fun

The actually educational TV shows your kids should be watching and their hilarious shortcomings (pt 5 of 5)

Team Umizoomi

This is Spawn’s latest obsession and the reason for the delay on this story was from a lack of understanding. Team Umizoomi live in Umi City and help out kids with their super powers. Milli, the eldest, and her younger brother Geo are joined by their friend Bot (a robot) in the adventures and the show encourages the viewer to interact and develop their Super Math Power. Within the team Milli has Pattern Power and can generate any pattern from her dress and two ponytails can grow to measure things, Geo has Super Shape power and can construct anything out of geometric shapes and Bot can stretch his appendages to grab things and the victims call for help on his, bear with me now, Belly Belly, Belly Screen.

There are a lot of things to love about Team Umizoomi and my favourite thing is how much my daughter impresses me with her counting and rudimentary mathematics skills. She’s three and she can multiply or divide by two on even numbers below 10, that’s freaking amazing no matter which way you slice it.  Milli is also a girl and therefore wins major FeministDad points.

The shortcoming
Even with Milli acting as team leader, it’s still hard to deny that Geo got the better deal at the super power gene pool. In a world starved of maths and common sense (some of the scenarios the kids find themselves in is really a product of senseless action), designer patterns have a very limited use. Geo always comes off as the hero because he can build things with shapes while Milli is stuck measuring things and making pretty patterns. For all the good Nick Jr has done to empower girls, I feel the channel executives shat the bed a bit here.

Even worse
Bot is completely self aware and seems to be the only one of his kind, and probably the size of a small mouse. How exactly did Bot’s creator keep his patents and technology away from the military? Or better yet, where is his creator? Also you never see Milli and Geo’s parents or meet anyone who may be part of their species. Then there’s the trolls and the fairies who pitch up all the time. Where the hell is Umi City and how can they support such a wide variety of sentient species without exploitation?

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