My 2.85 year old nephew came to town last week and in between toy car races, parks and playgrounds, and spinning around (literally), I had the opportunity to watch a lot of modern children’s television.
Oh, my, goodness…. LAZY TOWN!
Have you seen this show? I swear, if I was still in college and into “mind-altering experiences”, this is precisely the kind of a get-high-and-giggle-with-my-stoner-friends show I would tape and watch over and over again.
From the official show site:
Stephanie comes to LazyTown from the outside world and meets a zany mix of kids and grownups, including the world?¢?Ç¨?Ñ¢s laziest super-villain, Robbie Rotten. Fortunately for Stephanie, LazyTown is also home to Sportacus, an athletic super-hero who jumps, leaps and flips his way across LazyTown while helping Stephanie navigate between healthy lifestyle choices and easy but unhealthy ones.
Sportacus has this bizarre super-straight and pointy mustache and a downright disturbing, very unusual, and almost undecipherable accent (Icelandic.. once I learned that, I definitely could hear the Bjork in it).
Apparently the guy that plays this character is really a world class athelete who created this entire concept in a noble effort to get kids up and moving around (in fact, they are encouraged to dance along during the musical numbers).
Ah, yes… the musical numbers. This would be the part of the show where the bong and I would become very close friends…
Imagine a mid-nineties techno tune backing up healthy-lifestyle-inspiring lyrics sung by a 13-year-old girl using that really obvious voice-shifting/modulating thing they do to cover up talentless acts like Britanny Spears or an ever-aging Cher that makes them sound like robots with a range of, say, 5 tones.
This is over quick, MTV camera cuts to various puppets and live-action characters involved in wacky and impossible stunts that call to mind some of Terry Gilliam’s weirder stuff.
Stephanie is this incredibly adorable little girl dressed in a very pink ensemble straight out of the Cosplay-For-the-Especially-Obscure manual…
One thing I noticed about her is that she was a really good dancer for a child of that age (sure enough, the actress has had tons of Broadway and professional dance experience)… It’s really fun watching her throughout the show over-react to every little moment with facial expressions that befit a seasoned performer projecting to the highest of balcony seats in the grandest 6000-seat theatre; while cute, they have a tendancy to come across as seizures on the small screen.
Robbie Rotton, the bad guy, takes his acting instruction from the pages of the Jim Carrey School of Subtlety… and then he kicks it up a notch. His hair and makeup (and very uncomfortable-looking and tight outfits) have that artificial sheen that people with way too much cosmetic “alterations” and excessive tanning achieve. I still can’t tell if that chin is real or not.
He really is somewhat creepy; not as a character, but just thinking about the actor that plays him… shudder… Weird accent too, and over the top villian action.
Yes, I understand this is a show for children, so I know it needs to be obvious.
Despite all the bluntness, this is actually a really fun and uplifting show to watch; they definitely throw in enough one-liners that fly over the kids’ heads for adults to remain interested.
It’s being tivo’d, so let that be an endorsement.
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