Friday, August 20, 2010

30 Day TV Challenge - Day 13: "I think so, Brain, but if the plural of 'mouse' is 'mice,' and the plural of 'louse' is 'lice,' shouldn't the plural of 'spouse' be 'spice?'"

13. Your favorite childhood show.
"...but where are we going to find rubber pants in our size?"
Okay, I might be stretching the definition of "childhood" just a bit. These characters first debuted when I was twelve, but didn't get their own show until two years later, squarely in my teenage years. But it's my blog, so I call the shots, and Pinky and the Brain was my favorite childhood show. They were my favorites when they popped up on Animaniacs, and my fanaticism only grew when they launched their spinoff series. Not only was this my favorite childhood show, it's still one of my favorites.

I can't imagine you don't already know the plot: two mice, genetically engineered as part of vague scientific experiments by the ACME Corporation, escape from their cage each night. One, called the Brain, got the intelligence, the methodical scientific outlook on the world, the dry wit. The other, Pinky, got...well...he got big feet. Their only goal in life? To take over the world. They fail. A lot.

Pinky and the Brain was so brilliant to me because it embodied one of my favorite approaches to children's entertainment -- it's clearly geared at kids, but contains a steady band of gags and references that would only appeal to the adults. (Or, in my case, older kids to happened to wander onto the channel.) The Brain, especially, seems geared specifically to keep the parents happy. Who else would find it funny that his voice sounds exactly like Orson Welles? Or would even understand dialogue like:
THE BRAIN: As you know, people in today's body conscious society are obsessed with losing weight. My plan is to secretly replace all the artificial sweeteners in the world with real ones, thus rendering the world's population fat, slow moving, and completly toothless.

PINKY: You mean, like the guests on Jerry Springer?

THE BRAIN: Exactly.
THE BRAIN: Pinky! Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

PINKY: I think so, Brain, but -- Kevin Costner? With an English accent?
As it happened, Pinky and the Brain hit me at the perfect crossroads between those two points. I could chuckle at Pinky's crazy slapstick, while appreciating the higher-level humor the Brain had to offer. I can only hope my son can find a show that affects him the same way.

Or, I could just let him watch Pinky and the Brain.
THE BRAIN: Pinky! Are you wondering what I'm pondering?

PINKY: Well, I think so, Brain, but if Jimmy cracks corn and no cares, why does he keep doing it?

1 comment:

  1. The answer to Pinky's question:

    Jimmy is the true Existential Hero, surpassing even Sisyphus.