Are they freakin’ kidding me? As much as I like Bear in the Big Blue House (and I do, oh yes, I do), the later episodes have gotten to be a bit much.
Apparently they ran out of things to talk about in The Big Blue House, and now the episodes feature the world Beyond the Otter Pond. Good enough, except now there are even more adult characters and references, which seems strange to me. The 2005 DVD called Bear in the Big Blue House: Practice Makes Perfect contains three episodes, Show Your Stuff, The Great Bandini, and The Old Bear Game.
The first episode opens with Bear talking about his new hobby. Whittlin’. Yes, WHITTLIN’. As in, sharp knife, piece of wood, 9-1-1, and lots of injuries. It’s kind of a Dangerous Book for Boys kind of hobby, and that’s okay, except that this is a DVD for PRESCHOOLERS. The target audience is still using the big fat pencils, for goodness sakes! To Bear’s credit, he explains it by saying something like, “you carve this piece of wood with this sharp tool, and … well, this is really a hobby for grown-ups.” You think? Well, that would all be well and good, except that Bear continues to whittle, and to talk about whittlin’, for the rest of the episode! I’m wondering how many preschoolers have gone for the knives after viewing this one … particularly the kids who watch these episodes over and over and over again….
The episode that I do like is The Great Bandini. This episode is also from Summer 2005, but it has fewer objectionable aspects and is in fact quite cute. Whoopi Goldberg costars as Edwina Badger, a new woodland friend that the gang meets on the way to see The Great Bandini make a special appearance at the local library. Edwina talks to the friends and helps them see the music all around — the melody of the birds, the rhythm of the crickets, and the deep burp of the bullfrog. Bear reminisces about Pip and Pop’s hip-hop songs, and the scene flashes back to their ditty “We Love Love!” While very cute, it is a little intense for the youngest ones. And the references to Woodstock are just weird.
The last episode is Take Me Out to the Bear Game. I have to admit, I didn’t watch this one past the first few minutes. When they introduced baseball cards, and how much fun it is to collect them, I was done. Again, great pasttime, but not really for toddlers. Toddler obsessions are too insatiable to include things like baseball cards that are intended for older kids.
This last season of Bear just isn’t as good as the earlier seasons.
Just my opinion — but now you know it!