Caillou easily won the Worst Kids’ Show bracket. Like the UCONN women destroying the field in route to an undefeated season and their fourth straight NCAA title, it really wasn’t a fair fight between Caillou and the rest of the shows.
And Caillou, a show imported from Canada, had the toughest path to the championship. Outside of his first round win over Bob the Builder, every other show he eliminated could have won the tournament—if Caillou wasn’t around. Here’s his path to the title of Worst Kids’ Show bracket champion:
- First Round: 99-1 Bob the Builder
- Sour Sixteen: 74-26 Boohbah
- Ugly Eight: 61-39 Teletubbies
- Final Four: 60-40 Bratz
- Championship: 76-24 Yo Gabba Gabba
Some of you may wonder why the PBS cartoon so easily routed the competition. If you have such thoughts, I can only assume you have never seen Caillou, which is—I think—French Canadian for “Why am I watching this? Please, don’t let my child end up like this!”. To help you understand why parents revile it so much, I will take you through a typical episode.
Start at the beginning. Before even the theme song begins, PBS reminds us that Caillou is “made possible through generous donations from viewers like you.” That’s almost rubbing it in your face.
You should remember that as you feel a guilt trip during the PBS pledge drive and want to support Downton Abbey or some random cooking show. Every dollar you give PBS allows them to continue to air Caillou.
It’s like giving to a third world country, wanting to help the deserving people, but instead being exploited by the corrupt dictator. Caillou is that dictator—a bald, preschool Canadian dictator taking your hard earned money and using it to corrupt your children underneath your nose.
When the whimsical theme song begins, you know something is wrong.
It’s like clown paint hiding a sinister face. The very first words of the song are Caillou’s mom trying to comfort him, reassure herself or patronize us: “You’re getting to be a big boy.” She knows that’s not the case. She lives with him. She knows the truth, but every episode she lies to Caillou, herself and us.
Learning from his mother, Caillou decides it’s his turn to lie in the theme song. He tells us “each day I’m growing more.” No, you aren’t Caillou. You’re not growing any taller and neither is your non-existent hair. And, as a matter of fact, neither are your emotions.
Later in the song he hints at his dark side, as if to say, “See I warned you.” He sings, “Growing up is not so tough, ‘cept when I’ve had enough.” But that’s the problem. He’s always had enough and he lets everyone know about.
I suppose it must be hard to be unable to grow hair as a perpetual 4-year-old and see your younger sister develop a head full of hair. He’s not bald because he has cancer or anything. That would make the show about something interesting and decent. No, the creators just thought fans of the books with a younger Caillou wouldn’t recognize an older Caillou with hair. Maybe it’s why Caillou lashes out so frequently like a toddler.
As we get to the actual show, the setup is overly complicated. Originally, every episode was a grandmother reading a Caillou story to kids who look way too old to be enjoying stories about a whiney preschooler. Later episodes still had a grandmother narrator, but you didn’t know why. It’s just a random older lady voice telling us why Caillou is complaining today.
Then some episodes randomly throw in puppets. Where did they come from? Who knows? Maybe they were cheaper than animation. Because this show refuses to finish coloring in the surroundings of the characters. They are swimming in all this donated PBS money and they can’t even color in the rest of the walls in a room?!?
Every show could be called “Caillou Struggles With ______” because while he says he has adventures every day what that really means is that he is incapable of doing anything beyond what a normal 2-year-old could do.
If there’s food in the episode, one of two things will happen. Caillou will whine about not liking it (probably throwing a tantrum) or he will absolutely rub his entire face in the food and wear more of it on his head than he puts in his mouth. Rosie, his little sister in the high chair, eats better than he does.
While he pretends to love his sister and friends, you know it’s all a lie. Every time Rosie gets something, Caillou whines about her getting more than him. Every time a friend comes over, Caillou loses it when he has to share with them. Remember, he says he’s growing more every day. Except every day, he whines and cries when he doesn’t get his way. How is that growing?
Caillou cries about daycare, whines about the subway taking his ticket, gets angry about rain, throws a temper tantrum because he’s bad at baseball, cries about taking a bath, whines about the very existence of his sister, and in one of the all-time classic Caillou meltdowns—he loses it because he thinks he’s going to the circus on one day, but it’s actually the next day.
This is his toy-throwing tantrum because he’s going to the circus tomorrow and he spent so much effort getting his clothes on by himself today.
I repeat: This is because he mixed up the days of the circus and is actually going tomorrow instead of today. And it goes on for much longer that this clip.
What exactly do you think your kid is going to learn from watching Caillou? They learn to use their imagination. (They already know how to do that.) And they learn to whine. (Unfortunately, they already know to do that.)
This is why millennials are the way they are. They grew up with Caillou. You know who taught a 25-year-old college graduate that a good idea to solve her problems at her entry level job would be to write an online open letter to her boss complaining about her job and life situation? Caillou did that with his circus temper tantrum.
By the end of the episode, Caillou will have somehow “learned his lesson,” which just means he eventually got what he wanted one way or another. Either he made enough angry faces, threw himself on the ground enough times, or pushed his parents far enough past the breaking point that they caved to retain what shreds of sanity Caillou had allowed them to maintain up until that moment.
There is a reason a Facebook page and website for parents called “I Hate Caillou.” There is a reason Caillou easily won this tournament. He is like a whining virus that spreads through the television screen and infects every kid watching the show.
The NCAA tournament ends with the song “One Shining Moment” celebrating the new champion. This tournament cannot end that way because for Caillou it would be “Countless Crying Moments” … and nobody wants to hear that.
Caillou is the champion and he absolutely deserves it.