I personally first thought that there was nothing wrong with this show and that it was just one that I didn't enjoy watching with my youngest son as well as others during his limited screen time. We all have our own individual preferences, likes, dislikes, etc. and that's fine. I thought that it was still most likely a positive, educational, and wholesome children's show. It's not, I was mistaken. Here's why..
Plot summary- First things first, the plot is based off of the segment from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood where he sends his toy trolley into the Land of Make-Believe. They use many songs from Mr. Roger's neighborhood, Daniel Tiger puts on his red sweater every morning at the start of the show and sings a familiar tune from Mr. Roger's. At first I thought it was going to be the same characters from The Land of Make-Believe but it's not. They've all gotten older and had kids. It's about their children.
The Problems- Daniel Tiger is much less independent and much more whiney than the average preschool aged child. He seems very inconsiderate, selfish, bratty, and is always dependent on the adults in the show to help him get through his "problems". The problems aren't really problems though. They're things like having to wait to be served at a restaurant, getting a rash from eating peaches, and having to tolerate sharing his mother's attention with his little sister. Every problem he faces is made into a huge life altering, lesson learning, major ordeal which requires the strong hands of his adults to solve. He never seems to solve any problems for himself and the show regularly encourages dependence on the parents. He. whines. about. literally. everything. He doesn't just say, "Oh wow! We have to wait kind of a long time at the restaurant but it sure is nice of Mom and Dad to bring me here for dinner!" He says, "I HATE waiting! We've been waiting forever! I'm so hungry! When's our food going to be here?!" The other characters aren't much better. Mom Tiger gives a totally unrealistic depiction of a mother's patience. Despite Daniel's perpetual brattiness, crying, and whining she always has the patience of a saint. She never changes her tone of voice, becomes unhappy, or acts annoyed. There's also a kitty cat who says meow meow constantly. An average statement from her would be, "I love to play blocks meow meow! Would you like to meow blocks with me meow meow?" Which is beyond annoying. O is another of Daniel's friends. He is an owl who lives in the same tree the kitty cat and her mother do. O the owl is raised by his uncle. The kitty cat is raised by her mother who is unmarried but was previously married to an actor. Miss Elaine is yet another friend on the show who is raised by her racially mixed parents whom are assumably married. Then there's the royal family. Prince Tuesday and Wednesday are raised by their parents the Queen and King Friday. They are annoying as well and also self absorbed selfish brats. They remind everyone constantly throughout the show of their princely status by saying things like, "I'm having a royally good time!" Or "I'm royally hungry!" Plus they roll their R's in an annoying way.
Bad Morals In Show- lack of self sufficiency, whining, brattiness, sibling rivalry, unwed parents, untraditional family dynamics, inability to share, encouraging dependency, unfair and unrealistic depiction of parents, plus others
The Good Bits- I guess I'll give the show a few points for bringing me some nostalgia related to Mr. Roger's but that's far from being enough to save this show. The show does not have swearing, strong sexuality, or any true violence however.
Bottom Line- This show is one of several shows on television right now (like Cailou) that encourages brattiness, whining, and sibling rivalry in children. I'd prefer my own kids to watch something more positive during their limited television time.