14 April 2012 | dave13-1
Anybody who thinks this is a kid's show needs to watch it more closely.
Phineas and Ferb has to be the smartest and most adult show ever created for an under-12 audience. Seriously, what other show features songs that rhyme 'didactic' with 'anti-climactic', uses the Freudian model for the human mind as a key story device, tosses in movie references, artistic motifs and literary allusions obscure enough to challenge a film scholar, sneaks in a psychedelic drug trip or two thanks to some toxic moss, and then cuts away to its secondary plot arc in a secret world where everybody's pet is a government crime fighter? Did I mention that every song cleverly parodies a different genre, style, period or artist, or that each secondary crime fighting plot intrudes momentarily on the main story line at just the right spot in each episode to wreak the most havoc? Though the show's target audience likely catches little of this, they no doubt appreciate the creative richness that informs it all. And most importantly, the show's popularity proves that they find it all FUN.
Instead of dumbing down recycled versions of older entertainment forms, such as the sitcom, to make it 'age-appropriate' for pre-teens, the creative team behind P&F have created a true original, loaded with enough wit and charm to satisfy Noel Coward, and enough science fiction outrageousness to satisfy a Doctor Who fan. Every show carries the same upbeat message to seize every opportunity for adventure, because it might not come again, while never condescending to its viewers or getting preachy.
There is a lot of truly awful kids' programming out there. It's great to see something which genuinely transcends the perceived boundaries of what a kids' show should be and goes out and demonstrates what it CAN be.