Reviews: The Berenstain Bears

The Television Show

The Berenstain Bears is an absolutely awful show.

Characters? I'd care, if they were more than just the generic "mom, dad, kids" dynamic. While I acknowledge certain legitimate uses for generic characters (political correctness, increased potential for Audience Surrogate), it's the fact that the main characters and the town itself take on flaws and problems just so they can learn the Aesop of the week, but then are dropped when they have no use.

I know BSB is a show that clearly doesn't utilize continuity, but at least shows like The Simpsons form their plots around their established characters and not vice versa; Lisa doesn't go from a regular girl to a whiny brat in the store because the AOTW is "You need to earn your toys with money from chores". Yet Sister does, and she's rarely whiny when the Aesop doesn't revolve around that.

Plot? Well, it's an Aesop of the week type show. Simple and likable.

Lastly, is anyone else weirded out by the fact that the main characters have no real names ("Brother" is not a name) yet everyone else does?

Geographic Flexibility is my absolute Pet Peeve Trope. I mean seriously, unless its played for laughs and lampshaded to good effect, it is the pinnacle of bad writing, pulling new locations out of your butt to facilitate a plot because you're stuck or lazy. Just once, I'd want a TV show (or frankly, any work or series) that publishes an official map of the setting (no, not like some jagged lines for mountains and some letters ala LOTR, but an extremely detailed map with accurate measurements, like a respectable political map) early on and offers some sort of prize for anyone who spots an error in the show. That would be great.

Inevitably, some of you will clamor that it is just a kids' show. Yes, it is, but that doesn't mean a kids' show can't be of high quality, nor does it disprove or put flaws in the logic of any of my complaints. That argument doesn't even claim my view is wrong, instead implying that while my point is right it doesn't matter because "it wasn't made to appeal to you" or something similar. While I acknowledge the target audience is more important than people who are years outside of the central demographic, but at some point "It's just a kids' show" is an excuse.