Growing up I had a lot of people around me, but not that many people my age to play with. As a result I spent many hours watching television. Looking back on all the hours of television that I watched, there was definitely one show that stood out as my favorite, Arthur.
Arthur tells the story of Arthur Read, an eight-year-old anthropomorphized aardvark, and his family as he grows up in Elwood City. The show is based off of the picture books created, written, and illustrated by Marc Brown. Arthur has been on the air since September 1996 and as one of the longest-running shows on PBS Kids (according to Wikipedia), has had the special task of remaining relevant to children during a particularly difficult time. Not only are there technological hurdles to compete with, but there are also other television shows. I believe that even during my elementary/middle school days that Arthur was trying its best to appeal to children my age with issues that affected us. It had the approval of parents because it presented issues in an intelligent manner and maintained a strong educational element.
I am happy that Arthur has been on the air as long as it has, because it has tackled a variety of topics and even though it is a program on television, it even discusses the problems associated with watching television -overconsumption of the medium and desensitization for example. In an episode titled “Attack of the Turbo Tibbles” two friends of D.W., Tommy and Timmy Tibble emulate the violence portrayed in a show. Their emulation reaches a breaking point when their violence leads to D.W. getting injured. Similar to The Veldt, the Tibbles have a hard time separating what is real life and what is the life that they wish they had. Their inability to disassociate the violent cartoon show that they watch and the they real life that they are a part result in someone getting hurt.
The interesting parts (and those pertinent to the post are around 9:00 and 10:30.