Friday, January 26, 2007

Hey, Buster! Who You Corruptin' Now-Now-Now?

I sit and watch the occasional PBS kids' show in the a.m. with my two children, AC (22m) and N (3.5y). For some strange reason, Wednesday at 5pm we turned on the t.v., and landed on NJN, the New Jersey public station. POSTCARDS FROM BUSTER came on, a show we've seen only three or four times. For those unfamiliar with Buster, he is a bunny originally from the popular animated PBS kids' show, ARTHUR, which features all-animal characters in a world usually inhabited by humans (think Berenstain Bears). PFB is a spinoff show from ARTHUR that features the animated Buster (he's eight, by the way) and his dad--a pilot-rabbit--flying around the country to take a musical group--of rabbits--to their gigs. The show focuses on what Buster finds and videotapes in these locations they visit--and all of the visiting is with live, non-actor human beings, in non-animated situations. It's a little strange to watch the people pretend to "interact" with a fictional/animated character behind the camera.

Enough background on the show. Here's the hoot: Wednesday, we happened to catch THE BANNED EPISODE!!! Buster & Co. traveled to Vermont, where Buster hung out with some kids his age (real kids, again), who showed him around the town. He watched and learned how maple sugar was made; he visited a dairy farm and saw how the cows were milked and how farm kids have some fun. Oh, and by the way, he had a Shabbat dinner with a family who had--shhhhh--two moms. Then they went to another family's house to sit around a bonfire and say goodbye to winter! Don't tell, but that family had two moms too.

There was so very little to do with the two moms thing, and so much to do with the children going about their business in rural Vermont, that I am astounded that the Bush administration demanded in January 2005 that PBS not distribute the show. Several PBS stations, however, got the episode and have run it. Apparently, NJN was one. This particular episode is NOT on the official Buster site: Nowhere is there mention of Buster visiting Vermont, even though the episode is now over two years old!

Nyah-nyah, Bush! Now my children will be sad and confused individuals who think that family love is unlimited. They might even find out about Mary Cheney some day.


Mike Mahaffie said...

I'm shocked! SHOCKED! Is say!

In fact, I'm happy for you. You've managed to grab a glimpse of the real in GWB's otherwise falsified America.

Yes, I am aware of irony of "Buster" being "the real!"

Mary Louisa said...

Too funny, Mike. I still shake my head when I consider the "official edict" to supress this show. Don't they have more important things to do? I wonder how much government money actually went into its production?

Ceciliebw said...

I didn't know there was a "banned" episode.. We watch buster all the time..Heck, Now I want to see that episode just because it's banned..
So since my kids has a gay uncle that they will be sad and confused also??

Mary Louisa said...

I know, I know, Cecilie. It is such a stupid thing to ban a show over!

Mark Steidler said...

Thanks for your post. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Maya & Miguel, a show on PBS in the afternoons -- -- that emphasizes cultural diversity and language learning but I’m reaching out to talk to parents about the program as part of a marketing project I’m working on with Scholastic.

I found your post and thought I’d reach out to say hello and ask if you’d like to receive a free Maya & Miguel DVD. If you’d like to receive the DVD just email me at with your address and I’ll have it shipped it out to you.

If you do choose to blog about Maya & Miguel show or episodes on the DVD, please make it clear how you received the information. Our goal is to be open and honest with everyone we reach.

If you’d like to add Maya & Miguel images from the show on your blog you can pick them up here -

Mark Steidler, BoldMouth