Thursday, March 31, 2016

Oh No You Didn't, Netflix!

I think most people alive today remember Curious George from their childhood.  We have the original Curious George book which was published in 1941. I just looked up the character and apparently the authors, a German husband and wife named Hans and Margret Rey, fled Paris in 1940 (the husband was Jewish) and eventually ended up in New York.  They carried the manuscript for Curious George with them the whole time and had it published in New York City.  The original books from the 1940s are a bit different from the popular PBS TV show that inspires this post.  In the original, the Man with the Yellow Hat is visiting Africa as a scientist and he decides to just put George in a bag and take him home across the ocean.  George is a bit scared, but still curious.  It makes me sad! Once back in New York City, George does some very un-children's book like behavior including smoking and getting arrested and put in prison for calling the fire department even though there was no fire (he was just so CURIOUS!).  He has a happy ending when the Man with the Yellow Hat finds him a new home in the zoo.  Fabulous.

There he is, being detained for pranking the fire department!

I don't remember the viewing that started Ben's and later Tessa's love for the modern animated show Curious George.  It used to be shown on PBS at 7:00 a.m. (now it's at 1 p.m.) which is prime time for desperate moms turning on the TV to distract their kids.  Then I found out it was on Netflix.  Having five season of "George" at our disposal was great.  As far as TV shows for kids go, Curious George is about as benign as they get.  It's right in there with Thomas and Sesame Street.  It teaches a lot of science principles and kids really seem to remember them.  Since it takes place between the "city" apartment of the Man the Yellow Hat (where George also lives instead of the zoo) and his "country" cottage there are endless lessons to be taught about how the world works. And for the adults, there is the unspoken sexual tension between the Man and his colleague and "friend" Professor Wiseman who works at the nature museum. Come on, the go on vacations together and have picnics!  There must be something between them...

I know some people keep their kids away from TV and I don't think that's a bad thing and I admire those people, I think it's cute to see kids relate to a make believe character.  It's soothing to have something familiar to zone out to...kind of like how I always enjoy a rerun of some old show from my youth like "Home Improvement" or "Full House" and how my parents find amusement in "The Brady Bunch" and "Leave it to Beaver".  There is a song lyric that says, "When I look back on the best days of my life, I think I saw them on TV, I am so homesick for someone that I never knew, I am so homesick for some place I will never be" (Time Won't Let Me Go by The Braver).  Not saying I wish I had grown up in a TV show but an old familiar TV show can make you feel at home.

So now George has been a constant presence in the house for almost two years.  Sometimes the kids lose interest in the show for awhile in favor of flashier programming like "Paw Patrol" but they always come back to him.  They both sleep with stuffed Georges and Ben has a George T-shirt. This week has been a "George" week.  Until...two nights I was going to turn it on in the bedroom so they would be out of our hair so we could watch something...anything...that would interest an adult and for a moment I was confused because the Curious George icon is always front and center on our "recently viewed" list wasn't there.  So I went into the search function...and it wasn't there!  WHATTTT?  I frantically searched on the Internet only to learn that HULU (another online TV provider) now owns the rights to Curious George.  We don't have HULU.  What the H3LL Netflix?  What the h3ll PBS?  I guess you only care about MONEY now HUH?  What am I supposed to tell the kids?  It is kind of like how there is a boy that Ben liked to play with at the Y (drop in daycare, not his preschool class) who apparently moved several months ago but Ben still talks about seeing him every time we go.  I have tried to explain that he lives far away now and maybe he will visit (probably not) but Ben still talks about seeing him all the time.  This is going to be hard news to break too and it might not sink in!

Now all I can do is set the DVR to record PBS and 1 p.m. and have to sit through the PBS drivel for the last ten minutes of every episode.

Disclaimer: I know this isn't really that big of a deal and it's a first world problem and having Netflix and a DVR is a privilege.  I'm just being funny.  If you find this through google and don't really know me don't worry.  But I will miss the show being on Netflix. 

1 comment:

Kristy said...

I did not know this. . .we are a devout George family and my 5 year old will not be pleased. I feel your pain!