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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Helsinki chapter.

Shows targeted for children are not usually too highly appreciated. They are, after all, meant for children, so they can’t be very complex, deep and thought-provoking… Right? It of course depends a lot on the show but for so many kids’ shows, that is not true. I personally watch a lot of children’s shows and some people think that that’s really weird. However, there are so many absolute gems that are under-appreciated just because they have been labeled as being for children. In this article, I will be discussing these shows and what makes them so great in my opinion.

One big factor that increases my enjoyment of a show is nostalgia. With kids’ shows, there’s often a lot of it involved. It’s great to watch something you used to watch as a kid after several years or even decades. You remember characters and events but probably not all of them so it is still entertaining since there’s an element of surprise. Everything is the same but also so different. You see things from a completely different point of view than you used to and understand characters’ motives and actions in a whole new way. You also relate to different characters than before and can concretely detect the change within yourself that has taken place slowly over the years. All this is really cool.

However, I also watch some kids’ shows that I have never seen before and with the ones I have, there are many other great things as well besides nostalgia. Many children’s shows are genuinely so funny. They are funny in a very different way for kids and adults but there are many shows that hide in a lot of content for adults that kids are just gonna ignore but adults will find hilarious. One of my favourite examples of this is Phineas and Ferb. I laugh out loud several times every single time I watch an episode. The jokes are just that good. I used to like the show as a kid but I feel like I like it even more now as a 23-year old. Phineas and Ferb is of course meant to be mainly funny but many more serious kids’ shows also have some super funny parts and lines.

Children’s shows can also be very complex and emotionally powerful. I used to watch Avatar the Last Airbender as a kid and I have rewatched it a few times as an adult. The story concentrates on a handful of children set on stopping a war that is happening in their world. That in itself is pretty heavy stuff. The show explores themes of growth, resentment, failure and forgiveness to mention a few and some of these themes are really explored on a very deep level. The show is entertaining but also extremely thought-provoking. To children, the show probably appears as a bit more lighthearted but as an adult, you notice how everything is more complicated and nuanced than you may originally think. Avatar the Last Airbender also discusses for example feminism and colonialism in a way that is understandable for kids but that adults will appreciate on a whole another level.

Children’s shows can also make you feel all kinds of emotions. I have been watching different Star Wars series in chronological order starting with Clone Wars. At the moment I’m watching Rebels after which I’ll be moving on to The Mandalorian and Book of Boba Fett. Granted, when you watch a show that has as many episodes as for example Clone Wars, some of them are going to be a bit boring. With kids’ shows this mainly means that they are filled with fairly childish jokes and have no deeper meaning. Then again, adults’ shows also have boring and weird episodes in them. However, especially towards the end, Clone Wars had storylines and episodes that absolutely broke my heart and made me super emotional, even if I had seen the movies and knew how everything would end. I felt sad, angry, hopeful and devastated for and with the characters. Sometimes I wondered whether I was actually watching a children’s show because the stories were so deep and emotional.

I guess what I wanted to say with this article is that you really shouldn’t judge a show just because it is labeled as being for children. Kids’ shows can be funny, smart, emotional, complex and just enjoyable in every way. Some of my favourite shows are kids’ shows and if I had been prejudiced against them from the start, I never would have watched them. Don’t let your prejudices stop you from finding a show you might really enjoy.

Lotta Nieminen

Helsinki '24

I study social science and when I don't I really like to look at butterflies, take naps and think about how I'm going to make the world a better place some day.