Hats off to you, Arthur!

arthur, arthur the aardvarkArthur is the second longest running animated series, just behind the Simpsons.  I had recently re-watched a few episodes of this show. No wonder PBS chose to renew another season.  What contributes to the success of the show?

Unlike other T.V. shows or cartoons, Arthur touches on some pretty heavy stuff.  For example, the death of a family member, a family member with a disease (like Alzheimer’s), diversity, sibling relationships, exercising to be healthy, growing up with divorced parents, and fitting in at school, to name a few. Not your average every day cartoon, is it?

This show appeals not only to children, but adults as well.  Watching this show allows people to relate it to their own life. Perhaps one of the most important aspect of the show is that the characters in the show take initiative in social situations, which encourages viewers to do the same.  Executive Producer Jacqui Deegan said: “We’re hoping to empower our young viewers to go after their goals and dreams — whether that means becoming a wheelchair basketball champion or expressing yourself through writing, drawing or making movies.”

Another reason Arthur may appeal to adults is because of its satirical parodies of pop culture. For example, the rivalry between the Elwood City Grebes, Arthur’s hometown baseball team, and the Crown City Kings, is a clear allusion to the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.  Also parodies of popular adult T.V. shows and movies, such as Indiana Jones, Antiques Roadshow, and Jeopardy, can help adults to relate.

Celebrity guests also make occasional appearances on the show.  Whether it’s Lance Armstrong showing us how to be determined in facing challenges, or Koko Taylor teaching us how to sing the blues, these individuals act as role models and serve to improve an already good show.

Parents: let me tell you, this show is quality! Do you enjoy it? What are some of your kids other favorite shows? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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