The Texture Of Things

Groundhog’s Day is Finally Here (Edited)

February 1st, 2007

Set your VCRs, kids (DVRs, for those in living in the new millennium). Tomorrow is the premier of another episode in the second season of Jack’s Big Music Show.

I know very little about this episode, aside from what’s listed on the website* and the fact that we will be taping this episode, come hell or high water. Why? I’ll tell you why. Jon Stewart will be in it.

Why should we care about Jon Stewart having a bit part on a kids’ show? Oh, right. You haven’t been at our house when Jack’s, The Daily Show or The Colbert Report comes on. Allow me to illuminate the significance:

1.Jack’s Big Music Show is a tot- and parent-favorite in this house.
2.Also, this is what it’s like trying to watch TV when Stewart or Colbert is on**:

My expectations are so high at this point, there is no way for the episode to live up to them. I only hope the tot likes it.

This season has been disappointing, for those of you who care. It’s as if the writers are too bogged down by plot and children’s issues. Last year Mary strode in with a stripy seed she named Arthur, a cool Daddio flower, who then grew up and bloomed to play jazz in the clubhouse, and the characters just rolled with it.

In the better episodes, the characters live in a world of magic, a place where a character would not come in with a didactic spiel on plant cycles and loving all creatures (or some similar life lesson). They already acted accordingly, leaving the writers room in the 22-minute session to expound on the “What if?” What if a seed you found only grew when music was played? What would happen then?

And this is the case with almost every episode from last season. This season. Meh. Not quite so much with the magic. I see why it’s important to demonstrate to kids that being honest and saying you’re sorry when you break your friend’s dulcimer is important, but sheesh. There are enough of those shows on TV already. This show is supposed to be about the music.

Maybe the second season will grow on me. Maybe tomorrow’s show will be good.

*The synopsis, if you’re feeling lazy: in this episode, Gertrude the Groundhog is overwhelmed by the crowds waiting to see if she’ll see her shadow or not.

**Edited to add: This picture is from a year ago. We don’t actually let her watch those two shows nowadays, as much as she absolutely wants to (which is a lot). I mean, I’m not looking for, um, more opportunities to practice parenting in the language department. And yes, I do think “crap” and “bitch” are too grown up of words for my child to use at this time. Come second grade, we’ll revisit the issue.

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