Saturday, January 5, 2008

Rating the Kids shows part III- Pokemon

Friends of Michael Vick want to claim that dog fighting is part of the hip-hop culture. Little did they know that animal fighting is actually a stalwart in the culture of white suburban youth.

The immense popularity of Pokemon among boys aged 6 to 13 is impossible to ignore. It's so big that I would doom my sons to become social pariahs if I don't let them watch it on occasion. So despite my loathing for the show and it's insipid themes, empty characters, poor animation and overall crappiness I allow my sons to watch the show. collect a few cards and play the Nintendo DS games. If they can't talk the playground jargon and share in a cultural commonality then they'll certainly lose out in the ruthless pecking order that kids establish for themselves.

My friend Mike thinks that since there is so much choice in TV, movies and games these days that the current generation of kids won't have much to share in their common pop-culture like we did when all we had was Saturday morning TV and Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island reruns on UHF channels after school. I agree with him for the most part, but Pokemon for whatever reason trancends that barrier. (he also had a great point about how there is no more nostaglia, but I'll save that for a later blog)

Basically the show is about a boy named Ash and his friends and they travel around a Japanese fantasy world looking to capture and then train mystical and mythical creatures to fight each other. Ash's prize Pokemon is an annoying, saccharine yellow blob of a rodent with lightning powers named Pikachu. All it ever says (and the same with all other Pokemon) is it's own name over and over in a helium induced voice. My sons know the names and powers of quite alot of these Pokemon. Apparently they also "evolve" and become bigger and better with age, kinda like mutant atomic caterpillars.

Here's some constructive criticism for y'all- The show sucks. It sucks, it sucks, it sucks. It brainwashes my sons to want to behave like Ash and collect all the Pokemon they can. Quite the marketing genius, the Japanese will own this country one day in the future- crafty little buggers, those Japanese businessmen. Maybe someone should drop an atom bomb on us to wake our lazy asses up.

I give Pokemon a rating of 2 out of 10.

3 comments:

Paul said...

My daughter likes Scooby Doo. She was shocked when I told her I used to watch that show. Then she asked me what my favorite episode was. I had to confess I didn't remember any episodes.

Brian said...

You joking?

There's the Creeper, the caveman in the ice, the time when Batman and Robin helped out (or 3 Stooges or Harlem Globetrotters or Addams Family or Don Knotts)

Major Otis said...

My son, Minor Otis, tells me that there are two teams at his elementary school: Pokemon and Star Wars. He's never seen Pokemon, but loves Star Wars. Believe it or not, it's possible to get just as sick of Star Wars as you are of Pokemon.