The internet cannot agree on anything. Whether they’re debated topics as profound as politics or as banal as Star Wars, people have strong opinions on everything. But one recent event brought everyone together. That moment was the cancellation of the PBS children’s series Caillou.
Parents came out in droves to voice their unabashed hatred for the animated show. Let’s take a look at what was so awful about it.
What was ‘Caillou’?
Caillou was a Canadian animated series that debuted on PBS Kids on September 4, 2000, Deadline reported. It followed the titular character, an inexplicably bald 4-year-old, as he continually got into childish trouble and learned life lessons along the way.
One might expect parents would’ve embraced such a series with open arms. After all, Caillou wasn’t just a show; it’s also a series of books, coloring pages, calendars, and more.
However, although children appear to love the little 4-year-old, parents hold a universal hatred for the character, The Huffington Post reported. From the boy’s atrocious behavior to the repetitive theme song, Caillou annoyed the heck out of adults.
When PBS officially canceled the show after 20 years on the air, it united an otherwise polarized world in joyous celebration.
The war on ‘Caillou’
One mom, Jill Robbins of She Knows, wrote a 29-part list about why the show was the bane of her existence. Her reasons touched on everything from Caillou’s ill-explained baldness to the music that kicks off and ends the show.
“Once you hear the super freaking annoying theme song, it will play on a loop in your head for the next four hours and make you want to stab yourself with a fork,” Robbins wrote. She even jokingly blamed the series for her drinking problem.
“Caillou is the reason so much wine is consumed in this house. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but we’ll go with it. As much as we try to practice Caillou avoidance, my kids really like the show and sometimes I cave in. So, cheers.”
But Robbins isn’t alone. Craig Silverman of BuzzFeed offered his reasons. And they echoed Robbins’ complaint about the music.
“The theme song says the word ‘Caillou’ 14,356 times. And it’s sung by him, in his voice, which will drive you nuts after five minutes. The director basically told the voice actor, ‘As high-pitched as you can go, with extra whine,’” Silverman wrote.
Mackenzie Cummings-Grady of PopDust didn’t even see the show as good children’s entertainment. The writer said the series encouraged temper tantrums when children don’t get their way.
“It’s too hot, mommy!” he whines, followed by, “It’s too cold, mommy!” His mom tries to bribe his cooperation with a toy, but Caillou throws it across the room like a punk, then runs out of the room. He is never asked to apologize; his parents just continue to bribe him with bubbles and toys until he gives in.
But now, Caillou’s reign of terror is finally over. Parents are free.
The cancellation heard ’round the world
The loud applause from parents piqued even major news organizations’ interest. CNN, which had been busy covering elections and insurrections, took time out of its schedule to publish a piece highlighting parents’ reactions to Caillou‘s cancellation.
In a world where parents generally embrace children’s entertainment, the hatred that Caillou instilled shows how much of a sour note it struck with adult viewers everywhere. Now that it’s off the air, the next step for parents is to ensure the reviled series never returns.
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