Children’s Television Survival Guide: The Good Night Show

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post for my Children’s Television Survival Guide, and that’s because there is a lot of really horrible children’s television that no amount of positive attitude or creative interpretation or irony can make palatable. Literally, children’s television is that bad. Especially the junk my kids have been watching lately, most of which has been driven by the tastes of The Boy. But recently I decided that we should go back to basics and start watching the Sprout channel again. Now, that’s dangerous, because they show Caillou. But if you can figure out when that crap is on and avoid watching it during those hours, it’s actually not a horrible line-up. Our favorite time to watch is at the start of The Good Night Show, which is the subject of today’s post.

Basically, the set up of the show is that Nina, the host, is hanging around a tree house in her PJs (don’t worry, they’re tasteful) with a stuffed-animal-puppet named Star, who is, unsurprisingly, shaped like a star. Nina and Star engage in witty banter…OK, not really, they just chat about whatever the topic of the day is, and then introduce the cartoons. Nina also does some “yoga” with some little kids that they call a “Sprout Stretch.” The other night, it was basically doing I’m a Little Teapot but without the singing. And, Nina can speak a little Spanish, so she teaches Star a word in Spanish every day. They do a craft too, but not usually during the stretch I’m watching with the kids.

Maybe I’ve watched Death to Smoochy one too many times, but I feel like Nina’s in on the joke when I watch her. Like, sometimes she’ll look at Star or the camera or whatever, and she just gets this look that says “Yeah, I know how silly this is, I’m talking a puppet.” Like she’s stifling a laugh. I feel like if I met Nina in person a cocktail party, she’d be cool, and not like Uncle Fran. (No seriously, you HAVE to click on that link, it’s so awesomely inappropriate! But make the kids leave the room first. God, I miss Almost Live.)

The Good Night Show was actually one of The Boy’s favorites when he was The Girl’s age, and I think that’s because he was in love with Nina, the host. She’s gorgeous but in a non-threatening way. What I love about Nina is that she’s soothing. Because, it’s bed time. I don’t need Dora screaming at my toddler and winding her all up when it’s time to go to sleep, I need someone calm. The Sprout Stretch is not aerobic exercise, it’s a stretch. She sits calmly on the couch and talks. She smiles a lot but isn’t bouncy. It’s relaxing after a long day to see calm, pleasant Nina on my TV screen.

And now I feel so calm, I need a little nap. Thanks, Nina!