2. Top Wing
Less than a year old and already one of the most consistently awful things on television, Top Wing is a phenomenon. At first glance it appears to be little more than a scene-for-scene remake of Paw Patrol but with birds instead of dogs, but Top Wing also incorporates aspects of Octonauts, Captain Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Blaze and the Monster Machines, and half a dozen other worst-in-show kids tv efforts. It’s the pits. It’s a toy advert come to life (and not in a ‘cute inanimate object becomes sentient’ way, like Angela Lansbury playing a teapot or something like that, we are talking full Skynet here, there will be no survivors). It’s total bobbins and I hate it.
But rampant consumerism isn’t enough for Top Wing. Unfettered capitalism is so 2016. What you really need to fully embrace the zeitgeist is at least a nod to the idea that “the #metoo movement has gone too far”. I mean, sure, Paw Patrol only has one female dog, and she has a pink car, but that could easily be passed off as clumsy or cynical marketing rather than an actual hatred of women. Employing lazy stereotypes is pretty much passé now. You need to kick it up a notch if you want to compete with the hate speech so readily available on Youtube and the Today programme. So congratulations to Top Wing and their inspirational catchphrase, “I’m a rooster not a chicken.”
I think it’s a first in children’s tv; a character who overcomes adversity by reminding himself that he isn’t female and is therefore capable of anything. I’m not convinced history will judge it kindly, but who knows, history does have a habit of surprising us.