Saturday, December 10, 2011

'Mighty Machines': Canadian Mind Control Continues

I've spoken before about the outsized influence that Canadian TV programs have on young children. Well, as far as Elliot in concerned, this show may be the mother of them all: "Mighty Machines."

"Mighty Machines" is a half-hour program showing how different vehicles and construction equipment works. For instance, an episode will be dedicated to a train yard or street sweepers.

The production values are fairly low. It's just video of machines at work — plus hokey voiceover where people pretend to be the vehicles: "Look at me delivering box cars!"

We're watching episodes on Netflix that were produced in the mid-1990s, which means they look like they're from the 1980s (I'm using the Robin Scherbatsky conversion standard here: "The '80s didn't come to Canada 'til like '93").

Anyway, Elliot ADORES it.

Amid criticism about "SpongeBob SquarePants" and concerns that kids' shows are too frenetic, it's worth noting that "Mighty Machines" is the polar opposite.

The camera lingers on the lumbering work of each vehicle (there was an episode on race cars, but that's as fast-paced as it gets). It makes "Masterpiece Theater" look like it was directed by Michael Bay.

The appeal mainly speaks to the allure of machines on kids. (The show has been described as "porn for little boys.")

I guess you don't need to dress that up.