Top current children's TV shows
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- Published 14.11.08
That’s so Raven: Disney Channel
The centre of Disney Channel’s longest running and most successful series is the teenaged Raven Baxter. Blessed with psychic powers that allow her split-second peeks into the future
that are more misleading than illuminating, the bubbly Raven goes about life in school and at home often ending the wrong side up. She is supported by her cheeky brother Cory and friends Eddie and Chelsea in her misadventures. The Hindi dubbing, for once, does not come in the way.
Spongebob Squarepants: Nick
Who wouldn’t love a life spent jelly-fishing and blowing bubbles? That too in an underwater town with a name like Bikini Bottom? That life is Spongebob’s. A naïve and goofy sea sponge, he lives in a pineapple, works as a cook at Krusty Krab restaurant and plays with his best friend, the pink starfish Patrick Star. In 2007, the show was named by Time as one of the greatest television shows of all time. The only frown he draws is from his octopus neighbour, Squidward Tentacles.
The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Disney Channel
The show centres around the naughty and smart twins Zack and Cody Martin. Their mom Carey is a lounge-singer and that allows the trouble-making twins to stay in a grand hotel suite at the Tipton Hotel. They are a pest, the hotel manager, Mr Moseby would vouch for that. Along with the dim-brain hotel heiress London Tipton, which rhymes with real-life hotel heiress Paris Hilton, and the candy counter girl Maddie, the twins are a riot.
Takeshi’s Castle & Hole in the Wall: Pogo
When has getting dunked in water been so much fun? When one sees it happening to others in a game show format. Granted one is the Japanese original and the other its Indian variation, but both work, because it is the action that speaks. The tasks set are too simple to tax the brain but builds up anticipation — can he jump across the muddy moat? Can she slip through the weird-shaped hole in the wall without being pushed into the pool?
The phrase cat-and-mouse game might have been invented for this duo. Only, when Tom is sniping at Jerry’s paws, things get violent. But they inhabit a world where a cannon ball leaves a hole in the belly and a rock flattens one without shedding a drop of blood. The original series created between 1940 and 1957 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera for MGM won the Academy Awards for Best Short Subject (Cartoons) seven times. It is still inspiring new series and films.
On Children’s Day, t2 takes you down memory lane as we revisit some children’s classics….
The baap of all game shows on STAR network. A team of six would travel through four zones — Aztec, Industrial, Futuristic and Medieval, to bag as many of the coveted crystals as possible. A fun, paisa vasool show, it was a must-watch for the idiosyncratic ways of host Richard O’ Brien. Remember his harmonica?
An American engineer creates a robot modelled on a 10-year-old girl and adopts her as his daughter. For most children growing up in the 90s, weekday evenings were spent watching Small Wonder on STAR network. Featuring the antics of Vicki Lawson, the robot with astonishing powers, Small Wonder had every child longing for a Vicki-like companion. The interactions between the Lawsons and their annoying neighbours the Brindles, with Vicki’s brother Jamie being constantly chased by the freckle-faced Harriet Brindle, kept kids in splits for more than a decade.
There were very few young girls who didn’t fall in love with the oh-so-cute Kevin Arnold. The Wonder Years on STAR network was about the joys and pains of growing up, something that every child identified with. The Arnold family became everyone’s family while Kevin and Winnie’s love story achieved near-iconic status. The Emmy Award winning show still enjoys reruns.
Jungle jungle pata chala hain... chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai.... Now who wasn’t a fan of this animated Jungle Book featuring the mischievous antics of Mowgli and his friends, Bhaloo and Bagheera and his run-ins with Sher Khan? There was hardly a kid who missed Jungle Book in Hindi, aired on Sunday morning on Doordarshan.
Indian television’s first brush with sci-fi, Indradhanush was a favourite among kids. The story of four wizkids who invent a time machine and travel back and forth in time, Indradhanush was compulsory viewing every Sunday morning. The Doordarshan show paved the way for similar shows like Space City Sigma.
Long before they became successful on the big screen, Bhagyashree and Ashutosh Gowariker were a part of our Sunday mornings with Kachchi Dhoop on Doordarshan. Directed by Amol Palekar, Kachchi Dhoop was considered a children’s classic. It was about growing up, discovering new friends, the pains of adolescence and first love. The story of a single mother raising three daughters touched a chord with its young — and some old — viewers.