Saturday, December 25, 2010

CBC kids

I had occasion to watch a couple of hours of CBC kids, the children's network of the government-run Canadian Broadcasting Company, the other day. It engendered the following thoughts:

1. I quite enjoyed Dirt Girl. This Australian show was low on preaching, what it preached was actually useful (e.g. wear gloves when handling fertilizer) and all the characters had cute Australian accents. Plus the animation was creative and happy and reminded me a bit of what Terry Gilliam used to create for Monty Python.

2. In contrast, Turbodogs was dull, smarmy and preachy. As is often the case when I watch cartoons produced after about 1975, I wondered what it was that was broken about Road Runner and Bugs Bunny that needed fixing with a lot of preaching.

3. I still have never heard a coherent case for having a government-run television network in a democracy. If there is such a case, it is hard to see how it extends beyond news to entertainment programs that look exactly like those on commercial networks. It is also hard to see how an independent non-profit could not fill the same niche without relying on tax funding and without implicit or explicit worries about pro-state bias.

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