Monday, October 25, 2010

{Bringing Up Boogie} Down With The Fresh Beat Band and Other Kid Shows That Aren't Fresh

The Fresh Beat Band stars Twist, Kiki, Shout, and Marina, a.k.a. Boogie's homies
By BASSEY IKPI


After last week’s mommy melt down, I’ve decided to relax and stop spending so much time watching Boogie and actually be with Boogie. You know, in his world. We’ve been doing playdates, like the one we had a few weeks ago at the pumpkin patch. And a bunch of other stuff that makes Boogie’s world go ‘round. But um, Boogie’s World is weird. I’m sorry. I love him and I think he’s super smart and super sweet, but the kid is strange. There’s a lot of putting boxes on your head and jumping. Lots of jumping. The kid jumps off of everything. It scares the crap out of me, but it’s just another five minutes in Boogie’s World.

After he’s done jumping off of things with a box on his head, Boogie’s World gets even more bizarre, particularly when his “shows” are involved. His “shows” are anything on Cartoon Network, a few shows on Nick Jr. and Sprout. The most peculiar show of all—the one I can not stand but my son loves and forces me to watch twice a day—is... The Fresh Beat Band.

I hate The Fresh Beat Band. Yes. HATE. I know, I know—as Boogie says, “Hate is a bad word.” But I don’t care. I hate them. 
If you know what The Fresh Beat Band is then you understand. If you don’t know what The Fresh Beat Band is, well, congratulations, I’m about to ruin your entire life. It’s only fair.
The Fresh Beat Band is a show on Nick Jr., about four diverse friends that live in an apartment or something together. Shout, Twist, Marina and KiKi are either kids or they’re not. I honestly can’t tell. The actors are all in their 40s but act like four-year-olds and think they’re in preschool. Or we’re not supposed to notice that they are too grown to not know what “cooperation” means. I’m honestly not sure who’s zoomin’ who here. I just know that Boogie LOVES THIS SHOW. He loves it in the most frighteningly hypnotic way, like in this video of him watching The Fresh Beat Band. He knows all the songs. He knows all the dances. He LOVES Twist. Who is Twist? Twist is a 7-foot-tall white boy who likes to beatbox. Do you know where my son, spawned from my hip hop loving loins, learned about beatboxing and hip hop? On The Fresh Beat Band, from a 7-foot-tall white boy—who does it wrong! I should call CPS on myself. Then there’s Shout. The “black guy.” I hate to call someone corny, but let’s say that if Shout were an R&B song by Trey Songz, he’d be called, “I invented corny.” He has loco legs. Please... just walk with me. Marina is the redheaded white girl/woman/child who plays the drums. And KiKi is Latina and loves to sing. They all sing. They all sing horribly, catchy songs about bananas and wall paper or The Illuminati.

I want to kill them.

Occasional Boogie's World guest Yo Gabba Gabba, in all his funky, fly, freshness

And Boogie LOVES IT! He refuses Sesame Street, talking about, “Do they know they’re talking to puppets?” He watches Yo Gabba Gabba sometimes, but he’s definitely not as transfixed as when The Fresh Beats are on. He can’t buy Big Bird or DJ Lance as viable characters, but The Fresh Beat Band is somehow legit to him. Where did I go wrong? 

I tried watching an entire episode with him, to, you know, bond and whatnot. And just to see if maybe I was missing something. It was all very bright and cheerful and singy-dancey. It was annoying but my boy, who won’t sit still long enough to change his mind, stands in front of the TV, his eyes wide, and sings and dances along to everything that these people do.
You should know that I don’t hate all children’s programming. I’m a fan of Olivia the Pig. That’s my homie. I love that little girl pig. She’s sassy and smart and rambunctious and imaginative. She’s like a pig version of Willow Smith
I don’t like Caillou’s ole whiny behind. I love the theme song to Kipper the Dog but I have never actually watched any of it. I’m a fan of Moose and Zee. Let’s stop there. I consider myself pretty savvy in the world of toddlers and things so I understand why one show works and another doesn’t—they provide a very intricate and detailed peek into the sociology of children... blah blah blah. All of this is for another post. I HATE THE FRESH BEAT BAND.

Why don’t they live with their parents? Do they have parents? Are THEY parents? Do they know they’re in their 40s? Are we supposed to know this? Why don’t they know anything? How are they in music school but to stupid to paint their doors? I HAVE QUESTIONS!

I just don’t get it. I don’t get much. Yesterday, I took Boogie to see Toy Story 3 on Ice, and I didn’t get that one, either. Boogie had mentioned interest in it before and a good friend, Alba, was able to get us two free tickets to the DC show. This was my thought process: “I like Toy Story 3. Great movie. I LOVE ice. It’s sometimes my only meal of the day. Toy Story 3 on Ice should be awesome!” It was not awesome.
First of all, “on ice” basically just means that it’s a bunch of failed figure skaters who didn’t  make the Olympic Team but didn’t want to give up the dream, so they decided this was close enough. 
Now, if you saw Toy Story 3, you know that it was a beautiful and touching film. Think of all the things you loved about that movie and then remove all the things you loved about that movie, keep the bad stuff and then put skates on it. I wanted to slit my wrists with my cell phone just so I’d have a legit reason to leave. I won’t even discuss the $10 tub of popcorn I bought or the $5 lemonade or the $10 bag of cotton candy BEFORE the show even started. I tweeted, “I just spent $25 on nothing. Michael Jackson better be backstage lacing his skates up because um...” During intermission, I tried to tell Boogie, “Oh. It’s over. I guess we have to go home now.” Boogie said, “It’s not over. Nobody else is leaving. OH! Can you buy me a hat?” The hat is $20. And the ushers kept walking by with flashing things and light up other things and spinning things and Boogie wanted EVERYTHING. I finally just told him that the only people who could buy them were blind children. Then he said he wanted to buy one for a blind child. I just... I had to exhale.

Between Toy Story 3 on Ice and The Fresh Beat Band, I think I’m done entering Boogie’s world. We’re going to have to find some nice middle ground to stand on. So far we both enjoy whipping our hair back and forth, so we’ll start there.


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24 comments:

  1. LOL at this whole post. I have a 10 month old and the tv STAYS on Nick Jr. It's the only way to get him to cooperate and stop tearing up the place while we try to cook and clean. He seems drawn to Fresh Beat Band and I have to admit that a lot of the songs are catchy. *sigh*

    I have a bad habit of pointing out horrible dancing and Twist is like the WORST dancer EVER. A lanky dude who can't catch a beat stands out no matter where they place him. Bless his heart.

    I have mixed feelings about Twist being the "Hip-Hop" persona. Like on one hand he's a goofy looking white dude so why did he get that part? On the other had it would be really stereotypical for Shout to be the DJ/rapper. I dunno.

    And do they ever go to class? I've seen them go to Music School to perform but never seen them learning anything. What's up with that? As you can see I have questions, too. LOL

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  2. Great post. The world of kids is a confusing and scary place. The logic is way different. As long as it keeps them innocent and free, I'm cool with it.

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  3. Are you inside my brain? LOL! Great post and so on the mark with everything you said. I cannot stand The Fresh Beat Band and glad my son barely watches it but Imagination Movers is just as bad. So annoying. But for Shaunsito I will sacrifice...for a little bit at least. :)

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  4. I've seen everything there is to see on ice with my daughter & thereby REFUSE to repeat any of that mess with my son. Now Daddy gets to do it all. Yeah for me!

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  5. Any show on ice is to be avoided, I took my 5 yo to see Nemo on ice this spring and it hurt my soul. Over a hundred dollars spent on garbage...

    My kids are 5 and 18 so I have been in this parenting game a while and I would say definitely look for the middle ground as far as activities.

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  6. I could not stop laughing as I read your post or shaking with total recall of sitting with both my niece (now 11) and nephew (2 3/4), don't forget the 3/4 - he's almost 3!) during their TV time and thinking "WHAT THE HELL!!....someone switch to the Antique Roadshow, Good Eats or Sesame Street!!"

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  7. I swear, I have all the same questions about the Fresh Beats. My daughter went through a phase a few months back (when she was still 4) when she'd watch the songs over and over again online. I wanted to push a knife through my ears. I don't hate them, but I DO hate Yo Gabba Gabba! I'm sorry. That guy is just freaky to me. I can't stand watching grown folks on these shows for little kids acting like they're stuck in some pre-adolescent purgatory. Ugh!

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  8. Awesome post. We saw Disney Princesses on Ice (all but Tiana), and I am mad your popcorn tub was $10 when ours was $20 not that I bought it.

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  9. We went through the Fresh Beat phase right after she got a DVD for her 3rd birthday. I just let her be (as in walked out of the room to cope) and now she's moved on to other things - thank goodness!

    I am a fan of Yo Gabba Gabba, although it had to grow on me as I was startled by the pink prickly thing when I first tuned in a couple of years ago. In fact I'm giving away some tickets to the live show in Dallas this month :) My whole family is a fan, I guess its the music and the diversity on the show that we love.

    Have you checked out WonderPets? That theme song is annoying and infectious at the same time. I love it and have accepted that she will be into quirky television until she's about seven or eight. Then I will be mad because she wants to emulate all the teens on the Disney shows and YouTube (been through this with my niece). So I'll take this corny, quirky phase with gratitude.

    Additional likes: Olivia and Little Bill.
    Additional dislikes: Callou

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  10. Olivia is the greatest. The Fresh Beats are the worst. (They never change their clothes either. I think that's a bad example for the kids.) But my kids can't get enough of it either. They know exactly when it's coming on. But thankfully, they love Yo Gabba Gabba, and DJ Lance is so flyy. The musical guests are great on that show too - we have a DVD called Muno's Family, and the Roots are the musical guest. Caillou - we don't even watch PBS anymore. It's Nick Jr. or nothing. My kids haven't figured out that shows come on ice, and I'm not inclined to clue them in.

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  11. LOL post, you are hilarious! Hey what about Backyardigans!! My boys love this show (4 and 15mths), did I say LOVE this show. I've even started singing the songs in my sleep :-) shhh, shhh secret. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7MCDOSJ6Eg

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  12. I LOVE this post. Hilariously spot on. My husband is more inclined to let our 3 y.o. see "her shows" so he has mentioned his loathing for this show. I believe his exact words were: "If I see the Fresh Beat Band on the street, I'm punching them in the face." I concurred, but told him he brought it on himself. I'd rather clean up 3 y.o. painting aftermath than subject myself to that frighteningly catchy drivel. Thanks for a much needed laugh and assurance that I'm not alone in despising that stuff.

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  13. Love the way you write. This is too funny.

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  14. I love this post!! Boogie is too cute, leave his shows for HIM..lol, my siblings loved Dora for the longest time, then one day the oldest (she was 7 then) goes "Dora scares me, everything in her world talks and her best friend is a monkey". Just like that, they got over it. Lol, I loved that Boogie wanted to buy the hats for the blind children, kids, they're so..pure. love it!.

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  15. I'm so glad my kids are all grown up,I don't know what I would do to keep them entertained with all of these confusing things for kids on the bub-tube today.
    Another great post.

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  16. Once again--pure awesomeness. Bassey never fails. I love it! I heart Bassey and I heart Boogie. I can't stop cracking up.

    That is actually a big fear of mine when I have kids. I hate cartoons, kids movies, etc. I even hate going to Disney. I don't know how I'm going to do it when I have some kiddos. I guess that's what family and friends are for :)

    Two thumbs up again!

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  17. Love this post. Should I be ashamed to say that I actually like the Fresh Beat Band? I do, I do. I can't help it. It's just dumb enough to be entertaining. And sadly I'm also hooked because I also watch So You Think You Can Dance and I've spotted a number of alums from the show dancing in the background. My daughter and I sing the songs while she's in the bath; shortly after she starts humming to herself, I chime in with the lyrics. She sings the wrong words, and I CORRECT her. Sigh.

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  18. Funny when the Fresh Beat Band first made an appearance I didn't like it but for a whole other reason. I just thought it looked way too much like Disney channel shows, which I hate with a passion. Disney channel and all its spin-offs are banned on my TV. But it makes the kid happy so I let her have her Fresh Beats. If only I could get her into Little Bill (mommy's fave)...and away from Dino Dan which is worse than the Fresh Beats if you ask me.

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  19. LOL you had me laughing through this entire post!

    Thank God my 3yo daughter hates the "Fresh Beats" for all the reasons you mentioned. She has watched a few episodes only to ask me "why they are so old?" I don't know why honey, let's not watch it ever again okay? ;)

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  20. OH MY!! this post is SOO near and dear to my heart. I also have a little man that can't get enough of the freshbeats. I have to say I feel EXACTLY the same way about them as you do..yet when the freshbeats come on, everything else fades into the background and my little guy is spinning, singing and trying to break-dance and the splits all at the same time. I guess I can credit the freshbeats for one thing...We had no idea our son could dance so well or had so much rythm (he's better than all 4 freshbeats put together)...I'm with you..Olivia the pig all the way!

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  21. good post! I am not fan of The Fresh Beats either...but my daughter loves it. I have actually learned some of the songs! The first time I watched it my thought was, where are they suppose to be ?? School? and they live on their own? how old are they suppose to be?
    and no Calliou here either, I have a hard time w/Yo Gabba Gabba & The Wonder Pets. Olivia is good and Backayardigans, Another show my daughter loves is Disney's Timmy Time I'm still debating on that one.

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  22. #RANDOM, but I just Wiki'ed this show & found out that the actor who plays Shout has a B.A. in Theatre Studies from Yale.

    this bothers me.........

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  23. Ok, I know I'm like two years late, but I hate the Fresh Beat Band so much that I had to come upstairs and google to find someone who hates it as much as I do. I knew I couldn't be the only one. Glad I found your blog!

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