4. COW AND CHICKEN
Mama had a chicken,
Mama had a cow,
Dad was proud, he didn’t care how!
Once before my life got complicated, I would sit before the TV set and watch two anthropomorphic barn animals terrorize Sunday morning programming with their collective insanity.
If Ren and Stimpy was considered edgy and, okay, “way existential”, Cow and Chicken was just downright retarded. Cow and Chicken follows the (mis)adventures of a badly-drawn bovine and her equally-badly drawn brother Chicken (don’t ask). They argue, get into scrapes, and battle with an incompetent villain called the Red Guy. Their parents are the discarded remnants of the Philippine manananggal — or perhaps the artist was just too lazy to finish drawing the upper halves. Or could be a missed Jungian thing. I dunno.
Anyway, this Cartoon Network masterpiece does not need a high school level IQ to understand and enjoy the whole premise. Heck, everybody with half a brain (Hi, Paris!) would be able to enjoy this just fine. Which would explain its popularity among pre-schoolers, elementary pupils, and that moron who just downloaded the Roberta Black video.
The TRAUMA deepened: When Cow becomes – tadah! SuperCow, complete with a Super Man-ish costume, only with her udders sticking out like an inflatable rubber glove your dominatrix neighbour slaps you with.
Trauma Level: 6
3. HAPPY TREE FRIENDS
Giggles, Cuddles, Lumpy, Flaky , Flippy and Petunia. These are just some of the cuddly anthropomorphic woodland creatures that inhabit the Cubist-surrealist world imagined by Mondo Mini creators. These are also the same cuddly woodland creatures who die the most gruesome deaths – eyes gouged out and sliced lemon style (and later drank), heads bashed in with a shovel, brains blown to bits by dynamite.
Yes, that’s right. Somewhere in the US, there is one nasty screwed-up mother*cker who was kicked around something bad by rabbits, squirrels, and moose (meese?) while growing up in the woodlands of America. The furry little bullies probably didn’t invite him to tea parties or maybe picked him last in the woodland version of street hockey. Or maybe he found himself a copy of some obscure film called the Attack of the Killer Bucktooths.
Whatever. There has to be a reason why creatures like Giggles, Cuddles, Lumpy, Flaky, Flippy and Petunia are subjected to the most horrible torture on this side of animated world. Even Jigsaw would cringe. Okay, let me make this clear. I’m not the squeamish type. I continued eating through my popcorn even when Donnie Wahlberg literally lost his head in Saw IV. And that yolky eye bit in Hostel? I didn’t even blink (beside me, I heard my friend puking into her packet of chips).
But there is just something about the ultra-violent treatment of animals that make me unable to sit through a four-minute HTF clip without squirming. The upside to all this is that at least, I’m kinder to animals now. Well, maybe not cats whom I occasionally flay and torture with my blowtorch, but you know what I mean.
The TRAUMA deepened: When, in an episode titled Read ‘Em and Weep, the most adorable baby bear called Cub was possessed by the demon. While possessed, he killed cute as a button skunk Petunia by dragging her lifeless body through a sink pipe. Cub himself was killed when, just as the Devil was exorcised, his father Pop bashed his head in with a shovel.
Trauma Level: 7
Teletubbies is a show geared for young children, you know the kind who still could not tell the difference between a quality educational TV show (Sesame Street) or a mentally retarded one (Barney).
Only two kinds of people actually enjoy watching Teletubbies: the really young children who had not learned to speak yet, and those who had suffered a severe head trauma caused by watching back-to-back episodes of Baywatch.
The Teletubbies are Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po. The foursome are played by four grown actors who had since been disowned by their families who cannot bear the shame of having to see their relatives strutting around in multi-colored suits and speaking in retard-speak .
The Teletubbies was so devoid of any real redemptive value. We still don’t know what it is exactly that they stand for or whether they are supposed to represent the four different races on earth. After all, the creators did say that Dipsy was “Black” and Po is supposed to speak Cantonese.
Still, it failed to give definitive answers to commonly asked questions, like, “Is Tinky Winky really a gay pride symbol?”, “Is the show all about racial unity?” or “Are the creators of the show hovering between idiot and moron in the IQ scale and conceptualized Teletubbies on a ‘create the most idiotic concept for a child-friendly program’ dare?”
We can never know for sure.
The TRAUMA deepened: I was asked to babysit for my then four-year-old niece one time and I had to sit through four back-to-back episodes of Teletubbies. My eyes were bleeding after the visual assault and my IQ dropped 20 points.
Trauma Level: 7.5
1. BARNEY AND FRIENDS
I know the Barney Theme by heart. It goes:
I love you, you love me
Let’s go out and kill Barney
With a shotgun bang-bang
Barney’s on the floor,
No more stupid dinosaur!
Or something like that.
For those three people out there who do not know it, Barney is a purple dinosaur who looked like a reject from The Muppet Show that Jim Henson discarded. He is supposed to be a T-Rex and is not, contrary to popular belief, the bastard child of Grimace and a sentient over-ripe eggplant.
Along with friends Baby Bop, BJ (I’m not sure if there’s a sexual subtext right there. Probably not), and Riff, Barney sings inane songs, mouths platitudes about the goodness of the world, blah-blah-blah. He’s like an eggplant crossed with your grandmother and the Dalai Lama.
I know what you’re thinking. What was a sane, GROWN person like me watching something as absurd as watching colourful anthropomorphic reptiles talking about hugging, and sunshine and goody-goody values and basically acting like infant morons on crack?
Because I used to tutor a three-year old who loved Barney, so I have to sit through several Barney re-runs, watch my ward carefully while trying not to have a seizure at the same time. And I became much stronger because of it. I know I can sit through any Saw-like torture because I have been through worse.
The TRAUMA deepened: When I saw Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez in one episode. GAAAH!
Now I know why they are SOOOO good at producing what is considered as aural diarrhoea They’ve had a lot of practice as kids.
Trauma level: 9