8/12/09

Blame Sid

"Sid the Science Kid" is a relatively new show on PBS. It follows the adventures of young Sid as he discovers new basic concepts in science. The format, as with most kids' shows, is always the same: Sid has a problem or question over breakfast, his mom looks up something on the internet to half-way address the concern, and then she suggests that he follow up with his teacher.

Sid rides to school with his mom and sings, "I love my mom, uh-huh, my mom is cool--but now it's time for school!" He meets with his friends who all repeat their same introductory songs each time. Sid proceeds to learn more about his sciency question. They do "rug time," some sort of Laugh-In parody, show footage of real-life kids working on the same science topic, and complete an experiment, and then Sid gets a ride home with his Grandma. He asks something like, "Do you know about electricity, Grandma?" And she babbles about electricity from when she was a kid, or whatever.

It's all fairly nauseating.

The cloyingly perfect awesomeness of his life is well beyond anything Disney ever came up with. At least Disney killed off a few parents for drama now and then. Even the make-up of the family is pitch-perfect PC, in that the mom is voiced by a black woman, the dad is voiced by a white dude, and Sid adores his baby sibling. He also has a vaguely Asian friend and a vaguely "slow" friend who is purple (but why??).

So why do I let the girls watch it? Well, it's actually quite masterful at approaching science topics in a kid-friendly way. Even the 9-yo daughter of our friends preferred watching Sid to anything else Juliette and Ilsa had saved on the DVR. She was too grown up for "The Backyardigans" and scoffed at "Blue's Clues," but she sat and watched two episodes of Sid.

Then I woke up this morning to find the girls hard at work on this:

Yup, that's a fully functioning pulley. I had no hand in it. They built it after waking up, quietly designing it together in their room.

So I guess Sid and his nauseating life can stay.

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