Having dedicated a month to children’s tv that I abhore, I thought it would be churlish not start my month of lists of loveliness by celebrating all the brilliant children’s programmes that 2018 brought. Credit where it is due and all that. Sadly, 2018 brought no new episodes of Sarah & Duck, and now that Dr Ranj is a big potatoes of Saturday night dancing telly we may never get another series of Get Well Soon. But there were a few reasons to be cheerful among the Paw Patrols and the Bings.
I have only included series that I watched with Emily and that received thumbs up from both of us.
Messy Goes to Okido
The best voice cast on any children’s show, stunning animation, and educational too. What’s not to like? It is also very funny. If Adam Buxton doesn’t get a knighthood for this at some point then the whole honours thing should be scrapped. There. I said it.
Molly and Mack
Molly and Mack is one of those live action dramas that the Scottish part of Cbeebies does so well. Set in a community hub/indoor market/cafe/really nice place, the stories are centred around Molly and her relationships with the people who work there and their children. It’s all small stuff, a lost whistle, a damaged cassette tape, but with an attention to how small things can affect people in large ways that makes you care about what happens. A great cast too, all fully committed to making their characters feel real.
True is, kind of, a kind of pre-school Adventure Time. Kind of. I mean, it’s not, but it is. Kind of. Anyway, it’s colourful and kind and fun and it has a talking cat. Thumbs up all round.
I know. Good programme on Nick Jr shocker! But it’s true. Hidden among the charmless rescue dogs and confusing monster trucks is this little masterpiece. It’s just some woodland animals, hanging, chilling, but there is so much heart, some lovely animation, and a wonderful attention to detail. In a nutshell, Becca’s Bunch exists to entertain children, not sell merchandise. More of this kind of thing please.
Still the king. Everyone loves Hey Duggie.
One of the very few acceptable Christmas ‘traditions’ that have sprung up in the last decade (I’m looking at you John Lewis adverts. Stop trying to be a thing.) is the now annual BBC adaptation of a Julia Donaldson book. Room on the Broom, The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Stick Man and The Highway Rat were all brilliant. Zog was possibly the best yet.
Cupcake and Dino
OK, so Emily wasn’t totally blown away by this one. But I liked it, and it has the best theme song of the millennium (so far).