I mentioned a few kid’s TV programmes in my last post, and since then I have been noticing more re-inventions.
There is a vast list from Bill and Ben and Muffin the Mule to remakes of more modern shows like the new Postman Pat I mentioned.
But there is one show that stuck out more than the others. It is a remake of The Mr Men that Channel 5 are currently showing.
Now I grew up with the Mr Men and I have in the past 10 years or so watched as a huge marketing team have sold the soul of this once quaint series of book and cartoons.
But that in itself is not what bothers me about the new show.
The thing with the Mr Men series was that they were modern fables-cum-cautionary tales. In each book a character with a particular personality trait of flaw goes through a series of events that leave them changed for the better.
Mr Bump finds the strength to embrace his clumsiness, Mr Mean sees the errors of his selfishness and becomes more generous and so on.
The thing is that the new series takes each character and stereotypes their behaviour. The redemption each found in the original stories has gone. Mr Greedy is still a glutton, Mr Grumpy is still miserable person and Mr Worry still panics about everything.
There, it seems, is no longer any value in seeking personal change and redemption. The idea of finding our strengths through our character flaws has gone out of the window. Personal development is not something that can happen in this sad little world the producers of the new show have created. The humour value is in seeing flawed people make a mess of things.
In this way there is little difference between the Mr Men and Big Brother.
Perhaps I am just looking too closely at a cartoon show, but then again shows like these tend to be good markers pointing to the way in which ‘society’ is thinking.
Whatever, I think it shows yet again, that we need to engage as a Church with society and re-introduce folk to the idea of Grace. It is a concept that is becoming particularly alien to the people outside the Church. A concept that will need some explaining to a generation of people who have no idea what it is.