THE BAD DAD REVIEWS:
Daniel Tiger - the Hyper-Emotional Apex Predator
You know how you let your Special Ladyfriend’s drug-addled ex-boyfriend sleep on your couch and every morning when you wake up he punches you in the face? No, you don’t remember that because you would never let that sort of thing in your household.
Kids TV shows, if you’re not careful, are that ex-boyfriend, and if your kid gets hooked on the wrong show, it’s going to punch you in the face every morning as the kid demands to watch it. Fortunately, you are a Bad Dad, and as such have access to the valuable resource that is me. Because I love you man, I’ll occasionally review a kid’s TV show and let you know whether you should let this kid’s show into your house or whether, like with the ex-boyfriend, bar all evidence of its existence from your house.
To do this I’ll rate each show on three criteria: 1) Will I enjoy this show and if not, can I easily ignore it? 2) Will my child be a better or worse person from watching it? 3) When you break down this show is it actually super creepy? Today I’ll be reviewing the show Daniel Tiger - the hyper-emotional kid who doesn’t seem to realize he’s an apex predator.
WILL I LIKE THIS/CAN I TUNE IT OUT?: 6/10 Tiger-tastic points
What’s chill about this show is that it is, in fact, pretty chill. ICYMI, Daniel Tiger is a spin-off from Mister Roger’s Neighborhood in the same sort of way that Darkwing Duck was a spinoff of Ducktails (a WHOA oh!). Daniel Tiger has the same laid back tone and tuning out the show while playing Clash of Clans on your phone is super easy.
Will you enjoy it? No, of course not, but you’ll also barely know its on. The one exception to this being that each show has a little jingle it uses for that day’s lesson and these things will get freaking buried in your head like the “by mennen” commercial. The next thing you know you’ll be at lunch with a coworker and you’ll ask them a question and they don’t really respond and you’ll start singing “use your wooooooords. USE YOUR WORDS!”
WILL MY CHILD BE BETTER FROM WATCHING IT?: 9/10 Emotional intelligence points
I mean yeah, for sure. Each show has a nice little message about sharing, or listening to your parents, or potty training, or listening to your parents, or having a new brother and sister or LISTENING TO YOUR PARENTS (I sometimes passive-aggressively parent my kids by making them watch episodes on topics they’re not listening to me about. Kind of like how your dad dropped off that sex book when you were in 8th grade and then silently agreed to never speak of it again).
All the characters are nice to each other, except when they’re not, but then they learn and say sorry and everyone is happy again. And Daniel Tiger is actually pretty smart about early childhood development, and genuinely has helped my 3 year old understand certain topics. I docked DT one point though because it teaches kids that tigers want to be your best friend, and that is factually incorrect.
IS THIS SHOW ACTUALLY SUPER CREEPY?: 4/10 benevolent dictator points
This show isn’t as secretly terrifying as some kids shows are (someday I’ll unpack my theory on The Man in the Yellow Hat and what I think is going on with him), but I do have some questions. For one, I’m still not clear where this show stands on the whole “circle of life” Lion King thing where Mufasa is like, sure we eat the animals, but here’s why that doesn’t make us terrifying dictators. Is DT a vegetarian? If not, him hanging with an owl and a cat is … problematic.
Also, the world DT lives in is apparently some sort of monarchy, what with King Friday and Prince Tuesday and whatnot. And sure, it seems like a pretty benign monarchical system - kinda like how the British queen doesn’t really do much but stare at people in a way that they know she thinks she’s better than them - but it seems like King Friday really is in charge, and absolute power corrupts absolutely and do we really as Americans want to glorify the monarchy to our kids?
Whatever. The show is fine … just keep an eye on the king.
So all in all, Daniel Tiger is totally something you can let into your home without fear of being punched in the face. You’re good to go.
See ya … joebin!