A while back through the magic of Netflix on the Xbox and some random button pushing my now four year old son discovered the wonder that was the Power Rangers. For those of you who neither know or care, Netflix has every season except the newest available for instant viewing on your computer or tv. Over 500 episodes of spandex and giant monsters.
Now, in all fairness, I personally must confess to liking the Power Rangers as a teen, and having a fondness for them to this day.
500 episodes in rapid succession will wear away at any fondness you may have for anything. Especially when you combine it with a toddler's attention span, which has him bouncing between the series like a ferret on pixie sticks. The later seasons actually do have half decent plots to them, but it's rather hard to follow them when you jump to a completely new one right in the middle of a two part episode.
So, between the plot headaches, and the desire to curb my son's need to run around kicking things and yelling 'hiya!' at the top of his lungs, I begin searching for a distraction. After talking it over with the better half, we decide that while we want to keep the monsters and the fighting, which seems to be what he really enjoys, we want to try and get away from the live action stuff, to see if maybe we can mellow him out a little on the kicking things, and so hopefully he doesn't grow up thinking it's okay to jump kick people with masks on. Would make SciFi/Fantasy conventions a little too interesting.
Her first instinct is Pokemon. I shudder a bit, but am forced to concede that it does have the required elements, and in all fairness does seem to be aimed at his age group. So off we go to Netflix. No luck. Ah, but we have a back up, Hulu Plus is now on the XBox as well! No go there, and our close second, Digimon, is only available as a subtitled version. I mark this, since I know it's one of those that got butchered for American TV, and move on.
Back to the drawing board we go, when it hits me. Yu Gi Oh! I'm a big fan of the Abridged Series, which if you ever watched Yu Gi Oh as a kid (or older, you know who you are) you should check out. No go on the Netflix, but lo and behold all the seasons available on Hulu!
I fire it up for him, and sit down on the couch with him to watch. The first episode has me nervous, because it takes a while to get to the giant monsters zapping each other, but he sits quietly through the whole thing (itself a small miracle) and promptly demands more. Success! We fire up the next episode and my celebration is muted when D comes over and tells him he's only to watch it with Daddy in case it gets too scary. I ponder for a moment, and am forced to concede that this is a good idea. So now I am committed to watching Yu Gi Oh on a fairly regular basis, but if this gets him to yell 'Dark Magic Attack' and point at something instead of kicking it, I'll call it a win.
Chaos help me if he ever discovers the card game.