This is PBS, again.


I was thinking more about the random PBS shows I’d happened upon or even watched before. For someone who doesn’t watch much TV these days I think about TV a bunch.

So Arthur is a show that started back in the 90s and is still somehow going today, like the Simpsons I guess. But now it’s in Flash animation and that looks weird given the art style involved originally, which had watercolor-esque backgrounds and those rough lines that look hand drawn. I know it’s possible to make Flash animation look good but it just looks off now. It also predicted how we could manufacture pop songs with computers that look like trash cans. Essentially we have modern pop and the Mac Pro. Adding to that, it also predicted how we would have holographic performances in concerts, ranging from long dead to purely fictional performers.

There were a lot of weird plotlines, and I’ve looked up some of the later ones, which get really weird, so again like the Simpsons. Essentially one involves some superhero they watch endorsing energy drinks so to counter that they just invent their own superhero, and another where they destroy a candy factory because the candy is made from artificial cocaine. Also I think they did a clip show at least once. Also for some reason the wiki for the show has about 20 different types of tables to show what the episodes are. Then whenever there’s a celebrity who shows up as themselves, they draw them all realistically like a person and then paste the face onto generic noseless aardvark or bear or whatever. This sort of happens on the Simpsons but they still look like a Simpsons character, just more wrinkly or squinty.

There was also a spinoff for some reason where the rabbit dude called Buster would go around the world and they had this camera go interview kids in places and they would shove food under or into the camera and never show his arms, which makes me wonder how they made the kids act to this cartoon bunny. Was there some kinda puppet involved? They also did real kid interviews in the show where they would draw with crayons or something. They did this for a lot of shows at the time. I remember one kid talking about reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, though.

I also remembered a show called Cyberchase. Essentially it’s about math and somehow living in the Internet, because they once broke a computer in a library by using it normally. This CGI robot lady is their cyber mom and then somehow they made her more and more CGI as the show went on and eventually I think it also became Flash animation because every show just does that now and uses a lot of tweens. But what they do is spend some time talking about how to solve a usually math problem that solves some puzzle they ran into. Also they have a bird with them that’s voiced by Gilbert Gottfried because he voiced other birds before. Also the main bad guy is voiced by Christopher Lloyd. I think this show is still going, too.

Like other shows, it also has some random segment, but instead of involving a bunch of kids, it’s some adult who’s acting really crazy and forgetting how to do math or basic human stuff.

They’ve also had shows based on books. Arthur is one of them, but there’s been others. They’ve done ones for Clifford the Big Red Dog and Martha the Regular Sized Talking Dog and The Cat in the Hat Who is Not a Dog, that’s about all I could recognize at a glance. I still think it’s weird that somehow Martha has this kinda inverted digestive system where the letters from a specific alphabet soup get lodged into her brain, but somehow can accept that the Cat in the Hat can pull together these devices that look like broomsticks with fuzz balls and it’s somehow this advanced alien technology that lets you breathe in space or something. There was also a movie where he was played by Mike Myers, kinda like the Grinch one with Jim Carrey. After a point they decided to just make further Seuss movies entirely in CGI cartoons.