A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, while this show is age-appropriate for preschoolers and sometimes even educational, its lapses in logic seem to be at cross-purposes with its goal of teaching basic life lessons. Also, the characters themselves talk about wanting a future on toy store shelves, and there's a live tour associated with the series.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Ostensibly about five puppy friends who live together and play in a band, RAGGS aims to gently teach life lessons to preschoolers through sketches, songs, and animated segements. The characters began life as entertainment for ad executive Toni Steedman's daughter, then became part of an ad campaign and eventually evolved into a touring band and an Australian series.
Is it any good?
While small children may well fall in love with puppy lead guitarist Raggs and his four friends, the sweet factor can be more than a little grating for adults. Add that to the fact that you can see all the seams in the educational process -- the constant repeats for emphasis, for example -- and Raggs is just barely tolerable.
Even more problematic are its lapses in logic. In an episode about smells, for example, Raggs and his friend Razzles smell a yummy aroma coming from the club house and decide to investigate -- but they then stop to "play" (i.e. perform a concert-style number with live children screaming in the audience). Later, when Trilby loses her sense of smell to a cold, the group tries different things to help her smell again, none of which make sense -- although the smelly, stinky stew somehow works. At worst, the show is mostly harmless, if annoying. At best, there are some basic lessons to be learned.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what the characters are trying to teach viewers in each episode. Did you understand the lesson? Kids: What's the difference between the live-action "plushie" characters and the animated version? Which do you like better? Why? Do you think the live-action characters are really playing their instruments, or just pretending?
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