Monday, May 16, 2011

Shakespearean Pokemon

Susan took the boys to a Martial Arts tournament this weekend. Baby Peach and I were homebound and sick. Yacketty-yack, woof-cough and snot-splosion. There was no way we could leave the house for longer than 30 minutes. Aquarium out. Zoo out. Museums out. Mall out. Everything cool was out. Bummer! We had to entertain ourselves.

From Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon we were abandoned and alone; fighting for survival in a land of chaos and destruction (you should have seen the mess the boys left). We didn't let boredom faze us. We were strong. We committed to not let frozen meals and the obligations of absolutely nothing distract us from the U-Verse (AT&T's cable service). We started with PBS Kids and gradually moved on to more adult-themed shows on Teen Nick and beyond.

It seems to me that Kids TV shows are getting more and more advanced all the time. I predict that 10 years from now, the adults will be watching shows like SpongeBob and the kids will be watching post-apocalyptic, cyber-punk versions of Hamlet and The Tempest. Of course, the kids will also be simultaneously recreating Escher paintings out of Lego, texting "LMAO" and fragging their parents in Halo - all at the same time… But that kind of goes without saying, right?

Still don't believe me? Take the following speech from a Final Fantasy show,
"… That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again; and then in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again."

Sound familiar? Rich, complex and seemingly nonsensical? Bad translation?  It could be all of the above… and I for one wouldn't be surprised to hear that uttered from one of the wide-eyed misfits from the Final Fantasy franchise. It wasn't though. I lied to you. The quote actually came from Caliban in the Tempest by Shakespeare.

In a funny way, these "kid shows" draw a parallel with Shakespeare. Here's my highly scientific list of things that Shakespeare has in common with Pokemon and Bakugan:
Silly names *check*
Crazy outfits *check*
Funny language *check* 
Outlandish plots *check*

See? I contend that no fully grown human today can actually understand either. And I just feel stupid watching them. What's interesting about Kid TV these days is that the shows themselves aren't stupid. In fact, quite to the contrary. Stupid I can understand. Archer, Family Guy or American Dad I can understand. They are stupid. But these new kid shows like Bakugan elude me like Shakespeare eludes mortal man.

I asked Luke to explain a Bakugan show the other day, this is more-or-less what he had to say,
"Darkus Alpha cranium 5000 attack Haos with 720G from the sister multiverse. Haos reconfigured to counter-defense with a second deck multiplier".

Luke then shot me a look that I interpreted as sadness/empathy/pity/"man, are you that old?" I was with him right up to the point of counter-defense – I mean, that doesn't even make sense! Sensing an area of vulnerability, I asked him to explain the concept of counter-defense and how it applied to Ju-Jitsu. He couldn't – and I felt much better. So maybe there's hope yet for us Old Gits?

Then again, maybe not.

1 comment:

Suz Wheatley said...

Get with it old man. Mommy seems to be able to hang with Bakugan, Pokeman, and Avatar just fine. :D