Saturday, July 9, 2011

Olivia

Olivia is about a young girl... er, pig... and her life. She is a high energy girl who loves the color red and is very annoyed by her "little bother" of a little brother, Ian. She has a baby brother, William, as well, and they all live with their two parents. The mother is a party planner, who apparently works from home, which makes for great parent-child interactions, and provides an outlet for some more parental-aimed humor.

Olivia seems quite worldly for a child, and at least once an episode, she spouts a "rule of life, number...", such as "headbands make you feel faster." (For more Olivia Rules of Life, visit the unofficial Facebook page.) Olivia has a best friend, Julian, who is a dark skinned, heavy set boy pig, and a friend/foe (she fluctuates between the two), Francine. Olivia prides herself on being a life expert, and often imagines herself in various situations... a fashion designer, a ballerina, a famous singer, a magician, a doctor, etc. depending on what is going on in the episode.

I'm unsure what age Olivia is "supposed" to be, but she at least attends school with a teacher, Mrs. Hoggenmuller. I'm guessing it's either kindergarten or first grade. Her brother Ian appears to be only a year or so younger. Her appeal ranges from older infants to probably kindergarten or first graders. And, while the show is about a girl pig, she does have appeal for boys too (as evidenced by my son's infatuation with her). I think having the range of characters helps.

The series is based on a series of books by Ian Falconer, who describes her as "Eloise, if she were a pig." There are also books based on the TV series available. I like when series' come from books, because then you have a separate medium of entertainment for your child with characters they already know and love.

This show airs on Nick Jr. at various times during the day and night. Nick Jr. is a channel available only through cable or satellite providers, so please check your local listings for times and channels. There are also DVDs available for purchase, as well as on Netflix on-demand.

What your child learns:
  • Social and Emotional Development: Caring for friends, neighbors, and belongings, being a good friend, empathy.
  • Imaginative Play: Pretending to be someone else, dress up (there are Olivia dress up toys available for purchase)
Needless to say, it isn't the most educational show. Your child probably won't learn much from it directly, in fact. They will probably, however, find it quite enjoyable and hilarious.

As a parent watching, you may notice that the parents on the show are some of the least aloof kids television parents out there, and that they speak quite frankly with their children. That's something I, personally, really enjoy. The voices aren't too obnoxious either, another oddity in children's programming. Olivia, as a character, is pretty even keeled and doesn't yell much, if at all. Olivia's Rules of Life may even remind you of something adorable and off-the-wall your own child has said. Basically, you're not going to be too annoyed with the show, or how the characters act. Even the "annoying" little brother is pretty tolerable.

If you're looking for highly educational television, this sure isn't it. If you're looking for something calm that may keep your kid entertained long enough for you to shower or get dinner started, Olivia may just be perfect. Additionally, if you want a show that has lots of real-world accessories, this is a great show as well. The library of books along with the Olivia Dress Up Chest that is available (although only for girls, unless you're cool with your son sporting jewelry and red skirts), this is a great program for you as well.

1 comment:

  1. you should hear Benji singing the theme song

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