21. Tree Fu Tom

Tree Fu Tom is a programme with noble intentions. Developed in conjunction with the Dyspraxia Foundation, it encourages children to copy Tom’s on screen movements, helping them improve their co-ordination and fitness.

Which makes me feel a bit guilty when I say that it blows.

But blow it does. The episodes are about three hours too long and there are no engaging characters whatsoever. Tom himself is a blowhard, David Davis-ing his way through the undergrowth with neither the knowledge nor the subtlety to solve his problems effectively, asking those watching to send him magic goodwill so he can bullshit his way through life without once reflecting on his deficiencies as a man. His best friend, a sentient acorn, is one of those people that get politely labelled ‘a character’, a phrase universally recognised as a euphemism for ‘fuckwit’. Other characters include a frog that invents things and a butterfly that for some reason is also a cowgirl.

None of it makes any sense and there is never any sense of tension because all problems can be solved by Tom doing a bit of a dance. You’ve upset your acorn friends feelings? Bit of a dance. Spiders have broken the sundial? Bit of a dance. Slugs have got trapped in a tree trunk? Bit of a dance. You have accidentally campaigned to leave an international organisation that your country has spent decades integrating with in order to make yourself feel like the big man despite having not the first idea how to carry out even the basic functions of the state without its cooperation? Bit of a dance.

I also hate the theme music, but that doesn’t seem as important, all things considered.