Friday, September 01, 2006

Franklin - For Adults

Although we are not really in favor of television for children, it has become a welcome assistant when the boys are going berserk and we need some time without them, you know, to actually cook their dinner without the twins screaming “EAT, EAT, EAT!” while jumping up and down at the kitchen gate.

Luckily, there is Noggin. Found on Noggin are the Backyardigans, Little Bear, and Franklin the Turtle. The Backyard-thingy’s are the current favorite because they sing songs throughout their little adventures. But Franklin is a close second.

Franklin amuses me.

The Canadian accents show through about once every 5 minutes. But even better, the mix of critters is amazing. Not totally believable, but well done nonetheless. I can suspend my disbelief to watch young bears, foxes, beavers, moose, muskrats, and a turtle play together.

I have some questions, though.

Why is it that Franklin is the only character with an actual name? Everyone else is Bear, or Beaver, or Mrs. Muskrat. Even his parents are only Mr. & Mrs. Turtle.

And why don’t they ever get into trouble? Are we to believe that they somehow learn their lessons without being sent to their rooms, or being grounded, or being made to stay after school? Not every kid is this angelic.

Every now and then, I sit and watch Franklin’s adventures with the boys. I park myself on the couch with at least one boy in my lap and imagine how I would have written the stories. Take yesterday’s episode for example.

One of the stories showed Franklin and his friend Bear attending a hockey game. They ask the star player, Coyote, for an autograph. He gladly agrees. Later, Coyote shows up at their junior league hockey game to visit an old friend. Everyone is happy. How sweet.

My version: Coyote would have charged them $5 for the autograph. He would have shown up completely drunk to Franklin’s game. The kids’ parents, turning away from heckling the coach, would become verbally abusive and throw hot coffee at him. There would be a fight. Coyote would end up eating everyone, except for the Bear family, who would then beat him severely and leave him in a bloody pile next to the ice. Coyote’s hockey team would lose the championship game, and the Bear family would make millions betting against his team.

But I guess that wouldn’t be a kid’s program.