Today I'm going to introduce a new occasional theme in this blog, which is Rubbish Kids TV! For the first installment in this new chapter, I'm going to look at Peppermint Park, a VERY cheap public access show from the good old USA. I have never heard or seen this show before so I review this as an objective first time viewer.
Now in all my years I have seen some dire children’s television shows. As anyone who has seen the footage of the Junior Christian Bible Science Lesson will attest, poorly made shows present a frightening and quite frankly weird thing to sit your kids down to.
Peppermint Park is by no means the worst show I have ever seen, but it still has all the hallmarks of something which is more frightening than charming. To begin at the beginning, we have the opening sequence which looks like a spying paedophile’s home movies, having fallen into the hands of the TV station, and hurriedly having some jaunty music played over the top. I mean this guy wasn’t even very good! I mean look the kids spot him a few times.
Paedophilia laughs aside, the music that has been inserted over the top of this mess sounds like the work of a man (or woman, after all let’s not get sexist here) with the mental age of 10 having been introduced to a keyboard for the first time, and then become transfixed with a silly sounding squelchy sound setting. The worst thing is they got the same person to do all the other incidental music, so that the poor children who are watching are subjected to yet more torture. Brave little souls.
Getting down to the meat of the programme, we see that our hosts through mediocrity are two gender unspecific dinosaur/things. Unfortunately they are hell-bent on evil, by which I mean they are trying to control time, so that they can have more time for the show (as if it isn’t long enough already). Thankfully their evil is hampered by their complete lack of science knowhow, and for that we should probably thank our lucky stars.
The strange thing about one of these abominations is that he sounds like he’s voiced by Microsoft Sam of Microsoft text reader. I know this programme is cheaply made but that’s pushing it. Meanwhile in his robotic drone, he and the other one make some HILARIOUS puns (letters as in something you send to someone and LETTERS as in what I’m writing this with, Hahaha! That’s a knee slapper there!).
Anyway the hideous monsters are then cleared out the way, and the whole thing becomes like a Sesame Street which has fallen on hard times. Or more precisely an example of what Sesame Street would look like if it was made in your bedroom ten years ago. Perhaps we’ll be treated in a minute with a performance by Carmen the Frog, or the Great Ganzo, as I can’t imagine they could rip off the format any more than they have.
Fortunately the clip ends there, which is thankful as I was feeling quite queasy watching the bland colours and eerie production values that Peppermint Park pisses out the screen. Also no mention is made at all to where or what Peppermint Park is?
This leaves some creative license open so here’s my suggestion. Dump the show’s current format and turn Peppermint Park into the name of a mental asylum where children can be delighted with the antics of Schizophrenic Steve, Depressed Dan, Multiple Personality Mike, Orderly Orville, and Nurse Ratched. The kiddlies can chuckle their afternoon away as they watch their friends be lobotomized, sedated, and medicated all afternoon. It would still be preferable to the bilge I’ve just watched anyway, and easily more uplifting