As you can see at right, Caillou is an enthusiastic, Charlie Brown-headed imbecile. He whines constantly. He has a sister named Rosie who also whines constantly. He has parents who are always patient, which makes me wonder how deeply they've repressed emotions regarding their moronic children, and if at night they dream of hurling their hellspawn from a bridge only to wake up every morning and sadly realize it was all in their heads once again.
According to Wikipedia, Caillou "was created by child developmental psychologists", which was surprising since I hadn't realized Doctor Moreau expanded into pediatric psychology. Caillou is just one more reason to never, ever trust science.
Caillou is 4, but he talks like a slow 2-year old with a chalkboard for a voice. He's always asking his parents what everyday items are, like "Mama, what's a 'telephone'?" Only picture a pullstring doll's inflection, and you're getting the gist. Kids ask questions. It's one of the things they do. But if your kid is four and doesn't know what a phone is...well, I don't want to judge, but he/she is not progressing on a standard developmental path.
Apparently, there was some controversy about Caillou's lack of hair, and some speculated he had cancer, which I hoped was terminal. I imagined the inevitable series finale, and as Caillou at last succumbed to the haywire cells ravaging his body, I would turn to Lana and say, "That's what happens when you whine too much." Sadly, PBS Kids say he's bald for no reason.
In researching this piece (on Wikipedia), I discovered this:
A 2012 study conducted at the University of Virginia, published in the journal Pediatrics, tested the show's effect on preschool-aged children's attention spans and cognitive abilities. The study had three groups of four year-olds each engaged in activities; one group watched Caillou, another watched SpongeBob SquarePants, and the third group drew pictures. After nine minutes, the children were tested on mental functions; those that watched Caillou had very similar results to the group that drew pictures, both of whom performed significantly better than the group that watched the SpongeBob episode.I have misgivings here, because on one hand it's saying Caillou has value, which means this study is blatantly lying to us. On the other, it's saying television is just as good as drawing, right? That's good! It's a wash, I suppose. Anecdotally, I know when Lana watches Caillou, she gets more whiny, so Caillou is now banned.
VERDICT: Considering Caillou is the only person I've been happy to hear was linked to cancer, not good.