There is a show that, by all means, defined my childhood. Or at least, the part of it that I can vividly remember. I've been told I was in love with "Barney" (apparently I started screaming in delight when I got a Barney doll for my 2nd bday) and "Lamb Chops Play Along" (which Andrew wrote a lovely piece on) amongst many others. But the one show that I watched endlessly as a child, and still quite love, is "Arthur".
"Arthur" is a show about Arthur the aardvark, who lives with his parents and sister. Each episode deals with how the Arthur and his interesting friends and family members all deal with each other and the issues that surround their lives.
Unlike many childrens' shows, "Arthur" treats its audience maturely. No baby talk or gibberish here, folks! And, for a childrens' animated series, each of the characters are surprisingly and refreshingly well developed and multi-dimensional. The show takes serious issues that children have to deal with and make them joyous and palatable.
For example, one of the characters is Buster, a fun-loving rabbit with asthma whose parents are divorced. Not quite what you'd think would make up a kids show, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. And this, I believe, is Arthur's greatest achievment. It's remarkably funny, cute and wonderful, and perfect for little kids. But instead of being immature or shying away from mature topics like most shows, it confronts them head on with a spirit of optimism and joy.
"Arthur" really taught me so much and it's a wonderful show that, believe it or not, is still on the air! (Well, I'm not that old peoples!) If you have kids, are a kid at heart, or just want to watch some good television, "Arthur" is the show for you.
Side Note: The "Arthur's Perfect Christmas" is just the best. I watch it every year to get in the spirit. Just like the show it deals with mature issues seamlessly. It talks about different religious traditions, best friends fighting, single parenthood...ah, if only all shows could deal with issues like Arthur!