Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Electrifying!

Yes, I admit it; I watch the new version of The Electric Company. I've talked about watching it on Facebook, and none of my posts about it have gotten any replies. At first, I was only watching it because of Jenni Barber, the cute, Ashley Tisdale-esque blonde who portrays Lisa Heffenbacher. However, after watching it a few more times, I realized that its appeal is more than just who stars in it.
As usual for this blog, I'm going to take you back into past experiences I've had: From 1995 to 1999, I was a pretty avid computer game player. Most of the games I played were edutainment titles; that is, ones that were both educational and entertaining. I had everything from Dinosaur Safari (conceptually similar to Pokémon Snap, but with dinosaurs instead of "pocket monsters") to Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? (who doesn't remember that one?) to even Let's Explore the Airport. There was a edutainment software maker back then known as The Learning Company (TLC for short, though not in any way related to the cable TV channel) that made games that included both learning and arcade-style action. Looking back, I can say the plots were a bit, for lack of a better word, stupid. Midnight Rescue! involved you reading passages to get clues all the while taking pictures of robots in order to find out which one the Master of Mischief was hiding in, and if you lost, the school got covered in disappearing paint. (I think there were--and still are--a lot of kids who would love it if their school disappeared. Anyone remember "Deck the Halls with Gasoline"?) Spellbound! had you training for and then competing in a spelling bee against those same baddies. Treasure Cove! had you capturing sea stars, who, because of a spell, only spoke in riddles, to get clues to find gems and a puffer fish.
All those plots seem absurd, right? Well, those games' plots had a lasting effect on me. Seriously, even in recent years, I have watched some shows and movies with inane plots. Want a list? Princess (a 2008 ABC Family movie,) Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, Bloodhounds, Inc.: The Ghost of KRZY, Dragon Ball: Evolution, Fred Claus, and there's probably others. So, the plot of each Electric Company episode (This guy is stealing all the Fs! Why is he doing it? He must be stopped!) doesn't bother me, because I've seen it all before. In some ways, plots like those, nonsensical as they are, remind me of my childhood, which was a much simpler time.
I'll end by saying this: You may think that it's wrong for me to watch things like The Electric Company. I can't help but disagree; I think that everyone, no matter what age, has an inner child, and he/she lives on well past the time we've reached adulthood. I've decided to completely embrace my inner child. If you don't like that...there's the door.

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