What's the problem?


I spent the weekend at DrBacchus’ house. I took the twins with me, so that Carina could have the house to herself while she recuperated. To keep the girls occupied during the road trip, I picked up season one of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse from the library. I have Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure on order from Netflix, and I wanted the kids to have at least some experience with the man before they saw the movie (although I realize now that the movie came out before the television show!).

The girls were a little confused during the first episode, as they tried to figure out what was going on. They quickly caught on, though, and I often heard them laughing from the back seat of the van. They particularly liked the secret word, and they joined in the screaming and yelling. Tayler, ever observant, even noticed that the secret word was once used in one of the cartoons, but no one screamed or yelled! The horror.

After the third or fourth episode, Tayler asked “Dad, what’s the problem?” Caught off guard, I replied “What problem?”

“There are no problems. They don’t have any problems.” It took me a few moments, but I finally figured out that Tayler was complaining that there was no plot to the shows! It’s a lot of little, unconnected sequences, each of which might be fun to watch, but when taken together as a whole don’t amount to much of anything. This realization didn’t stop Tayler from enjoying the shows at all: she giggled and laughed through all the episodes we watched.

After tucking the kids in their beds tonight, back at home, I fired up one of the discs, so I could see it as well as hear it. Carina and I giggled at the absurdity of it all, and then gaped in amazement as we saw both Phil Hartman and Laurence Fishburne making appearences! Hartman played “Captain Carl”, and Fishburne played “Cowboy Curtis”. It was really something seeing these guys in such goofy roles.

Hopefully Tayler will appreciate the deeply nuanced plot of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure…

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