I mentioned earlier that I have a series of shows that I hold near and dear to my heart which I refer to as “Mama’s Stories.” I may be a crotchety old woman with a bitter attitude toward mainstream media, but when I like a show I really like a show. I get obsessed and want to watch the series all at once with as little interruption as possible. Sometimes I try to avoid getting sucked in to a show because I know that for the next couple of days I’m going to want to do nothing except hole up on my couch with my family and cats and watch the hell out of some TV series. As a librarian I find this deeply distressing.
This personality trait is deeply ingrained. After high school Anthony and I spent a considerable amount of time together watching anime. One time Anthony, Dave, and Aidan (I think it was Aidan? It could have been Aaron) went to Zack’s house and watched The Vision of Escaflowne in its entirety. (WARNING: do not ever, ever try to watch the English dub of Escaflowne unless you want your brains to liquify and boil out your ears. You’ve been warned. It’s English sub or nothing.) We watched it for so long we ended up taking turns napping while it was on and would explain to the others what happened during the parts we missed. It seems I can only watch Record of the Lodoss War or any of the Slayers in this manner, also. We’ve come a long way, though, because back in my day (::rattles cane for effect::) we had to watch them on VCD on somebody’s laptop. Fifteen people, crowded around a tiny computer screen with a shitty speaker system and a disc we had to change three times to make it through the movie. And we called that progress.
I tend to read books this way, too, so I go on binges and droughts of both reading and TV shows because I have a hard time with moderation for whatever reason. Currently, the shows I’d walk over hot coals for are: Legend of the Seeker, Flight of the Conchords, House, Arrested Development, Community, The Venture Brothers, and Star Treks TNG & DS9. I’m sharing this because I know that somewhere out there is a woman whose TV heart has been made bitter by a wasted youth spent enduring Full House and Saved By The Bell. To her I say, try these shows. They will heal you.
Isobel ignores the TV entirely with three exceptions:
1. If the screen prominently features a cat or a dog, in which case she will then excitedly woof or meow.
2. If people are clapping, in which case she claps and says “Yay!” (She loves it when I watch Oprah.)
3. If the show is Yo Gabba Gabba, in which case her eyes turn into little hearts and she stares fixedly at the screen for the duration.
Anthony tried to blame Isobel’s obsession with Yo Gabba Gabba on me, but no. This was actually his doing. I mean, we talked about how fun it would be to watch Yo Gabba Gabba with her together but he was the one who actually gave her the first hit of that sweet sweet crack TV show. Something about the show’s combination of colors, singing, dancing, and children has caught Isobel’s attention and won’t let go. It’s a great show that I enjoy watching with her, so it could be worse. It could be Barney. Don’t think I’m complaining because I’m grateful to the hipster gods that be for creating this edutaining show.
Isobel will regularly ask us to watch Yo Gabba Gabba. She has a series of complex communication rituals designed to let us know she’s ready to watch Her Show. First, she’ll point to the TV or hand us the remote and say, “Uh-oh!” with her palms upturned. In effect she’s saying, “Uh-oh! Did you know the TV was off, Mommy and Daddy?! I bet you didn’t realize that we could be watching Yo Gabba Gabba right now. Come then, let’s turn on the TV for Isobel. There’s a good parent!”
For awhile she would walk up to us and say “WoooOOOOOOOOOooo” while spreading her arms. This was her version of DJ Lance’s “Yoooooooo Gabba Gabba!” intro.
As if these requests weren’t enough to already melt even the coldest, hardest heart, sometimes she’d just put the remote in our lap, look up at us with those huge brown eyes and just say, “Tank yoo.” Thank you, Mommy and Daddy, for turning the TV on to Yo Gabba Gabba immediately upon request. I love you.
We don’t let her watch TV whenever she asks, of course, but it’s pretty damn hard to tell her know when she’s going out of her way to be clever and adorable. Excuse me. I must have a piece of dirt in my eye.
Now she mostly requests the show by name. The letter G is a hard one for her so she mostly calls the show “Babba.” She will literally scream in delight if you ask her if she wants to watch Yo Gabba Gabba. You’d think she was 16 and about to meet Elvis.
It’s amazing to see her learn from the show. She’s been making constant, valiant attempts at dancing and I really think she tries to participate in some of the songs. I would also like to request that Nick Jr release an album of all the songs performed on the Super Music Friends Show portion because I would totally rock out to “Art is Everywhere” and “Banana” while driving in my car. Pretty please, Nick Jr?
When the show ends she says goodbye to the characters and then looks over at me, her dark eyes brimming with concern. She’ll pick up her shoulders and hold her hands palm-up in front of her. “Uh-oh,” she’ll say, followed by creating the Baby Sign for “more.”