Barney and Friends (tv)

The Boston Phoenix

DIRECTED BY: Baby Bop

REVIEWED: 12-01-97

Taken from The Boston Phoenix's "Character Sketches," a celebration of viewers' favorite TV characters. Click here for the full article.

The purple blob got me during a fallow period in my life, a summer when I had cable and wasn't paying rent and didn't have a damn thing else to do every morning at 10 a.m. Barney-bashers were a dime a dozen in 1993, but how many of them really understood? I still hear echoes of his dreadfully adenoidal voice, the saccharine squeak of Baby Bop, the syllabically inept songs set to popular nursery tunes. Every day, a roster of woebegone child actors outgrowing their preschool set mouthed lines in hypnotized thrall to that vacuous foam lizard, spewer of platitudes and bad advice (the answer to "Barney, how do our Native American friends make tambourines?" is not "With paper plates and macaroni"). Parents were right to worry about Barney; the show was pandering, intellectually spongy, and terrifyingly addictive. I escaped in the end by yielding to the various social pressures that push a 23-year-old to do something more productive with his mornings. I only hope the millions of little conscripts in Barney's army made their own getaways.

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