Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Friday, April 8, 2011

Last Bit of Kid Show Month

So a few weeks ago I decided to do Kid Show Week, where I would write a series of articles about kid shows. Yeah it took longer than a week to get the number of articles I wanted so for the next series I'm giving myself a month.

As stated in my preface to kid shows I like them. People to to think that just because it was made for kids it sucks. That isn't true for a couple of reasons.

Always remain young at heart
I'm a kid at heart. Most of the same things that made me happy, made me angry, and made me afraid do the same now. I still can't stand bullies and still like to have fun and am still won't ride roller costars because of my fear of heights. People falsely assume that when you become adult you all of a sudden become a different person. You don't. Life changes. You don't. I'm still the same guy I was at 14.

Kids are different
Second, is people don't get kids. Too many times writers assume that kids are stupid, innocent or naive. In some ways they are but mostly they're just different. What I say next will be paradoxical to the last paragraph, but it is what it is. Kids have different wants and fears than adults. If you want to write a good kid's story you have to deal with the issues that kids deal with. Like I said previously there is a bunch of overlap, but to often due to laze writers decide to just assume that kids are stupid. To this day I love writers like K.A. Applegate and Roald Dahl because they didn't.

For example, when you're an adult you have the luxury of not having to deal with parents 24/7. They don't rule you when you're a kid that's one unique difference. Another is truth. When you're an adult you know more easily how to tell when you're being bullshited. School is supposed to give you enough background knowledge about the world to be able to function but kids often lack that background knowledge. Kids often have to deal in areas they haven't been educated in and sometimes just have to take someone's word.

Small is Okay
The third is what I call relatable scale or the Rocky Affect
A lot of adult shows want scale. They want crisis on a life and death scale. I get it. Who doesn't like a war epic, but sometimes in blowing something to large proportions things get lost. I don't deal in life and death struggles I doubt I ever will. Sometimes it's enough to show a few characters going through regular struggles. showing someone having a rough day at work or a few friends trying to win a baseball game can make for a good story.

Kid shows seem to be less afraid to go small. To this day one of my favorite movies is A Boy named Charlie Brown. It makes me feel better when I'm having an off day, especially Linus's speech after the baseball game.

There is no chance Chuck Brown is going to die but seeing him lose that spelling bee is crushing, and seeing him get up and continue being Charlie Brown even though the universe hates him is inspiring.

And the fourth is Fun
Like the scale problem a lot adult shows want to be dramatic, which is fine some of the time, but sometimes you need fun and for that matter cheese. Cheesiness isn't bad if the writers lampshade it. It's okay to break from reality for the sake of fun. Think back when you were a kid. What was your idea of space like vs what space is actually like.? Which one seems like you could have cool awesome adventures in and which one seems like you would die in.

Next up is Channel Month where I will closely examine various TV channels.

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