Saturday, October 13, 2012

Nick Jr's NickMom: A Massive Failure


...A woman explains her divorce by saying, “We were different signs. I’m a Leo. He’s an a**hole
...A mother says, “I know a woman who said, ‘I can’t imagine my life without children.’ Really, bitch? ‘Cuz I can!”
...A teenage girl shows her mother how to use Facebook. While her mother talks on the phone, the girl posts an image of the mother flashing her breasts at a Mardi Gras celebration.  

These are not samples of an edgy night program rated and geared towards adults. No, these are excerpts from Nick Jr's new "NickMom", which was formerly a kids-only channel. Safest on TV, many assumed. 

I dub "NickMom" a. massive. failure. The show and its moms take pride not in nurturing and guiding our children, but in removing ourselves as far from the realm of parenting as emotionally possible. Why is Viacom pushing this down our kids' throats? Why can't this be aired on a different channel altogether? 

It's precious, really. Marketing a martini glass to toddlers. 


To add insult to injury, NickMom has taken residence on Nic Jr's website. What you'll find there is as adult as it gets: 

Can your kids read? Will they be able to soon? Then in the words of NickMom: “SH*T! SH*T! SH*T!”

The October 3rd episode of NickMom Night Out featured various comedians joking about becoming a stripper rather than staying home with kids. And during a promo for Mom Friends Forever, a mother tells her children, “I do not want you to forget where you came from.” Her teenage son replies, “Your vagina?”

Brilliant. 

Look, I'm a mom. I get the "I-can-still-be-cool-even-though-I-have-kids" thing. And I'm about as far removed from perfect as it comes. The only thing organic in my kitchen is a bag of rotten fruit I forgot to feed the kids. Sometimes I find myself wondering just how insane life is actually supposed to be. Am I on candid camera? Did my kids just really do that in public? Aren't they tired YET?? I've been known to refer to my toddlers as sociopaths. (Seriously, toddlers kind of are). 

But I don't talk about that in front of them. I talk about it with my girlfriends, safe from their little ears, whose only concerns should be whether or not they get an extra snuggle at bedtime and if I found their favorite Curious George book. 

Viacom choosing to merge content this radically is a poor choice. Take the show to another channel altogether. At least, at the very minimum, take NickMom off their website. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. Here are some comments pulled from the ParentsTV Facebook Page
  “I put Nick Jr. on for my kids at 7 p.m. while my husband and I did the dishes. My kids were exposed to vagina jokes, penis jokes and female orgasm jokes. One joke I heard had to do with a woman shoving her kids up their grandmother’s vagina. And this channel was created for kids??” 
·         “...Why spend all day airing shows teaching children how great it is to love, share, be kind, and be a family....and then tell kids their parents don't even like them?” 
·         “I just want to thank NickMom for showing my 2½ year-old son a woman stripping with her shirt off. I had changed the channel to what I THOUGHT was safe programming for him. I didn't wait for the channel to come up…only to walk back into the room moments later to the horror that was on TV.”  
·         “My TV is set up to automatically switch to Nick Jr. when my daughter’s favorite shows come on. I walked in and discovered her watching some woman talk about uncircumcised penises.”  
·         “Nick Jr. claims this is 'what moms want.' You know what moms want? They want to watch good, quality, educational programming with their children at times convenient for their families -- which is why I'm paying extra for this channel.” 
·         “We have all heard that ‘children are like sponges.’ Why show our little ‘sponges’ programming that glorifies drinking, vulgarity, racial stereotypes, and rude behavior?”              
In addition to being justifiably outraged that they are paying a premium fee on top of their already-high pay-TV rates in order to get a channel which sells itself as appropriate for children 24 hours a day, many posters pointed out that Nick Jr. apparently has only one network “feed.” Thus, while the raunchy Parental Discretion airs on the East Coast at 10:00 p.m., it begins on the West Coast at 7:00 p.m., disrupting the TV and bedtime patterns many parents have established for their children. And in Hawaii, Parental Discretion’s flood of breast and penis jokes airs on the “safe, educational” Nick Jr. at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
Naturally, "NickMom" rates all its adult-themed programming TV-PG – except for Parental Discretion, which is rated TV-14. Clever, clever, clever. 

What about you? Think I'm overreacting? 

To contact NickMom about its programming, click here.