PBS's Greatest HitsWishbone
What's the story Wishbone, what's the story indeed. This is the show that turned hundred of kids on to literature, and even more on to watching shows about literature. I don't mean "turned on" in a sexual sense, but rather that they began to enjoy it. Although I am sure some people might have been sexually aroused by Wishbone, that's not what I'm here to discuss. What I am here to discuss is how awesome Wishbone is.
The show is about a dog who takes the going ons of the humans around him and relates it to classic pieces of literature. The show switches between what's in the book and what's happening with the humans. Wishbone always plays the lead character of the classic tale, prompting the audience to wonder why nobody points out that Tom Sawyer is a dog, or how can Robin Hood shoot an arrow without thumbs. Eventually, whatever problem the humans have is solved and the story is wrapped up, probably leaving out a lot of scenes presented in the book. Then, Wishbone suggests books for audience to read—I think. Maybe he didn't and I'm confused; I don't know. The show hasn't been on TV in about 8 years and my memory is a little fuzzy. What I do remember is that the theme song kicks ass.
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
One of PBS's few forays into game shows, and by howdy it was a doozy. Based loosely on the computer game of the same name, contestants answered questions and had to catch one of Sandiego's henchmen who had stolen a famous landmark. They did this by answering questions and following clues or something. That's not what matters. The real gold with this show was the singing group, Rockapella, who would sing clues or questions. Which is something they need to add to more game shows; imagine how awesome Jeopardy would be if Alex Trebeck randomly started singing, or if Chuck Woolery sang during the show Greed? Maybe then people would have actually watched that show.
The other great part of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? is the part where the host would have to find a clue from a double agent and they would speak in code. The host would get it wrong and say something like "The bird is in the tree" and then it would be revealed that he had in fact said something embarrassing, or nonsensical. That is high quality game show humor.
Then at the end of the show, whoever had the most points went after Sandiego herself. There would be a large map of a portion of the world and the winner had to place a large buzzer on the country the host called out. That wasn't too fair, since some people would get North America or some equally easy place, while some got Africa. Who the fuck knows the locations of countries in Africa? Africans don't even know the names of the countries, they're all to busy having genocidal civil wars and trying to not contract AIDs to learn the name of the countries around them. If the contestant got enough countries right, he got a free trip to any location in North America. Popular choices were Mexico and New York. For some reason, nobody ever chose Cuba.
In 1996 the show became Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?, which must have sucked because it only ran for two seasons, compared to Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego's eight.
One day an executive at PBS said, "We need a show that combines the sketch comedy formula of shows like Saturday Night Live and Kids in the Hall but also teaches kids about basic math." Thus Square One was born. There were a variety sketches, some animated, and a bunch of returning characters like the superhero Mathman, or late night host David Numberman. At the end of each episode was the coupe de gra: an X Files-esq segment in which two FBI agents solve math related crimes, while at the same time teaching us how to use math to solve our own mysteries. The best part of that was that instead of guns, they had calculators in their holsters. That makes me chuckle to this very day.
Square One is no longer on, I would chalk this up to the fact that it didn't teach Math very well. I watched the show every day and the only things I ever learned was that if you only have three crayons you can't color a map of the United States without any of the same colored states touching, and if you need to figure out how long it will take you to go a long distance you just need to time how long it takes you to go one mile and then you multiply it by something. I don't recall what you multiply it by. Maybe I shouldn't count that as something I learned from the show.
While looking for a picture to spice up this part of the article, I came upon this website, which features downloads, and is run by a person who more enthusiastic about Square One then I am about anything in my life. I downloaded the David Numberman clip and Mathematics of Love. Mathematics of Love was good because it taught me Roman numerals, which I previously didn't know, and Late Afternoon with David Numberman was good because it made fun of the Irish.
Ghostwriter is the story of a group of friends who solve mysteries. Sounds pretty dull right? Oh, did I forget to mention: one of these friends is a ghost who can read! I bet you just shit your pants there out of fear and excitement. The ghost, also known as Ghostwriter, can read and write, but otherwise can not communicate. His past is never explained, or maybe it was. I don't know. There was an episode were he goes back in time so maybe he was helping himself before he died. I don't know, time paradoxes always confuse me. That's why I didn't watch Back to the Future the cartoon very often.
The thing I really love about Ghostwriter is this awesome leather jacket the one girl wears. It's brown and has these straps hanging of the sleeves. I really want a jacket like that but whenever I try explaining that I want the same jacket as the girl from Ghostwriter, I get weird looks.
Destinos is about Rachael Rodriguez, a lawyer who is searching for the wife of a rich Mexican business man, who thought his wife was dead, but has found out she is, in fact, not dead. He is very ill, so he sends Rachael in his place. The thing that makes this show so great is that it is entirely in Spanish. It is suppose to teach Spanish so the characters will repeat certain phrases, and will accent certain words, so that we the viewer can speak the language correctly. This is hilarious because Spanish is just a funny language, and it's even funnier when a hotel clerk counts from one to ten three times in a row stressing each syllable. Even though I took a Spanish class in high school, I have no idea how to speak it at all, so I can only guess at what they are saying, or why Rachael is yelling at some lady who is sitting on a roof, or why there is a ghost. But when I put Destinos on, I know it is going to be half an hour of confused fun.
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
This show is great for all ages. Small children are entertained by Mr. Rogers soothing voice, as well as the songs and the puppets. Medium aged children will enjoy the life lessons learned and the puppets. Older children will enjoy all the vague sexual jokes, such as the mailman being named Mr. McFeely, the cat named Henrietta Pussycat, and the fact that Mr. Rogers gets partially undressed at the beginning of each episode.
Don't quote me on this, but I think this photo was doctored.