where does it gurrrrrrr? Where does it stop? Hopefully not at the Dot stop, that was a pile of wank. Thankfully YouTube makes it so you can Google whichever stop you want to land on. I went for the Roundabout stop, Why Bird stop and Playground stop (where the character from my actual nightmares, Lizzie Dreams the marionette, used to be flung around to COME ON EVERYBODYYY LET’S MOVE TO THE MUSIIIIC). Roo picked up interest with all of it, but having not been brought up with such uncertainty on what was going to happen in the show, Flo thought fit to question everything. Who’s Rosie? She’s the roundabout. Why has the roundabout got a name? Because Mr. Jolly named her. Why did he give a name to a roundabout? STOP THE QUESTIONS, SIT BACK AND ROLL UP AND RIDE ON THE MAGICAL, MUSICAL, MERRY-GO-ROUND, JEEZ LOUISE. Why’s it so hard to accept man, just go with the flow and enjoy the acid trip without any drugs entering your system.
Flo’s verdict: Confused.
This was my absolute favourite when I was younger. Looking back, it was a bit fucked up. Three kids all live together in an abandoned house with a donkey in the back yard and a secret ratbag called Furryboo that we weren’t meant to talk about but popped up and scared the shit out of me in every single episode. One of the kids was French, one spoke like Joey Essex if he had his balls clamped and the last one was a nerd who liked to pull the others up on anything they’d gotten wrong. Recipe for disaster in the real world as Tom would’ve been dropkicked into next week anywhere else. Both kids watched all of it, mainly in a trance at Tilly’s voice (as was I at their age).
Flo’s verdict: Pretty house and they look like really good friends. Duh, course they are, they’re the Tots.
We’ve been watching more, but I’ll save them for next time. They don’t make ’em like they used to. Sigh.