So yeah. Today I’m typing this while watching Dino Dan. It’s a great show about a young group of fairly fey (and at times mentally challenged) Canadian pre-teens, one of whom is obsessed with dinosaurs. Actual living dinosaurs seem to exist in and wander the streets of their suburban Toronto town, but they never just go nuts and kill everyone, and strangely it seems that the townspeople who aren’t Dino Dan himself can only see the dinosaurs every once in a while, when it’s convenient for the plot.
Well, that’s one (highly cynical) explanation. The other is that everyone else in this town is so used to the massive creatures cruising around their neighborhoods that Dan’s the only one that really notices or cares when a gigantic Brachiosaurus farts all over the place (something that really, truly happens on this show), or a T-rex shows up at the sled hill or the jogging track. Dan gets pretty stoked (I mean, he loves that shit. His name is DINO Dan, after all), but for the most part, everyone else just kind of moves on with their day-to-day. Crazy Canadians. Oh, it bears mentioning that at least 50% of the Kids in the Hall are teachers at Dan’s school. That’s weird. I guess alternate-universe kids programming is where you get spit out after the rough and tumble roller coaster ride that is vaguely offensive myopic Canadian sketch comedy. Who knew?
Kids programming in general is weird. This is hardly a controversial statement. We all grew up with a gigantic transgendered talking bird who was best friends with a clinically depressed, super high, tuskless wooly mammoth that everyone else believed was a figment of the bird’s imagination (if you’re young, you may not remember when one of the main bits of frustration surrounding Sesame Street was that Snuffy [sigh] always walked off RIGHT as Gordon[or anyone else, actually] was coming around the corner, and therefore no one believed he really existed. This used to make me go completely fucking nuts…but anyway) and now a quick scan of Nick jr programming will quickly reveal a gay disco manboy in an orange jumpsuit/British imperial guard hat, a pair of screaming latino children with no parents, a pansified Cyclops, a softspoken cancer boy, a complete pussy of a turtle that wears a bandanna, a sassy guinea pig, a couple of world traveling, turtleneck wearing swine and of course, and this is what I’m here to discuss today, a band of turds that make Taylor Swift look like GG Allin.
I’m of course referring to the Fresh Beat Band. The Fresh Beat Band is a four piece ‘rock act’ featuring a white guy, a black guy, a Latina and a redheaded white girl. In an attempt to debunk all possible stereotypes, the white guy is the beatboxing dj (he’s also the dumbass/pre-stoner/shaggy type), the white girl plays the drums, the black dude plays keyboards and the Latina plays guitar. The whole thing, as you may have guessed stinks to high heaven.
There’s so much to talk about here. I don’t even really know where to begin. Their names, on the show are as follows white girl-Marina, Latina-Kiki, White dude and black dude respectively- Twist and Shout. How bad does that suck? I mean, it’s bad enough that I have to look at these two turds dance around and beatbox and mug and shuck and jive with all the soul and genuine emotion of a French Justin Bieber impersonator, but I’ve also gotta call them Twist and Shout? Eh…truly the white guy’s real name is John Beavers, so he probably doesn’t mind being Twist all that much. It bears mentioning that I hate both of these guys.
The females on the show are slightly less reprehensible (Marina is actually vaguely good looking, but seems like the kind of person that would go absolutely insane on you at the drop of a hat) but they have been put in the unfortunate position of having to pretend to be able to play instruments that they just absolutely cannot play. Watching Marina ‘play’ the weird 1980’s Level 42 style electric drums or watching Kiki struggle to correctly finger an E chord is awkward enough that I’m pretty sure even my mom would recognize that they’re pretenders of the utmost. It’s just embarrassing…much like the way that the guys are named Twist and Shout. It’s not OFFENSIVE, but it’s so painfully lame that it’s hard to sit near.
Of course, the whole show is about sharing and friendship and that kind of bullshit, as it’s aimed at people who are 3. The songs are terrible and almost every tune has a beatbox solo by the big gomery white guy, but the worst person on the show, far and a way is Shout. He’s such a pathetic company man of a performer that it actually is offensive. Firstly, he’s one of the only people I’ve ever seen who can’t realistically pretend to play keyboards. He also can’t leave his broadway-esque dance stepping, understated vibrato and eye contact behind, even as he’s pretending to be a carefree rocker in a gumdrop town who just wants to ‘Sing a Rock n Roll Song’ (a song that he reprises a lot, in which he dons a poofy blond ‘rocker’ wig and growls, but which decidedly fails, on every level, to rock) and generally, he’s the kind of guy that you can just tell has no compunction about doing anything and going along with anything, no matter how biblically wack it may be…in short, he’s got what it takes to be very successful, but he just bums me out.
The whole show sucks so bad and promotes such pussydom that I’d rather my kid watch Franklin (which is about a totally lame turtle boy who’s always crying) and that’s saying something, folks.
Okay, look. Dinosaur Train is on now, and we’ve already discussed this madness, so I’m gonna bounce. I’m headed to Detroit this weekend to watch my favorite gigantic Polish tour manager Paul “the kielbasa’ Tylenda get hitched. I’m taking the Amtrak. Meet me at Union Station at 7AM and slip me some of your grandmother’s prescriptions, kay? Good deal. See you tomorrow in the AM.
And remember, get outside, get into nature and make your own discoveries!