Kids shows now vs kids shows then


Alicia Goff, Staff Writer

When Generation Z (born in 1995-2009) were kids, cartoons were the reason for their existence. They shaped them into who they are today and created many bonds between friends. Now new shows are appearing for new members of Generation Alpha (born in 2010-2024). Many can recall the days when they woke up and got excited for their favorite show on their favorite station, whether it was Nickelodeon, Disney Channel/Jr., PBS kids or Sprout. Now, their favorite shows are no longer on the air and new shows are taking over. 


Some believe that this new generation of shows are much less educational and more just for entertainment. When Generation Z were kids, they had shows such as “Barney,” which first aired in 1992 until it was canceled in 2009 after lawsuits caused the show to be taken off the air. The show taught children various lessons about sharing, friendship, cooperation, self-esteem and good health and safety habits. “Blue’s Clues” first aired in 1996 till 2006 when the host Steve Burns left the show due to his early balding. The show did re-air in 2019 with a new host and title, but people argue that the show will never be the same.


 Others believe that many of these new shows are helpful to teach young children. Shows such as “Hero Elementary,” which aired in 2020, teaches children about science. “Elinor Wonders Why,” which also aired in 2020, teaches kids to ask questions and follow their curiosity, while “Paw Patrol,” which premiered in 2013, teaches kids about citizenship and problem-solving. 


Then there are the shows that many are grateful were taken off the air such as “Teletubbies” and “Caillou.” Despite the fact that the “Teletubbies” did somewhat teach children about intimate sound and non-verbal signals, people complained that the look of the characters terrified children. “Caillou” wasn’t a favorite among parents because many thought of him as a brat, a bad influence on their children and believed that the show taught horrible life lessons. In the show, he would throw tantrums when he didn’t get his way, misbehave without being reprimanded and keep secrets from his parents. So when the show was taken off the air, parents were ecstatic.


On the popular site commonsensemedia the negative reviews drastically outweigh the positive ones. “I work in a daycare and have witnessed the effect this show has on kids. Every time during our 25 minute/day TV break if this show was on the kids would begin acting like Caillou the second it went off. Constantly throwing tantrums and whining about everything. I never even give it a chance with my kids at home.” a parent said. 


Despite the differences between Generation Z shows and Generation Alpha shows, there are shows aired before or during Generation Z that are still on the air today, such as “Sesame Street,” which began in 1969, and “Arthur” which began in 1996. What is it about these shows that have allowed them to stay around this long? Senior Dylan Irizarry believes that it’s thanks to the writers ability to shift the content of the show to the current world. “Writers are constantly able to change with the times and are constantly able to put out good writing that keeps kids entertained.” Irizarry said. 


Although all these new shows are taking over, many agree that the old shows will forever connect and have a place in the heart of the members of Generation Z.