The Netflix part of my XBox got upgraded recently to include NETFLIX FOR KIDS. On its face, this is great because my daughter watches almost all of her TV through Netflix. Of course, like all responsible parents, that is limited to one TV Show a day. Well, one in the morning and one before dinner. Unless it’s the weekend. Or if she whines about it. Or if I’m busy. Or if I just need a break. So pretty much just 1-3 (5) TV shows per day.
And the great part about Netflix for Kids is that your child doesn’t have to sort through Sons of Anarchy or the weird Korean Horror Movie You’ve Been Meaning To Check Out to get to their My Little Pony.
It’s got a character interface when you log on, which I somewhat object to. Who decides which characters get to be on here? Should Babar and Fireman Sam get equal treatment? For that matter, does my daughter need to know about the existence of a Bratz show? No and no.
And if anything, that is the downside of Netflix for Kids. If you have a kid who gets stuck on a show for long periods of time (like most kids), you get stuck watching some weird stuff. And some of the stuff that you assume has been vetted by someone at some point is way worse than you remember.
Babar, for instance: that’s some scary stuff! My daughter got on a little Babar jag for a bit and almost every episode is about some scary thing. And the Babar creator’s sense of how far to push the scary factor is a little off. This one episode got scarier and scarier, haunted castle stuff, mysterious figure in a dungeon and on and on. Pretty soon my daughter was like “TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF!” C’mon Babar!
And awhile ago I was like: ”Oh man is the Pink Panther funny!” Let’s watch that. Big mistake. The Aardvark I fondly remember from my youth is a pretty offensive Jew-y stereotype. Or, as Wikipedia mentions, “a Jackie Mason impersonation.” If Jackie Mason is a Jew, and an Aardvark is impersonating Jackie Mason, does that mean that the Aardvark isn’t a stereotype? And will my 6 year-old understand or care who Jackie Mason is if I don’t? And for another thing, each episode is about 7 minutes long. Oh I forget, did I let my kid watch TV so I could get up every 7 minutes to choose a new episode? NO. C’mon Aardvark!
But overall Netflix for Kids is awesome, so check it out. But only for a show a day or so (9).