Zaki's Reviews: Arthur
by, 11th November 2012 at 09:53 PM (550 Views)
There are a lot of cartoons that I like. But for a while, I hated to admit to people that I still like Arthur - the show on PBS about the cartoon aardvark and his friends. My friend Frank and I watch it from time to time - we find it surprisingly funny.
I had a hard time telling people that I like it, but last year I told my mother that I still like Arthur. I told a few other friends, and they were cool with it. Believe it or not, the show isn't that babyish. It's even rather edgy at times.
The biggest thing that makes me laugh about it is the amount of furry confusion. I love that there are both anthropomorphic dogs and regular dogs on the same show. Arthur the aardvark owns a dog, but three of his friends are anthro dogs: Binky the bulldog, Prunella the poodle, and Fern the...generic dog? And Francine the monkey has a cat, while Sue Ellen is a cat herself.
My favourite character on the show is probably D.W., Arthur's little sister. She's very snarky and full of wisecrack. In one episode, Arthur finds some old letters. D.W. asks if they are from Arthur's real parents. Even funnier was when D.W. says that the jitterbug is good for Arthur's "Arthur-itis" . I also love Mr. Ratburn, the teacher. He's so fruity and campy. Buster is funny too with all of his alien talk, and Francine has quite a few moments.
Not to forget the one you might know: Arthur hitting D.W. It was so funny seeing Arthur getting mad at D.W. and hitting her for breaking his plane. Other funny moments include D.W.'s obsession with Crazy Bus and D.W. learning a curse word, thinking that if she says the bad word, something will break.
There are a lot of pop culture references. Included are kid-friendly versions of people and things that are most definitely NOT kid-friendly. They reference South Park in one episode - with Buster filling in for Kenny. There is also a reference to The Sopranos in the form of The Altos (which contains beeped-out curses).There is even a parody of Paris Hilton - a fashionista named Capri who says "that's warm" and has a chihuahua named Pixel.
A lot of the really funny ones were the parodies that seem almost cynical. For example, in one recent episode, Muffy Crosswire buys the Pretty Pioneers books, which is like American Girls meets Little House on the Prairie. The books turn out to be historically inaccurate, and the Brain even took time to highlight that as well as all the improper grammar! (Muffy's dad tells her that the books are basically cash-ins.) Another example was the Illinois Jack comic series, a parody of Indiana Jones. The comic has a lot of inaccuracies about other culture, such as portraying Turkey as a desert country where people eat eyeballs. Arthur actually acts out on this and asks his Turkish pen pal about "the taste of lamb eyes". I'm willing to bet that was a jab at the Temple of Doom, where an Indian prince serves chilled monkey brains at his banquet.
The education value was interesting too. I learned a lot about peanut allergies in one episode where Binky finds out he's allergic to peanuts. I found out what anaphylaxis is and how serious peanut allergies really are. I even showed the episode to a friend whose little brother has a peanut allergy! I also learned a lot about Thanksgiving, which isn't celebrated in my country but is in the US where Arthur comes from.
So all in all, a really good show. I give it a 5 out of 5.
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