Isaac is now fast approaching 15 months (two weeks away). During his infancy, we were very particular about any television being on within his view. We were particular at that time for two reasons. One, it’s pretty common knowledge that babies staring at televisions is a no no. Two, Isaac would do everything is his tiny little baby power to contort himself to see a screen, any screen. So we made sure to control that pretty well.
As he has grown, we have lightened up on that a little and one of the main sources of toddler entertainment has been Sprout. It’s a preschool targeted channel that has programming like Sesame Street, The Wiggles, Bob the Builder, Thomas the Train, etc. I basically like what they are doing with the shows they have, but in the short time I have been paying attention to it, I notice some things I REALLY don’t like.
Commercials: OH MY GOD, people. One day I look up after Bob the Builder or something and there’s Montel, yes THAT Montel. And he’s pitching a cash advance company called Money Mutual. Apparently they want to give my kid “A Thousand Dollars Fast”! Ok, maybe it’s targeted at me, but why do they need to go that way with their advertising spots? It gets better too. Ever heard of Tardive Dyskinesia? If you have, it’s likely because of that damn commercial on television. There are a ton of them too. If you have ever taken any medication, it’s likely you are entitled to a cash settlement. Seriously, I know these networks have to make ends meet, but is it not unreasonable to try to keep it less scummy? Ya know, for the kids?
Self Promotion: This is less irritating, but it’s incessant. Because many of the shows or segments they air run in the 5-15 minute range, there is a lot of transition. And when they are not running lame commercials, they are self promoting all of the other shows. The main problem with this is the sheer repetition. I perpetually have the Cailluo theme song in my head. I see the same promo over and over and over and over. I guess this part IS for the kids. But it’s the part that pushes the network like a dealer pushes dope.
I guess the last gripe I have with Sprout is that their content is regularly rotated. The same episodes of shows seem to pop up more often than needed. I suppose it’s not that big of a deal. And if I think about it, maybe seeing something familiar is good for wee ones. Whatever the reason, it’s not worth fighting over, it just annoys me.
Until we kill cable, I am sure we will continue to flip to FiOS channel 263. But when we flee from cable, I will not miss Sprout, Montel, or Tardive Dyskinesia.