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KIDS TV IN OUR POST-TRUTH WORLD

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Catie Wilkins on the dark new side of children's television

Now Britain has voted to leave the EU and Trump is the President of the USA, Catie Wilkins can only see the dark side of kids' TV, from Teletubbies to Hey Duggee...

Back in the Halcyon days of the first half of 2016, I used to love the comforting nonsense of the pre-school entertainment schedule. 6am start? No bother, let’s just ease into the morning gently with a cup of tea and the beautiful, reassuring nectar of Cbeebies. I’ll worry about all the stress of work, deadlines and life admin after 7am, thanks. Look, a talking lion is teaching my child about sharing.

But now that world events have successfully punched the shit out of 48% of the UK, and over half of Americans; and I keep waking up in cold sweats, dreaming about nuclear wars with Russia; I can only see the dark side of everything. Even reassuringly cheerful TV made for toddlers is too bleak for me now. This is what I see when my daughter is watching TV in this scary post-Truth era:

She sees Teletubbies – I see Brave New World for children. Rearing their Tiddlytubbies in a motherless communal area where nobody belongs to anybody. Sure, they have Hobbit-style jaunty houses, but they get their food from a soulless, pink milkshake machine.

She sees Postman Pat – All I can see is that the cast definitely voted Leave, despite clearly benefitting from EU Remote Area Rural funding. I just watched Pat waste it on flying a helicopter to deliver some ice skates. Enjoy it while it lasts, Greendale. I hope your spin-off show, ‘Jam Factory Worker Pat’ is as successful as you imagine and not too gritty for kids TV. I expect Pat will still make the jam on time, despite no EU workers’ rights or sick pay. (NB: I fully accept that once you feel angry with a fictitious Claymation village by proxy, you have crossed some kind of line).

She sees Hey Duggee – I see a sombre take on Planet of the Apes. Set in an unspecified future, in a post-nuclear world. Humans are now extinct, but the other animals have evolved spoken English and a civilisation that requires Scouts for their offspring. Dogs appear to have been more adversely affected by the radiation poisoning than other species, and can still only say ‘woof,’ though in this society that is not an impediment to becoming an Akela.

:: What do you think? Do you have any scary post-Trust interpretations of the TV your kids are watching? Let us know below...

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