American Children’s Television

Accepted wisdom states that if you don’t want your children to watch something on television then just switch it off but that isn’t easy when the television and family room are upstairs and the kitchen is downstairs.

When your child has done his or her homework, had a chat and wants to watch the television and you, being an earth mother, have to wash up all the pans and dishes you have used to create the evening’s repast, you’re not going to say ?No, you can’t watch that rubbish.? you’re going to think ?Good idea, give me a bit of time to clear up.?

I have no problem with American children’s television as such. I love The Simpsons and Recess but what I really hate are programs dubbed with an English accent but in American-English. Please, if it’s American, use American words and an American voice or change the script and make it proper English with an English voice over.

The worst example of an English voice with an American script is a ridiculous children’s program called Higglytown Heroes. The cast comprises an unlikely assortment of Russian doll style characters which clonk about with a squirrel that gives them advice. See I told you, it’s ridiculous.

I’m sure the U.S. version sounds a lot less silly but when the squirrel, with a female, very BBC accent says ?Hello you all?? or suggests ?Let’s figure this out together? it sounds absurd, and irritating.

It beggars belief that the, clearly well spoken, voice-over artists would not have pointed out the inconsistency between accent and words. How can they bear to use those words? Does America want to control our language as well as our defense and finances? No, I suspect the reason for the inappropriate language could be something much more mundane like, it would cost more to translate the script, or even, well, ignorance?

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