CBeebies – they’re a bit sexist, aren’t they? By that, I don’t mean the cute yellow blobby peeps; I rather like them. I mean the people behind them. Because the smiley blobs, they’re just a front. A front for the blind, unquestioning promotion of patriarchal and racial dominance. This has been made clear to me through years of being a shit mum who plonks her kids in front of the telly while she indulges in a bit of washing up. But hey, I don’t want to make a fuss. The only thing worse than being a mum who plonks her kids in front of the telly is being a feminist mum who then makes a massive fuss about it afterwards.
Rather than embark on another mad feminist rant, I’ve resolved to look at things from a different angle. Inspired by the CBeebies formula, I’ve decided to create my own TV series! Just call me Oliver Postgate (or rather, one of the many latter-day rubbish versions thereof):
The Chums of Normality Wood
A story of four friends finding their way through the moral maze that is life, here represented in the form of a wood, containing lots of twisty metaphortastic pathways on which to get lost.
- Normality Lion – with pale fur and a ginger mane, he’s bland but basically good at everything. He’s always helping out his less competent chums! Rah!
- Funky Panther – with dark black fur, he’s a quirky, crazy pal. Good job best friend Normality is on hand – or should that be “on paw”? – to keep him out of trouble! Grr!
- Pinksy Flamingo – with her gorgeous pink feathers, it’s hard to miss Pinksy! Yet she’s still getting lost in the forest on a daily basis – must be all that random ballet dancing, interspersed with flower picking! Um…
- Dungarees Donkey – Dungarees – or Dungsy, as she likes to be known – tends to be a bit of a tomboy i.e. she’s the crap female version of Normality. She is the moral voice of the forest chums, and is therefore boring as hell. Hee-haw!
Episode 1: Funky’s Race
Funky decides to organise a race, convinced that he’ll be the fastest chum in Normality Wood. Dungsy isn’t so sure – after all, pride comes before a fall! And it turns out she’s right – Funky ends up falling straight into one of Pinksy’s favourite flower beds. But not to worry! Normality saves the day by hauling Funky out. Normality is then crowned winner – turns out the lion’s not just King of the Jungle, he’s King of the Wood! Ho ho!
Episode 2: Pinksy’s Flower Festival
Pinksy is eager that everyone in Normality Wood celebrate the annual flower festival, by dressing up in flowers and prancing about a bit. Normality, Funky and Dungsy aren’t so sure, but manage to express their reluctance without making use of the expression “a bit gay”. It looks like the chums will never agree, but finally, the dilemma is solved when Funky ends up falling straight into one of Pinksy’s favourite flower beds. But not to worry! Normality saves the day by proclaiming Funky King of the Flower Fairies. Everybody laughs. And still no one uses the expression “a bit gay”. Ho ho!
Episode 3: Dungsy’s Dungarees
One day, while trudging boringly through Normality Wood, Dungsy happens upon a pair of pink, glittery dungarees. She tries them on and suddenly, she’s a whole new donkey! But Pinksy isn’t so pleased about this; isn’t she the pinkest, glitteriest creature in Normality Wood? Soon the girls are at loggerheads. But hey, haven’t we already learned that pride come before a fall? And it’s a literal fall, when Funky ends up falling straight into one of Pinksy’s favourite flower beds, ruining Dungsy’s dungarees in the process. But not to worry! Normality saves the day by remaining aloof from all the undignified cat-fighting. Even though he’s a big cat! Ho ho!
Episode 4: Normality’s Normality
Funky’s fed-up: why can’t he be more like Normality? After all, Normality, King of the Wood, is good at everything! Normality tries to tell his chum that hey, he can run fast and tell quirky, off-beat jokes, but it’s no use; Funky just won’t listen. In the end, Normality agrees to a Being Normal Contest with Funky, but there’s no way Funky can win. Definitely not when Funky ends up falling straight into one of Pinksy’s favourite flower beds yet again. But not to worry! Normality saves the day by being normal. And Funky learns it’s okay to just be himself. Meanwhile, Pinksy finally goes fucking mental about her favourite flower bed being constantly ruined in the name of plot devices. Ho ho!
Like all ideas proposed on this blog, I haven’t copyrighted anything and will in no way be arsed to do anything to make this proposal a reality. So CBeebies people, if you’re reading this, it’s all yours. For free. Although a goodwill visit from Andy (of continuity and Wild Adventures fame) would be much appreciated.
Acknowledgements: Raa-Raa the Noisy Lion, Zingzillas, The Tweenies, Mike the Knight, Octonauts, Driver Dan’s Story Train, Waybuloo, blah blah blah please can I give up now?
There was something on the Mike the Knight theme song here but, as ever when I write about a song lyric, it was based upon a mishearing, leading someone to correct me in the comments. Ho hum. One day I’ll write a post about my mishearings. Only it’ll turn out all of them were correct hearings which I’ve incorrectly decided were wrong…