Image property of the Jim Henson Company
Henry likes to watch PBS Kids shows in the morning, including Sid the Science Kid, which drives me nuts! But since I have to watch it, I started to notice that the things that bothered me (besides some of the characters' personality and voices) all pointed towards a dark post-apocalyptic backdrop to the otherwise innocuous children's story.
For those of you who don't know (lucky you!), Sid the Science Kid is about Sid and his 3 school friends making scientific discoveries together. Each episode is based around a question Sid asks his parents before school. The kids then discuss his question on the playground before school starts, and pose it to their teacher once they're inside. The rest of class time is spent answering the question and "making discoveries." Then Sid's grandma picks him up from school and drives him home. Before he goes to bed, Sid makes up an invention related to the day's discoveries, and that's the end of the show.
Seems pretty innocent, huh? Until you look closer, that is.
Image property of the Jim Henson Company
These are the things that bothered me about the show until I came up with my brilliant "fan theory." In no particular order:
- There are no books anywhere in Sid's house or school.
- There are no other people living in town besides Sid's family (including his little brother and grandma), his friends and their families, and the teacher, Susie. Sid and his friends are the only 4 children in the school (2 boys and 2 girls).
- The only subject studied in school is science, and the only career paths promoted are science-related.
- The kids are always waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too excited about doing their scientific discoveries outside in their "super fab lab."
- Sid's parents "work" but only seem to do so from home.
- Sid's family never goes anywhere in town except to school or to get supplies from "the store." (The second one is only mentioned, never shown, and might not actually exist.)
One day I was thinking about all the things that seemed wrong about the show and I suddenly realized: if you set the story in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited only by scientists and their families, then everything in the show makes perfect sense!
- There aren't any books because they were all burnt as fuel during the apocalyptic phase of things. The scientists and their families hid in vaults (Fallout style) while everything went down. I like to think that a disease, affecting only humans, swept the globe, causing world-wide societal breakdown. The scientists found a cure, but most people were dead at that point. They cured themselves and their families, built robots to rebuild parts of the world they wanted, and re-emerged to take charge of a much less populated world.
- The "town" Sid lives in is actually one of several breeding colonies established throughout the world. The families were specifically put together because there are 2 boys and 2 girls of the same age. When they grow up, they'll be expected to marry one another and advance the state of the human race by making babies.
- Because scientists are the only people who survived, they are in charge of everything, which makes science the most important topic of all. And since most humans are dead, studying the natural world on Earth and other planets is one of the only occupations left anyway.
- Being outside is still a big deal because the kids spent the first years of their lives in the vaults underground for safety.
- Sid's parents work with other scientists long-distance via e-mails, etc, which is why they always jump to answer any prompt their computers give them.
- There's no where to go in town, because it's mostly a ghost town built up by the robots to give the children an illusion of having a "normal childhood." Which is also why they go to "school" every day.
Makes perfect sense, right?
Yes, I do spend too much time thinking about children's programming these days. :)
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