February 17, 2006

No Rest For The Wiggles? A Dad's Plea

I've been planning to devote my copious spare time to a season-by-season critical analysis of The Wiggles. Partly, it boggles my filmmaking mind sometimes how poorly produced some of the shows are, but if the kid's happy, I'm willing to overlook it. But then I started to wonder how the show and its format evolved: what were the original ideas, and how did it change with early Australian touring success, Disney/US distribution, and non-stop touring?

For examples, there are early episodes with a lot of "80's MTV-style" [sic] or "wacky, kid-like" camera angles, and deliberately wobbly camera movement, exactly what you'd expect when you ask your burly union cameraman to "get crazy" for his check. And there were a lot of dumb puns and for-the-parents lines, too. But all this got pared away, and the quartet's infectious, perky songs for kids took over. Lately, of course, the Wiggles find themselves stretched thin personally, and they're trying to shore up and extend the brand in an attempt to avoid a bleak Rolling Stones-like future of endless geezers-in-turtlenecks world tours. Obviously, the show is blowing in the mean time. Which is why it's both great and sad to read "An Open Letter To The Wiggles" from a concerned comedy writer/dad in LA, who hopes--for his kid's sake--that the boys will step back, regroup, and rediscover the magic:

In fact, you've repurposed some of those early hits, haven't you: into a puppet video, into a flash-animated video, into songs for the Wiggly Dancers to perform without you, not to mention "The Little Wiggles," to perform without you. Wow, come to think of it, that's a lot of juice you're squeezing out of those old oranges, isn't it?
Open Letter To The Wiggles [whywetype]


"Little Wiggles"? They've COMPLETELY jumped the shark!

and i thought punk bands were the only ones to sell out.

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